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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
    More: Followup, SIM lock  
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13051 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:33 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-21 11:13:54 AM  

Flint Ironstag: 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."


I find that in many cases, it's preferable to read the original document rather than a biased interpretation of it.
"The record demonstrated that there is significant consumer interest in and demand for using legacy phones on carriers other than the one that originally sold the phone to the consumer.  It also supported a finding that owners of legacy phones - especially phones that have not been used on any wireless network for some period of time - may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate."
 
2013-02-21 11:15:00 AM  

Flint Ironstag: 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.


Theaetetus: I find that in many cases, it's preferable to read the original document rather than a biased interpretation of it.
"The record demonstrated that there is significant consumer interest in and demand for using legacy phones on carriers other than the one that originally sold the phone to the consumer.  It also supported a finding that owners of legacy phones - especially phones that have not been used on any wireless network for some period of time - may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate."

 
2013-02-21 11:15:06 AM  

Theaetetus: Yes, and yes. This specifically only applies to carrier unlocking of contract-subsidized phones  while they're under contract.



Fair enough. Not that I agree with the law, but at least it's (so far) restricted to what essentially amounts to rented property (since the carrier technically owns the phone until the end of the contract).

That being said, I still don't see the need for civilian contract violations to have criminal punishments. To me, that places this whole thing just one step above debtors prisons.
 
2013-02-21 11:16:07 AM  
Also, Flint, why would you buy a new phone, not under contract, that wasn't unlocked?
 
2013-02-21 11:24:37 AM  
you can't force companies to offer you service.. you play by their rules or you dont play in their sandbox..

no law is broken here..
 
2013-02-21 11:25:41 AM  

the ha ha guy: Theaetetus: Yes, and yes. This specifically only applies to carrier unlocking of contract-subsidized phones  while they're under contract.


Fair enough. Not that I agree with the law, but at least it's (so far) restricted to what essentially amounts to rented property (since the carrier technically owns the phone until the end of the contract).

That being said, I still don't see the need for civilian contract violations to have criminal punishments. To me, that places this whole thing just one step above debtors prisons.


Oh, I agree with that... I also think that the DMCA and copyright is a really odd venue for this fight, since it's not really about copyright at all but network interoperability - no one's really copying anything - but the DMCA does have those provisions about disabling DRM. But, that said, it's not as big an issue as the petition authors and the EFF are making it out to be, since it really only applies in a few minor instances and questionable circumstances.

Also, as a pragmatic point, they aren't going to go after individuals who unlock their phones. They're going after unlock-service providers who provide unlocking commercially, and frequently for those stolen phone folks. So, it's less of a worry.
Mind you, that doesn't make it okay. I don't like laws that make people unprosecuted criminals, since that just seems ripe for "political prisoner"-type abuse where they can go after you whenever they want. I'd also rather see the theft issue solved by individually registering each device to an owner (assignable if you sell the phone), such that a stolen phone lacking authorization of the registered owner is a useless, unsellable brick.
 
2013-02-21 11:27:14 AM  

Theaetetus: find that in many cases, it's preferable to read the original document rather than a biased interpretation of it.


Although it would be better if you actually quoted the ruling, and not the commentary about said ruling:
In order to align the exemption to current market realities, it applies only to mobile phones acquired prior to the effective date of the exemption or within 90 days thereafter.

No, phones do not suddenly become unlockable after your contract expires. Legacy handsets, that is anything purchased prior to 90 days after this ruling goes into effect, are exempt from the DMCA. Future purchases are not.
 
2013-02-21 11:31:23 AM  

t3knomanser: Theaetetus: find that in many cases, it's preferable to read the original document rather than a biased interpretation of it.

Although it would be better if you actually quoted the ruling, and not the commentary about said ruling:
In order to align the exemption to current market realities, it applies only to mobile phones acquired prior to the effective date of the exemption or within 90 days thereafter.


... he says, quoting from the commentary about said ruling.

I didn't quote the rule for the same reason you didn't - it's that one paragraph in bold at the beginning of that section, and it's not very clear.

No, phones do not suddenly become unlockable after your contract expires. Legacy handsets, that is anything purchased prior to 90 days after this ruling goes into effect, are exempt from the DMCA. Future purchases are not.

Again, I ask why you would buy an unlocked phone under contract? Why not just buy an unlocked phone without signing up?
 
2013-02-21 11:41:36 AM  

Theaetetus: ... he says, quoting from the commentary about said ruling.


