Rooting and Jailbreaking have, for the longest time, found itself in a legal grey area. Proponents maintain the position that since they own their devices, they can alter them as they please. And opponents (usually large corporations) believe their technology would be at risk if users could alter their phones at a "superuser" level. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), the legislation specifically designed to deal with issues such as this, had never addressed the phone "hacking", until now. Today, a slew of DMCA exemptions were added, one of which exempted rooting/jailbreaking from being considered "copyright infringement."
This DMCA exemption for rooting in no way legally obligates smartphone manufacturers to provide their phones unlocked and rooted. This merely provides an exemption in the DMCA for users to legally root. So, I guess we hammered home the point, that rooting your phone is officially not illegal. I wonder if this in any way will change the policies of the four big US wireless providers, who have always opted for "locked-down" phones and considered rooting against contract terms. Furthermore, it'll be interesting to see how the major smartphone manufacturers respond to the news. Check out the official Press Release here.Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.
source Library of Congress DMCA