The US Copyright Office stands by the ruling that jailbreaking your smartphone is legal. Unfortunately, tablets are excluded. That’s because tablets are difficult to categorize.
The argument, as the Verge Reports, is that it could theoretically bundle eReaders and handheld gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita in the same category. Basically, they are having trouble defining what is a tablet and what isn’t.
Here’s a potion of the report from the Verge talking about unlocking handsets:
Another decision relates to unlocking phones so that they’ll work on any carrier. While there is still an exemption making this legal, the terms have been significantly narrowed and it won’t last long — essentially, you’ll need permission from your carrier to legally unlock any phone bought after January 2013. The Register says this is because software is licensed to users, not owned by them, and also cited the ease of acquiring an unlocked device through legitimate means. This is a somewhat dubious assertion, but it’s certainly true that unlocked phones are more common now than they once were; for this reason, it’ll remain legal to unlock phones bought until January of next year.
That’s a bummer for unlockers.
[Via the Verge]