The sections in bold face  are the rules. Those are the explicit statements about exemptions. When deciding if an action is exempt or not, it is the bolded text which applies. The surrounding text explains the rationale for the rule. Further, you'll notice that the surrounding text never defines "legacy phone" as "phone outside of contract", in part because it never defines "legacy phone"  at all.

Further, from elsewhere in the commentary:
At the same time, in light of carriers' current unlocking policies and the ready availability of new unlocked phones in the marketplace, the record did not support an exemption for newly purchased phones

That's "newly purchased phones". Not "phones under contract." There is no basis in the document to conclude that phones out of contract are unlockable. At best, you can conclude that this protection is primarily being enforced to protect subsidies as a business model.

Theaetetus: I ask why you would buy an unlocked phone under contract?


And again, I point out, that the contract status of the phone is utterly irrelevant. If you buy a phone that is not unlocked, under contract or otherwise, you cannot legally unlock that phone.
 
2013-02-21 11:43:54 AM  

Theaetetus: Flint Ironstag: 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."

I find that in many cases, it's preferable to read the original document rather than a biased interpretation of it.
"The record demonstrated that there is significant consumer interest in and demand for using legacy phones on carriers other than the one that originally sold the phone to the consumer.  It also supported a finding that owners of legacy phones - especially phones that have not been used on any wireless network for some period of time - may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate."


Thank you for providing a link that backs me up. The issue is Copyright, not a carrier contract. Carrier contract is only mentioned once in that whole document and only in passing. Since the issue is Copyright violation in unlocking a phone then that lasts the life of the copyright. The Copyright on you phones software does not expire the day your two year contract ends, so the restriction on unlocking your phone carries on.
 
2013-02-21 11:44:53 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.


Funny, Apple used to include this in the box.

www.kaibader.de
 
2013-02-21 11:45:14 AM  

Theaetetus: Also, Flint, why would you buy a new phone, not under contract, that wasn't unlocked?


Where did I say I wanted to?
 
2013-02-21 11:46:48 AM  

Theaetetus: may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate.


And I'd like to use your own words against you. Note  expired. An old phone, not under any contract, needs a DMCA exemption  because the carrier is under no obligation to allow an unlock. Again, as you read through the document, it's very clear that the exemption applies to phones purchased before the rule fully goes into effect, not after. The reason that older phones get an exemption is that those old phones were purchased under terms different from the mainstream terms today, and because there isn't a strong secondary market for those phones (so no one is going to abuse the subsidy system to make a profit).
 
2013-02-21 11:48:03 AM  
So if the white house handles legislation now, what does congress do?
 
2013-02-21 11:53:59 AM  
I don't even know what unlocking my phone entails, but dammit I plan on doing it now. Liberty or Death!!!  YAaaaaAAArrRRrrr!!!!
 
2013-02-21 11:59:59 AM  
I would rather hear an answer why the White House has yet to respond to the over 300k signatures on

Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group
 
2013-02-21 12:03:02 PM  

t3knomanser: Theaetetus: ... he says, quoting from the commentary about said ruling.

The sections in bold face  are the rules. Those are the explicit statements about exemptions. When deciding if an action is exempt or not, it is the bolded text which applies.The surrounding text explains the rationale for the rule.


Gosh, really?! Holy fark! You're so helpful! Why, if I had known that, I would have said something like "I didn't quote the rule for the same reason you didn't - it's that one paragraph in bold at the beginning of that section".

Everybody, let's have a big hand for t3knomansplainer.

 Further, you'll notice that the surrounding text never defines "legacy phone" as "phone outside of contract", in part because it never defines "legacy phone"  at all.

From the text: "However, with respect to "legacy" phones - i.e., used (or perhaps unused) phones previously purchased or otherwise acquired by a consumer - the record pointed to a different conclusion."

First hit for "legacy" in the document, in fact. Is this where you admit you don't know what "i.e." means?

Further, from elsewhere in the commentary:
At the same time, in light of carriers' current unlocking policies and the ready availability of new unlocked phones in the marketplace, the record did not support an exemption for newly purchased phones

That's "newly purchased phones". Not "phones under contract."


And those "new unlocked phones" are not under contract. Hence why I ask again why you would buy an unlocked phone but still sign up for the contract.

There is no basis in the document to conclude that phones out of contract are unlockable. At best, you can conclude that this protection is primarily being enforced to protect subsidies as a business model.

Sure. I think I even said that above.

Theaetetus: I ask why you would buy an unlocked phone under contract?

