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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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13062 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:33 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-02-22 11:09:38 AM  
In the comments, someone mentions that Trakfone from Walmart is a better deal.

Anyone got a Trakfone from Walmart? How good is the reception and service?
2013-02-22 11:14:32 AM  

FarkGrudge: For what it's worth, I do have an anecdotal evidence of my concern: I owned an iPhone 4S that was most certainly fully capable of being unlocked and I wanted to bring it to a different carrier since I moved and Verizon sucked in my new area, but was told by a Verizon representative that it simply cannot be unlocked, despite my attempts at convincing her otherwise...so...I just unlocked it myself.  Would that make me a criminal today--despite my attempt to do it "legally" with the carrier, since as the ruling stated, they supposedly unlock phones?

Aaaand there we have the problem.  It's fine to claim the carriers "can and will" unlock a phone after the contract period, when requested, but I simply don't trust them.  Some cariers are asshats and will refuse in some attempt to keep you locked into their network, and others undertrain their staff so morons just refuse.  Either way, why not just have a requirement that carriers MUST unlock at termination of contract?  It's not a very hard language change to make  and it ensures there's some legal avenue to prevent abuse by the carriers.

You can trust the carriers, Thaeatetus, but I don't.  Let's put the whole lock/unlock thing back in the contract where it belongs.
2013-02-22 11:18:51 AM  

Mr Guy: 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.

2013-02-22 11:22:34 AM  

dready zim: If you have signed a contract and the contract says you can`t do something then you can`t do it without incurring some penalty for breach of contract, usually only economic and subject to the terms of the contract. Once the contract is over you are free to do whatever you want within the law, but if you break the law (DMCA in this case) by unlocking, you will now be taking a risk of criminal prosecution resulting in both economic and criminal (jail) sanctions that are entirely extra-contractual.

It`s that simple and also that encompassing.

Fixed that for you.  And how is the consumer better off after this determination by the Library of Congress?
2013-02-22 11:47:55 AM  
So let's cut through some of the bullshiat in this thread. This is the original Librarian of Congress decision from October, 2012. Unlocking any phone purchased after January 28, 2013 is illegal. Period. It has nothing to do with your contract, or your carrier, or whether you paid full price or it was subsidized. These are all collateral issues that have no impact to how the DMCA works and what this means.

The DMCA, for those in this thread who obviously don't know, prohibits circumventing the DRM on copyrighted material or producing "tools" that allow for the circumvention of DRM on copyrighted material. The penalties for this are severe - half a million dollars and/or five years in federal prison. How does this apply to my phone, you ask? Well, your phone has software on it that includes protections to keep it from working on just any network. The protections on this count as DRM, and the software on the phones is copyrighted material. So, the Librarian of Congress has said that circumventing these protections ("rooting" the phone) to gain access to and modify the copyrighted material (unlocking - removing the network restriction in the firmware) counts as violating the DMCA.

Now, here's the rub - in 2010, the Librarian found the opposite. The idea was that when you bought the phone, you owned it and all of the software installed on it. So, mucking around with the software on the phone was your own privilege - it didn't matter that somebody else had copyrighted it, they'd sold it to you and could no longer restrict what you wanted to do with it. Therefore, pulling the crapware out and unlocking the network-sharing provisions was just fine.

So what's changed? This bullshiat about software being "licensed" instead of "sold" is what. The courts are still dickering over whether first sale doctrine actually applies to software and whether licensing agreements for copyrighted material exist in perpetuity. There's too much money on the software side of things trying to hammer down the consumer and make them a copyright slave - which is why court cases have redefined "ownership" of software and why the Librarian reversed her decision on this exemption.

- this is DMCA bullshiat - they say unlocking your phone is violating the DRM on the copyrighted firmware now
- the reason it's different now is because of bullshiat about software being "licensed" and not "sold" to consumers
- there's too much money from the telco side to give me much hope on this crap
- legality has nothing to do with contracts, purchase price, or anything else - if you bought a locked phone after 1/28/13, it's illegal to unlock it, period.
2013-02-23 11:38:44 AM  
Seriously, ya'll? SERIOUSLY??? This is why no one takes us seriously in politics. IT'S CRAP LIKE THIS.

/maybe don't click "I AGREE" if you don't agree??

xkillyourfacex: So if the white house handles legislation now, what does congress do?

Stand up for helpless, Patriotic, Real Americans being crushed under the President's Law-Making Heel?
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