In Groundbreaking Decision, Feds Say Hacking DRM to Fix Your Electronics Is Legal


In Groundbreaking Decision, Feds Say Hacking DRM to Fix Your Electronics Is Legal

The new exemptions are a major win for the right to repair movement and give consumers wide latitude to legally repair the devices they own.

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Well done USA a step in the right direction, My question following on would be if you bypass DRM and software tamper protection locks on a piece of equipment in order to install Alternative firmware/software to “repair of a device or system … to a state of working in accordance with its original specifications.” because the current system is no longer supported or crippled by the manufacturer because they want you to upgrade rather than maintain, is it also legal?



Thanks for sharing @Divya_Pujara! My understanding is yes. This effectively legalises jailbreaking for repair purposes.

For me this is a relief, because it probably means that the UK will be safe from attempts to bring this kind of interpretation of copyright over here.


There is also a good write up on this atBoingBoing


Well yes as I understand it, but the problem is that while you are allowed to do this you are not allowed to tell anyone how you did it, and especially not embed that knowledge in a tool for doing this. So while you have the right it is almost impossible to actually exercise that right.


Most of these “tools” will be found well beyond US borders, so I doubt the people helping with that really care what the copyright office has to say… But agree that the whole thing is the height of hypocrisy/futility.


You make a good point here Stuart, in the UK copyright may not be the issue for this kind of thing anti-hacking legislation in the Computer Misuses Act may be. The UK has some of the most draconian anti-hacking legislation thanks to lobbying from companies like SKY, there isn’t even a public interest exclusion from this law, Only law enforcement agencies pursuant to an investigation. Even police officers who have not used these power legitimately have been prosecuted.