And again, I point out, that the contract status of the phone is utterly irrelevant. If you buy a phone that is not unlocked, under contract or otherwise, you cannot legally unlock that phone.


Or, you could buy an unlocked phone. Is that really so difficult?
 
2013-02-21 12:06:47 PM  

t3knomanser: Theaetetus: may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate.

And I'd like to use your own words against you.


That's the Register of Copyright's "own words". You can tell because it was in that document, in which the sections in bold face are the rules. Those are the explicit statements about exemptions. When deciding if an action is exempt or not, it is the bolded text which applies. The surrounding text explains the rationale for the rule.

Note  expired. An old phone, not under any contract, needs a DMCA exemption because the carrier is under no obligation to allow an unlock.


And said exemption exists.

Again, as you read through the document, it's very clear that the exemption applies to phones purchased before the rule fully goes into effect, not after.

Yes - hence the point above about not applying to phones "long out of contract". It's quite literally impossible to have a phone that was purchased  after the law went into effect that is currently "long out of contract". At least, not without a time machine.

The reason that older phones get an exemption is that those old phones were purchased under terms different from the mainstream terms today, and because there isn't a strong secondary market for those phones (so no one is going to abuse the subsidy system to make a profit).

And because new, unlocked phones are readily available. That's in the surrounding text which explains the rationale for the rule, just in case you hadn't realized what that text was for.
 
2013-02-21 12:08:36 PM  
I paid for my phone up front so I wouldn't have to sign a contract.

I own it. I shall do with it what I please.

The legislation is simply another symptom of our federal government/fcc overstepping its boundaries.

10th amendment:The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

All it would take is getting your state reps to call bullshiat and this problem goes away.
 
2013-02-21 12:08:41 PM  
t3knomancer complaining about me being condescending, after doing the same exact thing, in 3... 2... 1...
 
2013-02-21 12:09:36 PM  
He Who Shall Not Be Named: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 profit ...

I had to make sure I wasn't still reading the healthcare thread for a moment, since essentially this exact same argument could be made there.  First step towards putting any sort of justice back into our government: farking end lobbying .
 
2013-02-21 12:11:34 PM  

fknra: 10th amendment:The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


The Congress shall have Power... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

/but that said, this should be under interstate commerce, not copyright
 
2013-02-21 12:25:13 PM  

The Irresponsible Captain: 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.

Funny, Apple used to include this in the box.

[www.kaibader.de image 300x199]


They still do on units that are sold to AT&T and I think T-mobile.  Verizon doesn't (well up until 4s) support the removeable sim on any phone so they don't have them.

/iPad2 on AT&T has the SIM, 4S on Verizon does not.
 
2013-02-21 12:42:17 PM  

t3knomanser: Theaetetus: may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate.

And I'd like to use your own words against you. Note  expired. An old phone, not under any contract, needs a DMCA exemption  because the carrier is under no obligation to allow an unlock. Again, as you read through the document, it's very clear that the exemption applies to phones purchased before the rule fully goes into effect, not after. The reason that older phones get an exemption is that those old phones were purchased under terms different from the mainstream terms today, and because there isn't a strong secondary market for those phones (so no one is going to abuse the subsidy system to make a profit).


Here's a novel concept: Write a law that prohibits abusing the subsidy system.  They're restricting everyone in the US in an attempt to prevent the actions of a handful.

One day legislators will understand how to write a law with the same scope as their intent.
 
2013-02-21 12:42:21 PM  

clane: and yall keep voting Democrat...

[www.afterdowningstreet.org image 414x285]


th17.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-21 12:42:39 PM  
Is unlocking a phone the same as rooting a phone to get rid of bloatware and/or customize the software?

Also, if you are still under contract then yeah, you are supposed to play by the rules. If you terminate your contract and pay the fee, you are free to do what you will.
 
2013-02-21 12:46:02 PM  
Ok quick question:

Did Obama/The White House ask for this provision or something? Because if they didn't, shouldn't we be yelling at Congress?

Or do we absolve Congress and blame the president as soon as he signs a law that has anything wrong with it?
 
2013-02-21 12:49:30 PM  

kieran57: Ok quick question:

Did Obama/The White House ask for this provision or something? Because if they didn't, shouldn't we be yelling at Congress?

Or do we absolve Congress and blame the president as soon as he signs a law that has anything wrong with it?


This is a rule promulgated by the Register of Copyrights, an Executive Dept. agency.

