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(Network World)   Petition tops 100,000. White House will now need to explain why unlocking your cell phone is a crime   (networkworld.com) divider line 156
    More: Followup, SIM lock  
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13030 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:33 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-21 09:50:02 AM
"Unlocking phones ... is commonly used for those reselling phones, travelling internationally, and changing carriers, but also ourA service-membersA deploying abroad," Khanifar, who founded Cell-Unlock.com in 2004, wrote in an email. "

Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean. International travel is a reasonable argument. "But what about the troops?!" is not.
 
2013-02-21 09:50:34 AM
They'll just pander and evade, as always.

FTFA: I just received a press alert from Derek Khanna, a former House Republican staffer who is leading an effort to get the government to reverse its interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that criminalizes the unlocking of a cell phone.

Nice. This is what Republicans should be doing: speaking out against the government interfering with the life of the ordinary citizen. Meanwhile, though, in Jesusland...
 
2013-02-21 10:34:43 AM
Because fark you, that's why
 
2013-02-21 10:35:19 AM
Because corporations are people and unlocking phones hurts their feelings, and it is illegal to hurt people's feelings.
 
2013-02-21 10:36:42 AM
Wait, a crime?  Not a civil offense stemming from breach of contract?

Oh, right.  farking DMCA.
 
2013-02-21 10:37:25 AM

Theaetetus: International travel is a reasonable argument.


It's not, because then two carriers make even more money out of you.

Most phones are tri/quad band these days and can already hit the various network types prevalent across the world.
 
2013-02-21 10:37:44 AM

Theaetetus: "Unlocking phones ... is commonly used for those reselling phones, travelling internationally, and changing carriers, but also ourA service-membersA deploying abroad," Khanifar, who founded Cell-Unlock.com in 2004, wrote in an email. "

Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean. International travel is a reasonable argument. "But what about the troops?!" is not.


Most carriers will provide unlock codes to a good customer who is traveling overseas. I'd assume most of them have procedures to accommodate the military. Hell, the Verizon iPhones used to be SIM-unlocked right out of the box.
 
2013-02-21 10:39:20 AM

Jim_Callahan: Wait, a crime?  Not a civil offense stemming from breach of contract?

Oh, right.  farking DMCA.


See, what you all don't realize is how many foreign nationals like Chinese people and Iranians buy subsidized phones on contracts here, and then take massive shipments of the phones to other carriers, where they trade the phones for slight profits on the resale markets, and they use those profits to buy uranium, which they traffic exclusively passed US customs officials in bales of marijuana that are hidden in puppies and underage sex workers, which they then dowse in oil and burn without recapturing ANY of their carbon emissions.

So it's really for the children and the environment.
 
2013-02-21 10:40:29 AM
Stories like this are the reason why posters who reflexively launch into their "America: free market, land of opportunity" song-and-dance routine need to be repeatedly kicked in the balls. Lobbyists bought and paid for this country  long time ago.
 
2013-02-21 10:40:33 AM

Jim_Callahan: Wait, a crime?  Not a civil offense stemming from breach of contract?

Oh, right.  farking DMCA.


I have a hard time believing the DMCA applies.
 
2013-02-21 10:40:40 AM

Mr Guy: Jim_Callahan: Wait, a crime?  Not a civil offense stemming from breach of contract?

Oh, right.  farking DMCA.

See, what you all don't realize is how many foreign nationals like Chinese people and Iranians buy subsidized phones on contracts here, and then take massive shipments of the phones to other carriers, where they trade the phones for slight profits on the resale markets, and they use those profits to buy uranium, which they traffic exclusively passed US customs officials in bales of marijuana that are hidden in puppies and underage sex workers, which they then dowse in oil and burn without recapturing ANY of their carbon emissions.

So it's really for the children and the environment.


/fap
 
2013-02-21 10:40:44 AM
When you buy a phone through a carrier that carrier will can have custom software running on it. It's fully within their copyright to control its use.

Solution? Don't buy a phone through a carrier.
 
2013-02-21 10:40:45 AM

Theaetetus: Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean.



So when the contract is up, the DMCA restrictions no longer apply? Does that also go for phones that were never under contract in the first place?
 
2013-02-21 10:40:45 AM
Just double checked, and the SIM card is still unlocked for the iPhone 5, so you can pop in any SIM from around the world and it will work.
 
