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Rooting Tablets Illegal? Immoral?


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I'm doing some research on this. It's my understanding there was some type of legal ruling recently where it might now be illegal to root electronic tablets such as the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, etc. Does anyone know if it is currently legal? Also, if it is legal, is it immoral to root tablets or phones? Doesn't it violate an agreement we have to accept before we use these devices? I'm still doing research; I might later be able to post some references to consider about this. Thanks.

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Good topic!

 

Actually, "Unlocking" and "Rooting" are two different things and I believe it was the "Unlocking" without permission of the carrier that became illegal in January. This is when you remove the carrier lock so that you can switch carries, 

 

Is it legal to root? Despite the scary news headlines, nothing has gotten worse in terms of making rooting illegal. The DMCA status on rooting merely did not change. The Rooting of phones has been ruled to be completely legal, and given full exemption from any prosecution under the DMCA. With tablets it gets a little more confusing, but it’s not as bad news as many sources have reported. Rooting tablets has NOT been ruled to be illegal. What has happened is they have not been given an exemption from the DMCA. What this means is that theoretically someone could file a civil case under the DMCA for rooting a tablet. The chances of this happening are extremely slim for the following reasons:

 

http://rescueroot.com/android/is-rooting-android-phones-and-tablets-legal/


Edited by Musky
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Thanks, very helpful! Do you have any thoughts about if it might be considered immoral or unethical (even if legal) because of the license agreement that comes with these devices?  :blush:


Edited by steadfast
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I don't as far as rooting goes, it's your phone/tablet. The worse that might happen is you may void the warranty. But I have sent in a phone that had issues that had nothing to do with my rooting it and, even though it was rooted, the company replaced it. Rooting is basically just installing enhancements to the operating system or even replacing it altogether. You can also "unroot" anytime and go back to the stock operating system. But using a launcher does that also and they are certainly not illegal. 

 

I would have a problem with getting a phone from one carrier at a discount because I am agreeing to using their system, and then unlocking it and switching carriers. I personally could not conscientiously do that. 

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Illegal is such a vague word in this area.  It's not like you're going to get arrested for rooting your phone.  Nor is it an area that can be policed.  Breaking license agreement is one thing, but that's not going to result in anything more than termination of your contract. 

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It is my understanding with the Nook tablets that Barnes & Noble actually breaks even or loses money on the sale of each tablet, but it sells them because it makes its profit off of the B&N books, apps, etc. that you order for use on the tablets. So, if we buy B&N tablets, root them, and then never buy its books, apps, etc., B&N lose money. This is where I think it might be unfair or immoral, but also because we are agreeing to the license agreement and then disregarding it, which could be considered being fake/fraudulent/misrepresenting ourselves and intentions. See what I mean? I'm not trying to be difficult, just trying to think all this through so as to make a good, moral decision.


Edited by steadfast
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When you buy a nook tablet, you do not sign any agreement. So you are not breaking anything - as you didn't sign/ agree to anything.

 

As to a phone with a CONTRACT - well that you would have to sign and breaking that would be immoral / illegal. But once your contract is up - it is up. You can then call your carrier and they are required by law to unlock it (or tell you the unlock code). I have done this on a phone I had when my contract was up.

 

note: since they were so good about it - I bought the Galax S3 and resigned a new contract with the same carrier.


Edited by trottigy
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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Terms-of-Service-NOOK-Tablet/379003280/

 

These Terms of Service (this "Agreement") is a legally binding agreement made by and between Barnes & Noble, Inc. ("we," "us," or "our") and you regarding your use of your NOOK Tablet™ eReader ("NOOK").

 

I need to study this agreement.  :detective:


Edited by steadfast
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It is my understanding with the Nook tablets that Barnes & Noble actually breaks even or loses money on the sale of each tablet, but it sells them because it makes its profit off of the B&N books, apps, etc. that you order for use on the tablets. So, if we buy B&N tablets, root them, and then never buy its books, apps, etc., B&N lose money. This is where I think it might be unfair or immoral, but also because we are agreeing to the license agreement and then disregarding it, which could be considered being fake/fraudulent/misrepresenting ourselves and intentions. See what I mean? I'm not trying to be difficult, just trying to think all this through so as to make a good, moral decision.

I have a Kindle Fire. The only books I use on it are from Watchtower Bible & Tract Society that I convert to Mobi so I can read them on the Kindle, and free books from Amazon. I have downloaded thousands of free books to my Kindle and maybe paid for 5 or 6 that I wanted. Does that mean that I am being fraudulent or immoral because I don't pay money for the books? I don't think so. Amazon keeps a record of the things I have purchased and they have never told me to cease and desist downloading free books.

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Thanks for the video Jerry. I believe a person is agreeing to the Terms of Service agreement by using the tablet in any manner. However, I have already used this tablet and explicitly selected on the screen that I agreed. Now I just need to find a loophole in the agreement.  :lol:

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Thanks for the video Jerry. I believe a person is agreeing to the Terms of Service agreement by using the tablet in any manner. However, I have already used this tablet and explicitly selected on the screen that I agreed. Now I just need to find a loophole in the agreement.  :lol:

 

GARY!!!!!  :lol1: you crack me up my friend. Maybe there is a time limitation :ph34r:

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Let's see... I purchase a Nook Tablet. I can step on it, paint it, deface it, break it, shoot at it, drop it in the sink, do all kinds of horrible, destructive and defacing things to it.  None of this is illegal.  However, if I root my Nook Tablet I am possibly being illegal or immoral.

