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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Pendulous View Post
    I thought it was already illegal. My tech-saavy friends were always talking about doing this kind of stuff with their phones, and that a tiny slip up could screw up the phone permanently.
    Nah, it's just a pain to do because the guys who write the software/firmware don't plan for you to do anything with it but what they intend you to do. So, if you slip up on unlocking/rooting the phone, you can get a brick.

    This law honestly makes me pretty upset. There's no reason for this to be expressly illegal - it's not like US cell phone systems aren't backwards enough as it is - and it just screams to me of big companies paying to get the bill through. I don't think Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile would want this - in fact, T-Mobile advertisements specifically say "bring us your unlocked AT&T phone and we'll save you money/give you a discount on your service", and unlocking a Sprint or Verizon phone doesn't get you very far (they use CDMA phones, and an unlocked CDMA phone isn't usable on most networks because most networks are GSM) - rather, I smell Apple's hand in this. It's not uncommon for tourists to go to a Radioshack or Best Buy or something and try to buy an iPhone and get it unlocked, even after Apple adjusted the USD price of the iPhone.

  2. #42
    If you really want to get angry, look at how the Congressional Librarian is responsible for all manner of determinations on IP fair usage.
    Way too much power, wielded way too capriciously.

    I'm a fan of sensible copyright and patent protection. What we have now is not sensible by any means, and needs to be completely rewritten.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Locruid View Post
    So at the end of the contract I can give the phone back for a price, right?
    no. but atleast in the netherlands all providers can mail you a code to unlock it for free. and vodaphone even does it after 1 year even if you have a 2year old contract.

  4. #44
    A petition was started at to have the Librarian of Congress revisit that decision. 'It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full. The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked,this can be done using any third party vendors like .The policy is a big issue for anyone who wants to use their phone abroad, without needing to go through their U.S.' carrier's expensive roaming and international plans. Additionally, anyone who wants to move to a new GSM carrier in the U.S. (such as T-Mobile to AT&T), will have issues.

  5. #45
    Dreadlord Clockworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Top of the World, Aincrad V2
    I find these laws old unknowing senile folks that most likely don't use the item they try to rule ower anyway really stupid!
    Sure if you mod something that you connect to like the cell net then ofc you should not mod it, but when it comes to you phone if you have bought it then it is your and you can do what you want to it.

    Think this should be some pretty basic stuff.

    Same for moding game consoles, copying games might be illegal but soldering a chip into your console or moding your software is up to you since it is your item. and no brand should be able to make the unit useless exept perhaps denying it acces to their network, but it should still be completely fine to use in offline mode.
    I'm a stranger, I'm a changer.
    And I'm danger... maybe...

  6. #46
    Merely a Setback Reeve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Houston, TX USA
    The White House has come out in support of unlocking cell phones:
    'Twas a cutlass swipe or an ounce of lead
    Or a yawing hole in a battered head
    And the scuppers clogged with rotting red
    And there they lay I damn me eyes
    All lookouts clapped on Paradise
    All souls bound just contrarywise, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

  7. #47
    The Unstoppable Force breadisfunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    by allleria's side.
    that obviously means the republicans will oppose unlocking cellphones. seems both sides just oppose each other just for the sake of opposing each other nowadays.
    r.i.p. alleria. 1997-2017. blizzard ruined alleria forever. blizz assassinated alleria's character and appearance.
    i will never forgive you for this blizzard.

  8. #48
    got a good response today from the white house about legalizing cell phone unlocking. here is the source:

    The recent ruling that effectively bans third-party phone unlocking has ruffled more than a few feathers, and the people have spoken with their electronic signatures -- 114,322 of them, to be exact. Now the petition to the White House, which asks that DMCA protection of phone unlockers be reconsidered, has finally received an official response, and it appears that it's for the positive. The author of the letter is R. David Edelman, Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation and Privacy.
    "The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties," Edelman writes. All told, the response matches that of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which wrote a letter to the Librarian of Congress in support of extending the exemption last year.
    So what does this mean for us? Edelman states: "The Obama Administration would support a range of approaches to addressing this issue, including narrow legislative fixes in the telecommunications space that make it clear: neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation." We're not going to see immediate change, but it appears that a chain of events is now in motion in which the FCC and Congress potentially play a huge role. We're not out of the woods yet, but it's relieving to see such a positive response -- along with a call to action -- from the government.

    what do you guys think?

    here is the full response letter:

    Thank you for sharing your views on cell phone unlocking with us through your petition on our We the People platform. Last week the White House brought together experts from across government who work on telecommunications, technology, and copyright policy, and we're pleased to offer our response.
    The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs.
    This is particularly important for secondhand or other mobile devices that you might buy or receive as a gift, and want to activate on the wireless network that meets your needs -- even if it isn't the one on which the device was first activated. All consumers deserve that flexibility.
    The White House's position detailed in this response builds on some critical thinking done by the President's chief advisory Agency on these matters: the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). For more context and information on the technical aspects of the issue, you can review the NTIA's letter to the Library of Congress' Register of Copyrights (.pdf), voicing strong support for maintaining the previous exception to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for cell phone carrier unlocking.
    Contrary to the NTIA's recommendation, the Librarian of Congress ruled that phones purchased after January of this year would no longer be exempted from the DMCA. The law gives the Librarian the authority to establish or eliminate exceptions -- and we respect that process. But it is also worth noting the statement the Library of Congress released today on the broader public policy concerns of the issue. Clearly the White House and Library of Congress agree that the DMCA exception process is a rigid and imperfect fit for this telecommunications issue, and we want to ensure this particular challenge for mobile competition is solved.
    So where do we go from here?
    The Obama Administration would support a range of approaches to addressing this issue, including narrow legislative fixes in the telecommunications space that make it clear: neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.
    We also believe the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with its responsibility for promoting mobile competition and innovation, has an important role to play here. FCC Chairman Genachowski today voiced his concern about mobile phone unlocking (.pdf), and to complement his efforts, NTIA will be formally engaging with the FCC as it addresses this urgent issue.
    Finally, we would encourage mobile providers to consider what steps they as businesses can take to ensure that their customers can fully reap the benefits and features they expect when purchasing their devices.
    We look forward to continuing to work with Congress, the wireless and mobile phone industries, and most importantly you -- the everyday consumers who stand to benefit from this greater flexibility -- to ensure our laws keep pace with changing technology, protect the economic competitiveness that has led to such innovation in this space, and offer consumers the flexibility and freedoms they deserve.

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