2013-02-21 10:42:43 AM

Theaetetus: "Unlocking phones ... is commonly used for those reselling phones, travelling internationally, and changing carriers, but also ourA service-membersA deploying abroad," Khanifar, who founded Cell-Unlock.com in 2004, wrote in an email. "

Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean. International travel is a reasonable argument. "But what about the troops?!" is not.


Reselling your phone is a violation of the contract how?  Changing carriers is a violation how?

If you change carriers you still have to pay the Contract Termination Fee or continue to pay monthly for the original carrier.  Unlocking your phone so you can use it on the new carrier is not a violation and the new carrier will happily give you a contract.

Reselling your phone is likewise the same.  If you get a new phone you either signed a NEW 2-year contract or just left one.   If you want to unlock your phone so that you aren't locked into potential buyers that want a certain carrier, where is the contract violation?
 
2013-02-21 10:43:11 AM
"No matter how stupid a law/rule is, someone somewhere is making money off it. That is the sole reason for the existence of said law/rule."
 
2013-02-21 10:43:37 AM

Mr Guy: Jim_Callahan: Wait, a crime?  Not a civil offense stemming from breach of contract?

Oh, right.  farking DMCA.

See, what you all don't realize is how many foreign nationals like Chinese people and Iranians buy subsidized phones on contracts here, and then take massive shipments of the phones to other carriers, where they trade the phones for slight profits on the resale markets, and they use those profits to buy uranium, which they traffic exclusively passed US customs officials in bales of marijuana that are hidden in puppies and underage sex workers, which they then dowse in oil and burn without recapturing ANY of their carbon emissions.

So it's really for the children and the environment.


This is as cogent an argument for the DMCA as any I've heard.
 
2013-02-21 10:43:39 AM

Mad_Radhu: Theaetetus: "Unlocking phones ... is commonly used for those reselling phones, travelling internationally, and changing carriers, but also ourA service-membersA deploying abroad," Khanifar, who founded Cell-Unlock.com in 2004, wrote in an email. "

Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean. International travel is a reasonable argument. "But what about the troops?!" is not.

Most carriers will provide unlock codes to a good customer who is traveling overseas. I'd assume most of them have procedures to accommodate the military. Hell, the Verizon iPhones used to be SIM-unlocked right out of the box.


You own the phone.  If it were set up that you were leasing it, or borrowing it, or even having it financed, then you would have a point.  But they gave you a discount on an item to get you to sign up for a service.  That's like saying Best Buy has control over my TV because I signed up for a Best Buy credit card when I bought it, for the 10% discount.
 
2013-02-21 10:44:38 AM

Macinfarker: Jim_Callahan: Wait, a crime?  Not a civil offense stemming from breach of contract?

Oh, right.  farking DMCA.

I have a hard time believing the DMCA applies.


It does, because f*ck you, that's why.

/the fact that the Interstate Commerce Clause applies to the act of NOT participating in any sort of commerce, interstate or otherwise, doesn't help
 
2013-02-21 10:45:32 AM

soopey: This is as cogent an argument for the DMCA as any I've heard.


I'm pretty sure there's a South Park Episode in there somewhere.

//Replace phones with music downloads, is what the MPAA and RIAA actually believe about how pirating works
 
2013-02-21 10:46:15 AM

King Keepo: Theaetetus: International travel is a reasonable argument.

It's not, because then two carriers make even more money out of you.

Most phones are tri/quad band these days and can already hit the various network types prevalent across the world.


Yeah, but you still need to swap your SIM card if you don't want to face international roaming charges.
 
2013-02-21 10:46:51 AM

Deoan: But they gave you a discount on an item to get you to sign up for a service. That's like saying Best Buy has control over my TV because I signed up for a Best Buy credit card when I bought it, for the 10% discount.


Especially when there's a clause that you repay the discount if you break the contract.  So in this case, they are claiming they have rights over the device they discounted you on at one time, but that you ended up paying full price for.
 
2013-02-21 10:47:10 AM

the ha ha guy: Theaetetus: Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean.


So when the contract is up, the DMCA restrictions no longer apply? Does that also go for phones that were never under contract in the first place?


Yes, and yes. This specifically only applies to carrier unlocking of contract-subsidized phones  while they're under contract.
 
2013-02-21 10:47:23 AM
Wait, I missed something... the Librarian of Congress now gets to make laws?
 
2013-02-21 10:47:26 AM

Mad_Radhu: Just double checked, and the SIM card is still unlocked for the iPhone 5, so you can pop in any SIM from around the world and it will work.


Just where the hell can one pop ANYTHING into an iPhone? It's a sealed unit.
 
2013-02-21 10:47:46 AM
Good luck with that.
 