 

Does that make sense to you?

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You may find this of interest:

 

Violating a terms of service agreement is not criminal, federal court says

 

 

On Tuesday, the federal Ninth Court of Appeals ruled that violating a "terms of service" agreement is not a criminal offense. At the heart of the debate were concerns that violating a terms of service agreement, despite being a set of privately held rules, could trigger a criminal violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984. As a result, anyone who's ever violated a website's terms of service can rest a little easier tonight.

 

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Let's see... I purchase a Nook Tablet. I can step on it, paint it, deface it, break it, shoot at it, drop it in the sink, do all kinds of horrible, destructive and defacing things to it.  None of this is illegal.  However, if I root my Nook Tablet I am possibly being illegal or immoral.

 

Does that make sense to you?

 

I think in most US states it is illegal to fire a gun in City limits  :lol1: But I suppose you could take it out of the city to a range somewhere - very expensive target. Not so bad it you are  a bad shot  :pistols:


Edited by trottigy
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I think this is a very important discussion, and I appreciate the responses. 

 

My first question was to establish if it was legal. If it's illegal, it's also immoral. That question was answered - right now it's legal. Now the question is, is it immoral? Lying, for example, is not illegal in most cases, but it is immoral, and we should avoid it. 

 

I'll try to get to other replies shortly.  :)

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My first question was to establish if it was legal. If it's illegal, it's also immoral.

how did you come up with this conclusion.

Just thinking off the top of my head.....it is illegal to go over the speed limit, how is that also immoral.

Too tired to think, school me lol


Edited by destiny
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Immoral

 

adjective

1.
violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.
2.
licentious or lascivious.

 

Synonyms 
bad, wicked

, dissolute, dissipated, profligate. Immoral, abandoned, depraved describe one who makes no attempt to curb self-indulgence. Immoral referring to conduct, applies to one who acts contrary to or does not obey or conform to standards of morality; it may also mean licentious and perhaps dissipated.Abandoned referring to condition, applies to one hopelessly, and usually passively, sunk in wickedness and unrestrained appetites. Depraved referring to character, applies to one who voluntarily seeks evil and viciousness. Immoral, amoral, non-moral and unmoral are sometimes confused with one another. Immoral means not moral and connotes evil or licentious behavior. Amoral, non-moral and unmoral virtually synonymous although the first is by far the most common form, mean utterly lacking in morals (either good or bad),neither moral nor immoral. However, since, in some contexts, there is a stigma implicit in a complete lack of morals, being amoral, non-moral, or unmoral is sometimes considered just as reprehensible as being immoral.

 

 
 
 
 
 

Edited by pinkpopcorn
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I have a Kindle Fire. The only books I use on it are from Watchtower Bible & Tract Society that I convert to Mobi so I can read them on the Kindle, and free books from Amazon. I have downloaded thousands of free books to my Kindle and maybe paid for 5 or 6 that I wanted. Does that mean that I am being fraudulent or immoral because I don't pay money for the books? I don't think so. Amazon keeps a record of the things I have purchased and they have never told me to cease and desist downloading free books.

 

That is within the permitted and intended use of the KF, but different than what I meant in my example. You are under no obligation to do or pay for anything after buying the KF. It's what you DO with it that matters. Rooting the KF so that you can BUY Nook format books instead of non-free Kindle books - there's the question. Is that bad, immoral?


Edited by steadfast
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I did root the KF but I couldn't like it so I turned it back. As far as reading Nook Books on the KF, I don't like the Nook at all. The format for the KF, Mobi, to me is better and easier to read with. But I started out with a plain ole kindle and then went to the KF. I now use a Kindle Paperwhite to just read for enjoyment. I really like the ease of Amazon when I need to get customer service. My client has a Nook Color and every time I have to fix it for her, I am on the phone for hours.

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If a Kindle Fire agreement said that you can't use it in your kitchen and there was a legal ruling saying you can use it in your kitchen, would it be unethical, immoral, for you to use it in your kitchen? You agreed to the "legally-binding agreement" - you said you would abide by it's terms no matter how much you may not like them. Weird example I know.

 

If someone gave you something that you wanted but only under certain conditions and you agreed to them, you should stay within those conditions, right? Where's the difference? Is it because one example is a business and the other is an individual? Does it matter?

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If I buy a screwdriver, be it phillips or flat, it has an intended use. In fact, it may even come with a warning about wearing safety glasses and gloves.

 

Now, if I use my screwdriver as a pry-bar or hit it with a hammer to use it as a punch, especially  if I am not wearing gloves and/or safety glasses, is this illegal? Is it immoral? After all, I am not using it as intended.

 

Just a thought. Once you buy something, it is yours ... is it not? If it comes "with strings attached", perhaps you  should buy something that does not have those strings.

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