Skip to comments.Law makes 'unlocking' devices to switch carriers punishable by fines and even prison
Posted on 01/27/2013 9:08:24 AM PST by Uncle Chip
A new law that makes it illegal to 'unlock' your cell phone and switch carriers goes into effect today and will carry fines between $2,500 and $500,000, and in some cases, prison time.
The change made by the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will make it illegal for consumers to unlock mobile devices without the permission of their carrier.
The lock feature on mobile devices essentially allows carriers a way to prevent customers from switching to a new plan with a different company.
Unless your phone came unlocked and are grandfathered in under the law, you're device is legally chained to your service provider.
'For many users, unlocking a phone is a necessary fix, opening up a feature and freedom that people need to effectively use their devices,' reads a blog post on iFixit.com, 'The Copyright Offices decision to outlaw this right of ownership hurts users and further empowers carriers to trap consumers.'
Now, it is illegal to unlock a phone from a carrier unless you have that carrier's permission.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
This appeared in a MAJOR newspaper, and you know what?
I think they ought to CHOP THE EDITOR'S HAND OFF.
it just goes to show you, just like “Property Taxes” makes it so you don’t really own your property, you are just renting it, so goes it with these devices you don’t “really” own them you are just renting them.
What next, I wonder?
Payoffs - I mean ‘lobbying efforts’ must have run into the hundreds of millions for their piece of legislation. Nice to know our public servants got a lotta skim on this one.
The carriers are loosing the battle to the very companies the sell blocks of air time to. (the prepaid companies) why should I be paying sprint 190 dollar a month when I can get the exact same service through boost for 100?
I don’t care if sprint gives me a 300 dollar phone for a penny and I have to pay boost 300 bucks for it. Anyone who can do simple math can figure out where the deal is.
I highly doubt this rule will be enforced.
Radical changes in Intellectual Property law are necessary. And I mean RADICAL.
“you’re device is legally chained”
I mean, dude, its supozed ta be UR, right? Wurdz is wat U makim.
Yet another way to make “criminals” out of even more people. Where are they going to incarcerate all these “new” felons...or are they?
this would only kinda make sense if the carrier still owns the phone.
if YOU own the phone, then it’s your property and you can do whatever you want with it
Part of this deal was a request by law enforcement...over the growing number of robberies where your cellphone just disappears and is sold for $40 within an hour. If you can’t unlock the device....it’s really not going to be worth much to most crooks. The criminal profit goes to zero.
Your just being pedantic, this kinds of errors’ are okay with me.
JUST KIDDING! I agree with you: the editor should be fired with prejudice.
Tyranny would be so much easier if it weren't for that darned impulse people have to be free.
It's not that you CAN'T unlock the device, it's only that they are making it ILLEGAL TO UNLOCK it.
Since the person who steals cell phones is already a criminal, what does he(she) care?
The only difference it will make is that people will be more cautious about buying a (possibly stolen and unlocked) cell phone.
Speaking of making a fortune, someone will create an APP that checks to see if your phone was switched to a new carrier (unlocked) without ‘permission’ of the original carrier.
You can just buy an unlocked phone off the internet.
DHGate is full of them, many quite reasonably priced.
Stupid and pointless law.
Your logic is flawed. Making it illegal to unlock a phone does not mean it can't be unlocked. There is no technology that can't be hacked, period.
What this law does is criminalize law abiding phone owners who have legitimate reasons for wanting to unlock their personal property.
I may want to pass my two year old Iphone down to one of my children and have them use a paygo carrier. Now I've been criminalized for using my OWN property in the way that best benefits me.
The state now requires I use MY property to benefit big business.
I'm sorry, it's time to kick some congressional ass. They continue to sell our personal property rights to big business.