This is simply awesome! Today the US Copyright Office issued new rules that make it legal to make changes to your device and software. This means now you can jailbreak your iphone or rip a DVD that you own!

Lately the DMCA – The Digital Millenium Copyright Act has come under a lot of criticism since its enactment. The DMCA is the US copyright law that was designed to protect the rights of content owners. It was criticized by activits sighting “fair use” rights that let people who purchase things like DVDs and want to be able to do whatever with them.

There were two major changes that the US Copyright Office introduced that attracted lots of attention.

1.You can legally jailbreak or root a phone in order to allow it to run software that’s prohibited by the manufacturer or wireless carrier

2.You can decrypt DVDs in order to use short excerpts for educational, noncommerical, or documentary purposes.

The new rules go beyond the phone and the DVD’s. You can now crack the eBook DRM but only in certain instances where the reading function might be disabled. Computer software that is secured with USB dongles were also targetted.

Before you are delighted be cautious. The new rules only mean that the US government is no longer criminalizing the act of cracking that encryption in certain circumstances.

You can read more about it here.