Basically, Congress passes legislation that's at the 10,000 foot level, like the Copyright Act, the Patent Act, the Tax code, etc. Then the individual agencies pass rules that are at the 1 foot level. They're within the legislation, but deal with all the day-to-day business of applying that legislation that Congress left up to the agency.
 
2013-02-21 12:50:29 PM  
(hence why it's not Congress, but the President that we should be yelling at)
 
2013-02-21 12:52:52 PM  

Deoan: 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.


They didn't really give you a discount. It just appears that way because a lot of the rest of the cost of the device is hidden in those monthly payments people make.
 
2013-02-21 12:53:58 PM  

Theaetetus: (hence why it's not Congress, but the President that we should be yelling at)


And Congress has oversight over any regulations that are put in place, plus the power to limit those regulations.  Not to mention they were the ones that granted the power in the first place without proper limits in place.
 
2013-02-21 12:58:59 PM  

fknra: I paid for my phone up front so I wouldn't have to sign a contract.

I own it. I shall do with it what I please.

The legislation is simply another symptom of our federal government/fcc overstepping its boundaries.

10th amendment:The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

All it would take is getting your state reps to call bullshiat and this problem goes away.


It's cute that you believe this.
 
gja
2013-02-21 12:59:19 PM  

He Who Shall Not Be Named: 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 profit ...


Funny, we are in the same boat and I haven't yet bumped into you on my way to my oar........

Seriously though, you make a lot of sense. Which probably means you are just as frustrated as I am.

/love of money,root of evil and all that shiat
 
2013-02-21 01:00:16 PM  
Anything that increases competition lowers costs and is good for the consumer, therefore illegal.
 
2013-02-21 01:02:01 PM  

clane: and yall keep voting Democrat...

[www.afterdowningstreet.org image 414x285]


7/10
 
2013-02-21 01:02:15 PM  

Girion47: Theaetetus: (hence why it's not Congress, but the President that we should be yelling at)

And Congress has oversight over any regulations that are put in place, plus the power to limit those regulations.


Yes, but their way of doing that would be to pass an amendment to narrow the scope of the statute to exclude rules that have this effect. Changing a rule is a lot faster, since it only requires one person rather than both houses. It's like if you want an installation charge taken off your cable bill - you can try customer service first, 'cause they can do that and it's quick and easy, or you could appeal to the board of directors of the company. The latter may well work, but it's going to take a year or two.

Not to mention they were the ones that granted the power in the first place without proper limits in place.

Yes and no... That gets into division of Article I and Article II powers, which is a hugely messy topic.
 
2013-02-21 01:07:21 PM  
Tax Boy:
Fark yeah. Librarians secretly run the world, duh.

Eeeevil Librarians
 
2013-02-21 01:07:21 PM  
I have no problems to not being allowed to unlock a phone while it's still under contract (well, except that as I understand, one must effectively unlock an Android phone in order to root it or install a custom ROM, right?).

My objection is that the ban on unlocking extends indefinitely.  Once your contract is up and the carrier has recoups its subsidy cost, it should be within your rights to unlock your phone to move to a different carrier, even if your carrier does not wish to provide the unlock code.  In fact, carriers should be required to unlock phones as soon as a contract expires (assuming said account is in good standing).

The petition was worded poorly.  It should have been worded so as to force the White House to respond to the issue of phones no longer under contract.  As written, the WH will probably respond with some bullshiat about how allowing subsidized phones to be unlocked undermines carriers' incentive to offer affordable phones to consumers.
 
2013-02-21 01:12:42 PM  

Theaetetus: t3knomanser: Theaetetus: may have difficulty obtaining unlocking codes from wireless carriers, in part because an older or expired contract might not require the carrier to cooperate.

And I'd like to use your own words against you.

That's the Register of Copyright's "own words". You can tell because it was in that document, in which the sections in bold face are the rules. Those are the explicit statements about exemptions. When deciding if an action is exempt or not, it is the bolded text which applies. The surrounding text explains the rationale for the rule.

Note  expired. An old phone, not under any contract, needs a DMCA exemption because the carrier is under no obligation to allow an unlock.

And said exemption exists.

Again, as you read through the document, it's very clear that the exemption applies to phones purchased before the rule fully goes into effect, not after.

Yes - hence the point above about not applying to phones "long out of contract". It's quite literally impossible to have a phone that was purchased  after the law went into effect that is currently "long out of contract". At least, not without a time machine.

The reason that older phones get an exemption is that those old phones were purchased under terms different from the mainstream terms today, and because there isn't a strong secondary market for those phones (so no one is going to abuse the subsidy system to make a profit).

