Android Rooting Forum discussion about general android root development.
My research on this topic is that the as of October 28, 2012, the US Copyright Office updated their exemption policies on the rooting of smartphones. It continues to be legal "where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of [lawfully obtained software] applications with computer programs on the telephone handset. Tablets didn't get the thumbs up as everyone had hoped like the smarthpones did. Does anyone got opinions on this topic?
I don't see how rooting is illegal in general. All your doing is making more features available in your phone and the software. Most people assume that you root your phone to just get more free apps.
Yeah, I thought that rooting was perfectly legal but the cost was that it would void the manufacturer's warranty. If you plan to root your smartphone, might be a good idea to buy insurance for it!
Unlocking: Now illegal
There's a big difference.
I'm pretty sure that rooting is legal, at least i doubt you would get caught if it were illegal.
I doubt anyone would even know you've rooted your phone unless they specifically check. It doesn't really do much except to add admin access. I also doubt it's illegal (in law) anyway, although it may break your TOS. Basically no one's going to arrest you for it, but you may not be able to get your phone fixed under warranty if you've done it.
Rooting, jailbreak, etc. are all legal. You don't actually steal anything by merely rooting/jailbreaking your device. As a result, you would never get caught for doing it. However, using your root to get apps that can download paid apps for free, e.g. installous is illegal. However, where I live, no one cares. However, if you live in US/UK/Canada, you can get caught and sued. I heard of one person who practiced these illegal doings, and was caught and sued thousands of dollars for the maybe 10 bucks he had cheated iTunes of.