Skip to comments.What’s mine should be mine: Ruling makes it illegal to unlock your phone
Posted on 01/25/2013 3:00:40 PM PST by Still Thinking
Think you own your wireless handset, inside and out? Think you can do whatever you wish with your own property? Think again. Beginning Saturday, it will become illegal to unlock a phone without the express permission of the carrier who locked it.
While the relevant portion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act legalizes jailbreaking for three years, it also makes it illegal to unlock new, locked wireless handsets (without the permission of the previous carrier). Exemptions include legacy phones ("used (or perhaps unused) phones previously purchased or otherwise acquired by a consumer").
So this ruling wont kill the secondary market (i.e., Amazon, eBay, etc.), but be prepared to suffer the consequences if you walk into a Verizon store with an unlocked AT&T iPhone.
Ive said this before and Ill say it again this countrys service-oriented focus with respect to wireless carriers (vs. Europes hardware focus) makes little sense. I can see why they do it (fostering brand loyalty), but its foolhardy. The money is in the monthly service contract, not the meager or nonexistent profits afforded by the handsets (hence the old saw, give away the hardware to sell the software).
The wireless carriers realize this, but they stubbornly insist that handsets must be locked in order to strong-arm their customers into loyalty via contractual agreement. And this is but the latest result of all the handwringing fearful that they wont recoup the heavy hardware discounts, carriers lobby to ensure that consumers dont own what they purchase.
The alternative business model dispenses with long-term contracts (one of consumers biggest pet peeves) in exchange for fully-priced, unlocked handsets. I, for one, wouldnt mind a higher upfront cost in exchange for the freedom to switch carriers. Can everyone afford an unsubsidized $600 handset vs. a discounted $200 model tied to a contract? Probably not. But why not give consumers the choice?
I dont sympathize with consumers who get buyers remorse after getting a heavily-subsidized iPhone and signing a 2-year contract. Nor do I have any problem with exorbitant early termination fees on smartphones, because the carrier needs to recoup the loss somehow.
But the business model underpinning this situation and the latest DMCA exemption is unsustainable. Whats mine is mine ... not the wireless carriers.
Just like region codes for DVD’s, I remember when I worked at an airbase, on the MCS floor, we were allowed a DVD player but however, they specifically prohibited Region Free players. It had to be region locked. So much for playing import DVD’s while on night shift.
When I lived back in the USSA I owned a small mobile phone company, but cellular made it obsolete.
I became an agent for BellSouth Mobility, where a user had to pass a credit check before being allowed to have a number.
When I had my first cellular phone, it was a bag phone.
When I moved to Europe in 2000, I found mobile phones, all hand-held, to be far more advanced and easier to have then in America.
Now I am in the Philippines where mobile phones are cheap, plentiful, and serviced by three or more carriers.
Even poor young kids have a phone and they can buy “load”
(time) at most any roadside store for as little as $1.
They are easy to buy for any of numerous shops.
The phones use SIM chips that contain the phone’s number and all other information, and it easy to swap the chip around between other phones.
We have two active phones, often used to summon our pedicab driver, a poor guy, but he has a Nokia.
I have an iPod touch, which just about fits your description. The latest iteration is the 5th generation, with a 4” display.
I had hopes that the Ipad mini would do the trick (our company "bonussed" everyone with an Ipad, either full size or mini). But even the mini is just TDB (too "darned" big). I had thought that perhaps the Ipod Touch was lacking in computer horsepower by comparison to the Iphone, but I'm beginning to get the impression that that is not correct.
Looks like I need to get into "in depth" comparison of specs.
Thanks for the feedback.
I just checked my Android phone, and by gosh you’re right. I never tried to uninstall the Facebook app because I actually use it, but I was sure I’d be able to uninstall it. I went to Settings | Apps, and sure enough there’s no “uninstall” button there under Facebook. I can uninstall the updates, but I guess the app will still be there.
Not only that, but you can’t stop the app either. If you force stop it, it will restart itself again. So it’s just sitting there using up 27MB of RAM even if I’m not using it.
Hey, come on now -- the DMCA was enacted by the best legislators money could buy!
Should have just got one that by it’s make and model would indicate region-locked, then get the corrected firmware to make it region free.
And these morons are the people "our" government thinks should have the sole right to control hardware WE'VE bought and paid for! FOREVER!!! [sigh]
See, it’s crap like this, in combination with this ludicrous law, that makes me feel like I HAVE to root/jailbreak my phone even if I have no technical reason to, because it would be unprincipled not to!!
You can get an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note II on Amazon for around $650. Check out the size and specs - you’ll like it.
Read Bastiat, FRiend. We’re France - crowded with crony capitalists manipulating the government for gain.
They have been getting revamped for a half century now and it just gets worse. Disney built a business on expired IP, but now wants to own it for a century plus.
Better to simply undo all the changes and go back to IP of the 19th century.
That was about what I was going to say but I think you did I better job than I was going to!