2013-02-21 10:47:50 AM
We can all thank Joe Biden for the DMCA.
 
2013-02-21 10:48:05 AM

Dick Gozinya: "No matter how stupid a law/rule is, someone somewhere is making money off it. That is the sole reason for the existence of said law/rule."


Ding! Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  We have a winner!
 
2013-02-21 10:49:31 AM

DoBeDoBeDo: Theaetetus: "Unlocking phones ... is commonly used for those reselling phones, travelling internationally, and changing carriers, but also ourA service-membersA deploying abroad," Khanifar, who founded Cell-Unlock.com in 2004, wrote in an email. "

Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean. International travel is a reasonable argument. "But what about the troops?!" is not.

Reselling your phone is a violation of the contract how?  Changing carriers is a violation how?

If you change carriers you still have to pay the Contract Termination Fee or continue to pay monthly for the original carrier.  Unlocking your phone so you can use it on the new carrier is not a violation and the new carrier will happily give you a contract.

Reselling your phone is likewise the same.  If you get a new phone you either signed a NEW 2-year contract or just left one.   If you want to unlock your phone so that you aren't locked into potential buyers that want a certain carrier, where is the contract violation?


If you wait for your contract to expire, this doesn't apply. This is really about unlocking and reselling phones on eBay, and then disappearing when the carrier comes after you for the termination fee and leaving them to chase you with a collection agency for pennies on the dollar. It also applies to unlocking and reselling  stolen phones, where the poor sap original owner is still farked with the contract fees.
 
2013-02-21 10:50:11 AM

Marcus Aurelius: We can all thank Joe Biden for the DMCA.


Given the alternatives, it's a good thing the imperfect and not-infallible Biden was elected vice president in 2008 and 2012.
 
2013-02-21 10:50:23 AM
I think Obama has a pretty good job so far but this petition response thing is crap.

I don't even have to read the press releases to know what they will say. Now, if a senator or representative were to start a program where citizens can submit actual legislation to consider for vote then that might be useful.
 
2013-02-21 10:51:09 AM

DysphoricMania: Wait, I missed something... the Librarian of Congress now gets to make laws?


i548.photobucket.com

Fark yeah. Librarians secretly run the world, duh. That's why everyone is hard-wired with a hot librarian fetish, it's part of the mind control protocol. shhhhhhh.

/or it could be because the Library of Congress is involved as the Register of Copyright
 
2013-02-21 10:51:45 AM

DysphoricMania: Wait, I missed something... the Librarian of Congress now gets to make laws?


Rules. And yeah, most agencies have rule-making powers. Those rules have to be within the bounds of the statute they're based on, but it prevents Congress from having to write laws for every little thing like the dress code at the IRS or whether post office internal communications should be on blue paper or red.
 
2013-02-21 10:52:11 AM
The White House does not make the laws.
 
2013-02-21 10:53:39 AM
Because you signed the contract.
 
2013-02-21 10:53:58 AM

King Keepo: Theaetetus: International travel is a reasonable argument.

It's not, because then two carriers make even more money out of you.

Most phones are tri/quad band these days and can already hit the various network types prevalent across the world.


Uhhh...yeah, most phones can work everywhere....but unless you want to pay international roaming, you need an unlocked phone. Like when my wife and I went to Costa Rica for a few weeks recently; she used her old iphone3, I used my old galaxy s1. Both unlocked for the purpose of travel. Both are long out of contract. $5 prepaid chip gave us like...dunno, some unknown amount of minutes, data, and text...which hadnt been used up yet by the time we left.

Now, thanks to the new law, what we did is considered *criminal*. If we went now we'd have to use our in-contract phones at international roaming rates, risking having those phones stolen, or we'd have to buy all new phones while there. Both options are stupid...especially given the pile of out-of-contract phones we have.

And why the FARK should even those who are in-contract be guilty of anything other than civil breach of contract? All making it criminal does is puts the enforcement of the government's tab, versus the phone carrier's....
 
2013-02-21 10:54:06 AM

DysphoricMania: Wait, I missed something... the Librarian of Congress now gets to make laws?


In practice, yes. The Library of Congress is responsible for defining what are "fair use exemptions" to the DMCA. Which means they are the sole body responsible for interpreting that law, at least in one narrow domain of what is a very broad law.

It's much like FCC's regulations over broadcast television. They can allow or prohibit whatever they like, and it takes an act of Congress to override them.
 
