Jailbreak enthusiasts, who've just downloaded Chronic Dev Team's recent groundbreaking greenpois0n Absinthe software, may have their joy outlived as the protection for jailbreaks granted by the U.S. Copyright Office is set to expire in 2012.

Advocates from the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) are now pushing for a renewal of jailbreaking exemption for smartphones and other devices. If the exemptions are not renewed, jailbreaking would become a criminal act that would come with heavy penalties, the foundation said.

Smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles are powerful computers with lots of untapped potential, the group says on its website. Yet many of these devices are set up to run only software that's been approved by the manufacturer.

Prior to a ruling on July 26, 2010 that permitted exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), modifying an iOS device without any authorization from Apple was termed illegal.

The EFF is specifically asking users to submit comments to the Copyright Office, giving as much detail as possible regarding the right to jailbreak.  The group is also proposing the exemption for tablets and video game consoles.

Smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles are powerful computers with lots of untapped potential, the group said on eff.org, Yet many of these devices are set up to run only software that's been approved by the manufacturer.

Modifying a device to run independent software -- known as jailbreaking -- is important to programmers, enthusiasts, and users, the group explained in their support for jailbreak.

Jaibreaking, which is particularly popular on Apple's iPhone, provides users the ability to access third-party app stores, as well as switch mobile carriers for their device.

Those looking to keep jailbreaking legal can go to EFF's website where full instructions are provided.