Public Comment Period on Console Jailbreaking Ending Soon

Video game console makers Microsoft and Sony are squaring off against enthusiast hackers, academics, and organizations such as the EFF who would like to make the act of jailbreaking legal. There is already an exception in place that allows the iPhone to be jailbroken, so supporters of gaining similar allowances for the Xbox 360 and PS3 are urging the U.S. Copyright Office to make these exceptions. The copyright office is currently accepting public input comments on the subject until Friday, and will likely make a decision soon shortly thereafter.

The EFF argues that an exemption is needed to allow consumers to "use lawfully obtained software of their own choosing" on these systems – even if that software isn't licensed by console manufacturers.

Microsoft and Sony are fighting back. In a statement sent to the U.S. Copyright Office, Sony wrote that jailbreaking the PS3 "will enable–indeed, may often be intended to facilitate–the unauthorized copying and commercial piracy of a large number of valuable copyrighted works."

A Microsoft spokesman agreed with Sony, noting that it allows developers access to its Kinect technology without having to compromise its entire system: 

"Kinect inspired game developers, entertainment brands, hobbyists, academics, and commercial partners to develop exciting new ways to use Kinect in areas we hadn't planned on when we created it. We support this innovation," says a Microsoft spokesman. "By contrast, the overwhelming goal of 'hacking' the Xbox 360 console is to remove security features in order to play illegally pirated game discs. The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for genuine products."

Console makers are concerned about several issues that jailbreaking could enable: piracy and security. Proponents would simply like to have the ability to create and run software or boot up an alternative operating system like Linux. When the PS3 was first released, the OtherOS feature allowed users to run Linux, but the company later removed that option amid security concerns.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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  1. 0
    ecco6t9 says:

    I have no problem with people "tweaking" a system to play imports and some back ups.

    But I draw the line when someone downloads games,makes copies, and sells the copies.

  2. 0
    Prof_Sarcastic says:

    Exactly.  The gas meter installed in my house does not belong to me.  The satellite decoder does not belong to me.  The phone line into my house does not belong to me.  I rent all of these things.  If any of them go wrong, I get a replacement – FOR FREE.  I dont get a free replacement if my Xbox or PS3 dies, so I own them, and I can do what I like with them as long as I don't break the law.  End of story.

    Edit: this was meant to be a reply to the first post.  Sorry about that.

  3. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    What a crock from MS about the Kinect.  "We supported people tinkering with hardware ONE TIME, therefore there is no need to stop us from using our legal department to crush people EVERY OTHER TIME."  Does that sound about right?

  4. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I imagine any comments that the consumers of entertainment media make will be heard by one party and one party only.


    And if we're practically just "renting" the console, charge us rental price.

  5. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    Look MS, Sony, Nintendo, if you sell me a piece of hardware I should be free to modify that hardware how I see fit. Obviously if I then USE my modifications for illegal purposes I should be taken to task for that. Obviously if you don't want to provide coverage if I brick my console trying to make "unapproved" modifications I have no problem with that.

    But stop trying to regular what I do with MY property. If you really want to argue "Well, you're really just RENTING the console" or getting a "license to use" then fine, SAY THAT, charge me an APPROPRIATE price for that, and taken on all the legal obligations that come with that.

    There are obligations on the part of the "owner" of a licensed to rented piece of equipment. You can't say "Well you own it" on the one hand and "Well you're licensing" it on the other hand to get the best of both worlds. Figure out which you want and go with it.

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