And because new, unlocked phones are readily available. That's in the surrounding text which explains the rationale for the rule, just in case you hadn't realized what that text was for.


Theaetetus, what happens in this scenario:

1) I buy a new phone, with a new carrier, and only pay a subsidized price in June 2013 (after the 90 day exemption window) and enter into a two year contract.

2) In July 2015 (one month after the end of my two year contract) I decide I want to take my phone over to a new carrier.

3) In July 2015 I "jailbreak" my phone to allow the move and switch SIMs.

Have I broken the law?
 
2013-02-21 01:15:40 PM  

Priapetic: 1) I buy a new phone, with a new carrier, and only pay a subsidized price in June 2013 (after the 90 day exemption window) and enter into a two year contract.

2) In July 2015 (one month after the end of my two year contract) I decide I want to take my phone over to a new carrier.

3) In July 2015 I "jailbreak" my phone to ...


Yes... You should check your contract to see if it requires them to unlock your phone after expiration of the 2 years prior to doing step 3. Or step 1, for that matter.
 
2013-02-21 01:17:16 PM  

tarthrin: Is unlocking a phone the same as rooting a phone to get rid of bloatware and/or customize the software?

Also, if you are still under contract then yeah, you are supposed to play by the rules. If you terminate your contract and pay the fee, you are free to do what you will.


Unlocking is freeing up your phone to be able to use another network. You can do so without breaking your contract or by paying the agreed ETF if you wish, or you can do so to just go abroad for a week.  But this law prohibits it forever (on phones bought after January), it does no just apply while you are under a two year contract.

Rooting or jailbreaking is not the same. That is to gain access to the OS and/or install software the network don't want you to.
 
2013-02-21 01:19:27 PM  

Deoan: 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.


Or that DirecTV/Comcast/etc can lock down my TV so that I can't use Netflix or a DVD player.
 
2013-02-21 01:20:26 PM  

Theaetetus: And said exemption exists.


For all phones purchased before 90 days after this rule goes into effect, regardless of whether or not they are under contract. For all phones purchased after that point, regardless of their contract status, there is no exemption.

Theaetetus: From the text: "However, with respect to "legacy" phones - i.e., used (or perhaps unused) phones previously purchased or otherwise acquired by a consumer - the record pointed to a different conclusion."

First hit for "legacy" in the document, in fact. Is this where you admit you don't know what "i.e." means?


I think you might want to review what "previously" means. I'll give you a hint, it's a relative measure, and in this case, it is relative to  when this rule goes into effect.

Theaetetus: Or, you could buy an unlocked phone. Is that really so difficult?


The  point is that I have purchased a device, and if I want to unlock the device, I should be able to do so. Again, DMCA exemptions have nothing to do with contract law, so let's remove that canard from the conversation. The DMCA says that  no newly purchased phones can be unlocked. I own the device. I should be free to modify its software or hardware as I see fit. The anti-tampering provisions of the DMCA are utterly absurd in their "whitelist" approach to rights- you only have the right to do what you are specifically told you may do. The majority history of jurisprudence in the US has been the reverse- all things not explicitly permitted are allowed.

Theaetetus: t3knomancer complaining about me being condescending, after doing the same exact thing, in 3... 2... 1...


Were you  trying for condescension? Because I'm pretty sure you missed. I  was, so I'm glad I was at least on target. Look, we agree on something!
 
2013-02-21 01:20:55 PM  
As an aside, if it doesn't, then that's good evidence that could be used to get this rule changed. Part of the rationale was that it's the policy of the carriers to unlock the phones:
CTIA-The Wireless Association ("CTIA"), a trade association comprised of various 
commercial wireless service providers, objected to the proposals as drafted.  Overall, CTIA 
maintained that an exemption for unlocking is not necessary because "the largest nationwide 
carriers . . . have liberal, publicly available unlocking policies," and because unlocked phones are 
"freely available from third party providers - many at low prices."  Nonetheless, CTIA indicated 
that its members did not object to a "narrowly tailored and carefully limited exception" to permit 
individual customers of wireless carriers to unlock phones for the purpose of switching networks.
...The Register further concluded that the record before her supported a finding that, with 
respect to new wireless handsets, there are ample alternatives to circumvention.  That is, the 
marketplace has evolved such that there is now a wide array of unlocked phone options available 
to consumers.  While it is true that not every wireless device is available unlocked, and wireless 
carriers' unlocking polices are not free from all restrictions, the record clearly demonstrates that 
there is a wide range of alternatives from which consumers may choose in order to obtain an 0
unlocked wireless phone.  Thus, the Register determined that with respect to newly purchased 
phones, proponents had not satisfied their burden of showing adverse effects related to a 
technological protection measure.

