This bill seeks to allow users of technology more freedom by legalizing breaking through proprietary software.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Right Act laid the groundwork for how copyright laws govern digital material. One of the things it forbids is users modifying copyrighted digital material, whether this means, say, rewriting e-reader versions of The Hunger Games so that its protagonist is named Ted Cruz instead of Katniss Everdeen, or rewriting the code on your Verizon phone so that you can use an AT&T plan with it. This bill would draw a distinction between the two.
Your Hunger Games rewrite would still be illegal—though more original fan fiction falls into something of a legal gray area—but modifying your phone wouldn’t. That’s because the bill makes it legal for the owner of a “mobile communications device” to adapt its software or firmware if it’s just to join a different communications network. It also legalizes the sale of jailbreaking software, and makes it legal to skirt technical measures designed to limit the use of a device, provided that that skirting is not conducting with the purpose of breaking copyright law.