2013-02-21 10:54:24 AM

lenfromak: Mad_Radhu: Just double checked, and the SIM card is still unlocked for the iPhone 5, so you can pop in any SIM from around the world and it will work.

Just where the hell can one pop ANYTHING into an iPhone? It's a sealed unit.


www.instructables.com
 
2013-02-21 10:55:14 AM

Marcus Aurelius: We can all thank Joe Biden for the DMCA.


Why is it that we always seem to need to blame one person or one party... the bill passed with a massive number of votes. This, the sequester, it always seems like people are trying to pin down one person for bills that get 250+ votes. There's enough stupidity to share, it's not like we're doing something constructive by pretending all other morons aren't equally culpable.
 
2013-02-21 10:55:18 AM

IamAwake: Like when my wife and I went to Costa Rica for a few weeks recently; she used her old iphone3, I used my old galaxy s1. Both unlocked for the purpose of travel. Both are long out of contract. $5 prepaid chip gave us like...dunno, some unknown amount of minutes, data, and text...which hadnt been used up yet by the time we left.

Now, thanks to the new law, what we did is considered *criminal*.


Not so.
 
2013-02-21 10:56:43 AM

Lost Thought 00: Because you signed the contract.


This has been covered, repeatedly in this thread. The DMCA is not a subset of contract law, even if a contract could forbid you from modifying a device you own, which they can  try to enforce, but that kind of restraint generally doesn't fair well in the courts, not since the courts forced the telcos to allow third-party phones on their networks.

Man, remember those days? When you had to  rent a phone from the telco, because you weren't legally allowed to plug in one that you purchased?
 
2013-02-21 10:59:10 AM
and yall keep voting Democrat...

www.afterdowningstreet.org
 
2013-02-21 10:59:19 AM

Theaetetus: IamAwake: Like when my wife and I went to Costa Rica for a few weeks recently; she used her old iphone3, I used my old galaxy s1. Both unlocked for the purpose of travel. Both are long out of contract. $5 prepaid chip gave us like...dunno, some unknown amount of minutes, data, and text...which hadnt been used up yet by the time we left.

Now, thanks to the new law, what we did is considered *criminal*.

Not so.


... just in case that was unclear, it's that unlocking a phone "long out of contract" is not criminal under the new rule. Not that your phones were still under contract. :)
 
2013-02-21 11:01:56 AM

Theaetetus: If you wait for your contract to expire, this doesn't apply. This is really about unlocking and reselling phones on eBay, and then disappearing when the carrier comes after you for the termination fee and leaving them to chase you with a collection agency for pennies on the dollar. It also applies to unlocking and reselling  stolen phones, where the poor sap original owner is still farked with the contract fees.


Yes, it does.

"The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA.

As of January 26, consumers will no longer be able unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired."
 
2013-02-21 11:03:35 AM
and in Canada... our CRTC is looking to mandate cheaper unlocking, lowering roaming fees and other such awesome consumer stuff.
 
2013-02-21 11:06:43 AM

Theaetetus: DoBeDoBeDo: Theaetetus: "Unlocking phones ... is commonly used for those reselling phones, travelling internationally, and changing carriers, but also ourA service-membersA deploying abroad," Khanifar, who founded Cell-Unlock.com in 2004, wrote in an email. "

Reselling phones or changing carriers in violation of your contract, you mean. International travel is a reasonable argument. "But what about the troops?!" is not.

Reselling your phone is a violation of the contract how?  Changing carriers is a violation how?

If you change carriers you still have to pay the Contract Termination Fee or continue to pay monthly for the original carrier.  Unlocking your phone so you can use it on the new carrier is not a violation and the new carrier will happily give you a contract.

Reselling your phone is likewise the same.  If you get a new phone you either signed a NEW 2-year contract or just left one.   If you want to unlock your phone so that you aren't locked into potential buyers that want a certain carrier, where is the contract violation?

If you wait for your contract to expire, this doesn't apply. This is really about unlocking and reselling phones on eBay, and then disappearing when the carrier comes after you for the termination fee and leaving them to chase you with a collection agency for pennies on the dollar. It also applies to unlocking and reselling  stolen phones, where the poor sap original owner is still farked with the contract fees.


Ok so there are laws to protect the carriers in those cases.   If THOSE laws aren't strong enough fix them.  Realistically that should work like, what?  3 times per person?  Once for each major carrier?  If those carriers continue to let people that breach contract get a NEW contract that is on them.

In the first case this is even more insane because at the criminal trial you could just pay the termination fee and now you aren't a criminal for unlocking the phone.  In the second case you're already a theif, adding charges doesn't change that.
 