So, if the carriers start saying "no unlocking for you, suck it," that would destroy that rationale.
 
2013-02-21 01:21:44 PM  

Theaetetus: Yes... You should check your contract to see if it requires them to unlock your phone


*headdesk*

That is what I have been saying. Phones cannot be unlocked, even if they are outside of contract.
 
2013-02-21 01:22:08 PM  

Theaetetus: Priapetic: 1) I buy a new phone, with a new carrier, and only pay a subsidized price in June 2013 (after the 90 day exemption window) and enter into a two year contract.

2) In July 2015 (one month after the end of my two year contract) I decide I want to take my phone over to a new carrier.

3) In July 2015 I "jailbreak" my phone to ...

Yes... You should check your contract to see if it requires them to unlock your phone after expiration of the 2 years prior to doing step 3. Or step 1, for that matter.


Again, you are refusing to accept that this law applies even after the two year contract has ended. It even says so in the petition. The document you linked to made no mention of this law expiring when the contract does.

If you are right they will reply to the petition pointing out that "error", right?
 
kab
2013-02-21 01:24:26 PM  
If I purchase a phone, and meet my contractual obligations, good luck trying to enforce what I can and cannot do with it.
 
2013-02-21 01:28:16 PM  

t3knomanser: Theaetetus: And said exemption exists.

For all phones purchased before 90 days after this rule goes into effect, regardless of whether or not they are under contract. For all phones purchased after that point, regardless of their contract status, there is no exemption.


See above. The CTIA showed that there wasn't an exemption necessary, since the carriers would unlock it for you after the contract was up.

Theaetetus: From the text: "However, with respect to "legacy" phones - i.e., used (or perhaps unused) phones previously purchased or otherwise acquired by a consumer - the record pointed to a different conclusion."

First hit for "legacy" in the document, in fact. Is this where you admit you don't know what "i.e." means?

I think you might want to review what "previously" means. I'll give you a hint, it's a relative measure, and in this case, it is relative to  when this rule goes into effect.


I think you might want to review what "Further, you'll notice that the surrounding text never defines "legacy phone" as "phone outside of contract", in part because it never defines "legacy phone"at all" means.

Theaetetus: Or, you could buy an unlocked phone. Is that really so difficult?

The  point is that I have purchased a device, and if I want to unlock the device, I should be able to do so. Again, DMCA exemptions have nothing to do with contract law, so let's remove that canard from the conversation.


Except that they have to do with rights management, and what you have a license to falls under contract. These things are all intertwined, so it's unreasonable to shove your fingers in your ears and ignore half of it.

The DMCA says that  no newly purchased phones can be unlocked.

By anyone? No, it doesn't. As noted, the carriers can and will unlock them for you.

I own the device. I should be free to modify its software or hardware as I see fit.

You own the hardware. The software is licensed. As the Register noted, "Proponents made only a cursory attempt to respond to Vernor and failed to offer relevant agreements to support their view of software ownership." Take that one up with the EFF.

Theaetetus: t3knomancer complaining about me being condescending, after doing the same exact thing, in 3... 2... 1...

Were you  trying for condescension? Because I'm pretty sure you missed. I  was, so I'm glad I was at least on target. Look, we agree on something!


Have you figured out the definition of "i.e." yet, or would you like a hand?
 
2013-02-21 01:30:25 PM  

Flint Ironstag: Theaetetus: Priapetic: 1) I buy a new phone, with a new carrier, and only pay a subsidized price in June 2013 (after the 90 day exemption window) and enter into a two year contract.

2) In July 2015 (one month after the end of my two year contract) I decide I want to take my phone over to a new carrier.

3) In July 2015 I "jailbreak" my phone to ...

Yes... You should check your contract to see if it requires them to unlock your phone after expiration of the 2 years prior to doing step 3. Or step 1, for that matter.

Again, you are refusing to accept that this law applies even after the two year contract has ended. It even says so in the petition. The document you linked to made no mention of this law expiring when the contract does.

If you are right they will reply to the petition pointing out that "error", right?


[eyeroll]
 
2013-02-21 01:32:49 PM  

Theaetetus: (hence why it's not Congress, but the President that we should be yelling at)


Umm, if I am not mistaken, the petition IS proof we are yelling at the President.
 
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