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Jailbreaking DRM-enabled eBooks Now Legal In Some Cases

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The US Copyright Office issued new rules today that will give consumers more freedom to crack DRM-enabled digital content in order to consume the works in noninfringing ways. In other words, it is now legal to jailbreak content, so long as the consumer is not infringing on the copyright of the material, and they are following the new rules.

The Copyright Office selected six different categories of content and spelled out appropriate digital cracking. For eBooks, DRM can only be cracked when the audio tracks have been disabled.

From the Copyright Office’s statement: “Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.”

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