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Friday, 26 October 2018

New DRM Rules Allow You to Unlock iPhones

iPhone Xs Max back

The US Copyright Office has made some major changes to the legal exemption to the DMCA which makes it legal to unlock new phones, gives one the right to jailbreak and modify their voice-assistant devices, and allow third-parties to jailbreak or modify your voice assistant devices.

Most companies have prevented tinkerers and hackers from modifying their voice-assistant devices or unlocking their smartphone by citing section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, once every three years, citizens can petition for certain exemptions under this section.


As iFixit’s Kyle Weins highlights in his post, the new DMCA ruling which comes into effect from October 28th makes lives easier for hackers and tinkers. Below are all the notable changes:


  • All voice-assistant devices powered by Alexa, Google Assistant, or any other assistant can now be jailbroken.

  • It is now legal to unlock your new phone. Previously, the law only allowed for used phones to be unlocked.

  • It is now legal to get your devices repaired from third-party services.

  • Home appliances and devices abandoned or bricked by OEMs can now be fixed by users.

  • It is now perfectly legal to repair cars, tractors, and other motorized vehicles via software modifications.

It was not a perfect victory though.


  • It is still illegal to get your game console like PS4 or Xbox One repaired from third-party services.

  • Software modifications on products other than smartphones, motorized land vehicles still cannot be modified.

  • HDCP protection cannot be bypassed.

It is definitely a big win for the gadget repair community as they would now be able to get their new smartphones unlocked and modify their voice-assistant devices to their liking.


[Via iFixit]

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