Appearing as if it used a digital dartboard, the Library of Congress has just released its latest list of things you will be allowed to jailbreak and at a glance, the list seems, well, arbitrary. Jailbreaking, or rooting, is the process of removing operational limitations imposed by manufacturers of digital products, like Apple’s iPhone and iPad. From now until 2015, you may legally jailbreak your smartphone, but not your tablet. You’ll be allowed to “unlock” your phone for use on your choice of service provider as long as it was purchased before January 2013, but not after. And feel free to use a clip from that DVD for your documentary about alien life forms, but don’t dare rip, or “space-shift,” it to view on your DVD-playerless iPad. Some say the current system that makes these digital rights decisions is broken and in need of an overhaul as technology advances.
Until something changes, the Library of Congress will stick with its current method.