2013-02-21 11:07:43 AM
Up until about 5 years ago I was a hard Republican. I go to church and those guys always voted the way the church felt on issues. Then I grew up and started thinking for myself. I still go to church but I'm not a Republican anymore. They don't vote for anyone but themselves. If it won't make them or their friends money they will fight tooth and nail to stop it from happening.

The Republican party has sold itself to the highest bidder. They don't care what is being voted on, they automatically filibuster it unless a Republican brought it forward. If the president wants it they will do everything including political suicide to keep it from happening.The rot is not going to cure itself. The cell phone unlocking is just a symptom of the disease. Money is in charge of American politics. The people don't count anymore unless they have multiple millions of dollars to spend getting their voice heard. I don't care what kind of list I get put on. It's past time to remove these guys. Even if that means doing it by force. They refuse to listen to their constituents and what the people want. This kind of thing is the reason the 2nd amendment is there. Not for hunting or home protection. It's written to have a militia to remove government that no longer answers to its people.I'm disgusted by what is going on. I vote for people who say they will try to stop it, yet nothing happens. Their intentions are good but when they get to Washington they fall into the same trap the person before them did.The only way to stop it short of violence is to stop the money. Make lobbying illegal except by registered voting citizens from that persons district. It's pretty simple. Outlaw big business from throwing billions of dollars at our elected officials. Put in laws that stop lobbying from big business and put the people who break the law in jail and fine the hell out of the companies. This is the only peaceful way to stop it. Cut off the money. Stop letting companies with billion dollar profits get refunds instead of paying taxes. The money is the key to ending all the bullshiat.
 
2013-02-21 11:08:22 AM

Theaetetus: Yeah, but you still need to swap your SIM card if you don't want to face international roaming charges.


IamAwake: ...but unless you want to pay international roaming, you need an unlocked phone.


That's my point though - you entered into a contract with a vendor and it most likely states somewhere that if you are abroad you pay roaming fees.

The argument that you may lose your phone or have it stolen is daft as that can happen anywhere in the world, not just "abroad". And it's not expensive to buy a phone and Pay-As-You-Go SIM, certainly here in the UK. They practically throw SIMs at you for free. Carrier free handsets can be bought for $20-30 - consider them part of your travel kit once purchased.

Having said that, I don't agree with this stance - I think I've unlocked and de-branded almost every phone I've owned and feel like I have a right to do it even though I know I don't. Criminalising it is a bit heavy handed IMO.
 
2013-02-21 11:08:57 AM

Theaetetus: Theaetetus: IamAwake: Like when my wife and I went to Costa Rica for a few weeks recently; she used her old iphone3, I used my old galaxy s1. Both unlocked for the purpose of travel. Both are long out of contract. $5 prepaid chip gave us like...dunno, some unknown amount of minutes, data, and text...which hadnt been used up yet by the time we left.

Now, thanks to the new law, what we did is considered *criminal*.

Not so.

... just in case that was unclear, it's that unlocking a phone "long out of contract" is not criminal under the new rule. Not that your phones were still under contract. :)


Legal protection for people who unlock their mobile phones to use them on other networks expired last weekend. According to the claims of major U.S. wireless carriers, unlocking a phone bought after January 26 without your carrier's permission violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") whether the phone is under contract or not. In a way, this is not as bad as it sounds. In other ways, it's even worse.
 
2013-02-21 11:11:53 AM

King Keepo: Theaetetus: Yeah, but you still need to swap your SIM card if you don't want to face international roaming charges.

IamAwake: ...but unless you want to pay international roaming, you need an unlocked phone.

That's my point though - you entered into a contract with a vendor and it most likely states somewhere that if you are abroad you pay roaming fees.

The argument that you may lose your phone or have it stolen is daft as that can happen anywhere in the world, not just "abroad". And it's not expensive to buy a phone and Pay-As-You-Go SIM, certainly here in the UK. They practically throw SIMs at you for free. Carrier free handsets can be bought for $20-30 - consider them part of your travel kit once purchased.

Having said that, I don't agree with this stance - I think I've unlocked and de-branded almost every phone I've owned and feel like I have a right to do it even though I know I don't. Criminalising it is a bit heavy handed IMO.


I'm in the UK and buy my phones at Carphone Warehouse. As long as you buy it in a store you get unlocked phones no matter what network you sign up to, even if you are upgrading. No network bloat and crapware, no network logo on the phone and unlocked so you can use any carriers SIM.
 
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