Starting Today: It’s Illegal to Unlock Your Phone

By on January 26, 2013 11:33:25 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

DrJBHL

Join Date 04/2002
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Every three years, the Copyright Office reviews the rules for unlocking and jailbreaking your phone as part of the review of rules that the DMCA mandates.

This time they determined that there were enough unlocked phones for sale, and therefore unlocking your own without the permission of your carrier would be illegal.

Proponents of unlocking argued that “some devices sold by carriers are permanently locked and because unlocking policies contain restrictions and may not apply to all of a carrier's devices."

The Copyright Office wasn’t buying: "with respect to newly purchased phones, proponents had not satisfied their burden of showing adverse effects related to a technological protection measure."

They did (on Oct. 28th of 20120) give consumers a 90 day period to unlock their phones without permission. They upheld the ruling that jailbreaking (running unauthorized apps) would still be legal, although it could certainly void your warranty (iPhone is the main phone affected by jailbreaking).

The jailbreaking rule was not extended for tablets because the proposed definition for a tablet was too broad.

You can sign a petition to ask the Copyright Office to reverse its decision based on the argument that “the resale value will be reduced while they have already been been purchased by the user, will force exorbitant roaming fees and reduce consumer choice.”

The petition has about 7,000 signatures but needs another 93,000 by Feb. 23rd in order to receive a formal White House response.

Source:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414699,00.asp

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January 26, 2013 11:39:23 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The article mentions "grandfathering" of already unlocked phones.  The rooting community stipulates "this is for educational purposes" type disclaimers that are plastered on all their ROM's.  In any event, you can still "Flash" after restoring original ROM to reset the counter.

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January 26, 2013 12:20:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank god I am not in the US

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January 26, 2013 1:38:44 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

If something belongs to you, bought and paid for, what the hell gives anyone the right to tell you what you can and cannot do with it. They can kiss my rearend! At least that's what it sounds like to me anyway. Intalling an 'unauthorized' app will void the warranty? I'd expect that from Apple not from all the others. What wiil be illegal next....third party apps on your PC or laptop because some idiot didn't authorize it? I am so disgusted with this country's pathetic government and the damn CEO's that run it! No wonder people are leaving the country and renouncing their citizenship. I don't blame them.

 

Ahhhhh....rant over. I feel better now.

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January 26, 2013 1:41:29 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting joasoze,
Thank god I am not in the US

Same here... when my current contract is up I want to unlock my phone so I can change povider and/or go PAYG.

Oh yeah, as a point of interest, since tabets were mentioned, I just read on one of the Win 8 news apps that Surface RT has already been jailbroken so users can load their chosen desktop applications. Sorry, Microsoft, but that definitely wipes Surface Pro off the 'maybe get' list.

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January 26, 2013 2:02:54 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Oh, and while we're on the subjec of bastard telcos, who was the smart f**k who came up with the idea of wiping any remaining credit, that YOU/I paid for off your/my SIM at the end of each monthly PAYG cycle?  For mine, the effer should be denutted with a Neanderthal's Stoneage knife... cos gonad removal on somebody who rips me off should hurt like a bitch and more.  Yup, bankers and telco CEOs, should bring back public flogging, and if government is smart about it, charging paying members of the public just 5c to give 'em 5 lashes wiv tha cat-o-nine would help prevent the next recession.

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January 26, 2013 2:23:33 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Uh oh...what I done.

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January 26, 2013 2:39:28 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

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January 26, 2013 2:59:24 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Uvah,
Uh oh...what I done.

Well you didn't think you had a monopoly on ranting, did you?  Besides, my shrink reckons it's healthy to let off steam every once in a while, saves the pressure building and me going off full tilt... which is sound advice, given the pic Doc sent me for Oz Day.

Had a little supper at breakfast time [2 slices of toast and a cuppa tea] and now I'm off to bed after yet another night of insomnia.

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January 26, 2013 3:38:19 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Strongly disagree i bought and paid for it and its mine.... F**K THEM!  another bunch of BULLSHIT

 

 

Quoting Uvah,
If something belongs to you, bought and paid for, what the hell gives anyone the right to tell you what you can and cannot do with it. They can kiss my rearend! At least that's what it sounds like to me anyway. Intalling an 'unauthorized' app will void the warranty? I'd expect that from Apple not from all the others. What wiil be illegal next....third party apps on your PC or laptop because some idiot didn't authorize it? I am so disgusted with this country's pathetic government and the damn CEO's that run it! No wonder people are leaving the country and renouncing their citizenship. I don't blame them.

Agreed Uvah

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January 26, 2013 3:44:11 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Hey starkers....there's a cure for insomnia ya know......................................................

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January 26, 2013 4:40:30 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Good luck upholding that law. Much like MP3 sharing on the internet the number of those that jailbreak phones is so large that curbing the issue would prove to be pointless. People can be fined, but those people can refuse to pay and we only have so much jail space.

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January 26, 2013 5:46:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

It's only illegal, if you get caught.

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January 26, 2013 6:01:49 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting aunteachrist,
It's only illegal, if you get caught.

No... it is now illegal. It becomes punishable if and when you're caught.

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January 26, 2013 6:37:15 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I wonder how many signatures they have now. Last I saw a petition needs 250,000 of 'em to even be considered by the White House. I doubt very much it'll even get that many.

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January 26, 2013 6:39:46 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

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January 26, 2013 7:21:09 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Uvah,
I wonder how many signatures they have now. Last I saw a petition needs 250,000 of 'em to even be considered by the White House. I doubt very much it'll even get that many.

84K so far.

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January 26, 2013 7:34:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The purchase price of the phone is subsidised/included in the provider's contract.  The locking of the phone ensures they are thus paid for it.

OK, so it 'should' be allowed to unlock a phone AFTER the completion of the contract, but any time before MUST be deemed illegal.

You can always do what I did...buy an unlocked phone outright for $600-odd and do whatever you please with it.  THEN you can legally stick it up your arse or whatever....

When you buy 'stuff' some of it has restrictions on its use.  You CANNOT do whatever you like with it....

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January 26, 2013 7:43:15 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
When you buy 'stuff' some of it has restrictions on its use. You CANNOT do whatever you like with it....

I'm going to have to disagree with that one Jafo. Once you pay money for something it becomes yours.

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January 26, 2013 8:50:17 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
The purchase price of the phone is subsidised/included in the provider's contract.  The locking of the phone ensures they are thus paid for it.

OK, so it 'should' be allowed to unlock a phone AFTER the completion of the contract, but any time before MUST be deemed illegal.

You can always do what I did...buy an unlocked phone outright for $600-odd and do whatever you please with it.  THEN you can legally stick it up your arse or whatever....

When you buy 'stuff' some of it has restrictions on its use.  You CANNOT do whatever you like with it....

100% correct.

Quoting kona0197,
Once you pay money for something it becomes yours.

Nope. Not until you fulfill all the purchase contract terms. Until then, it isn't. Please don't argue. It's the law, not what you might think the law "should" be.

"The actus reus of theft is usually defined as an unauthorized taking, keeping or using of another's property which must be accompanied by a mens rea of dishonesty and/or the intent to permanently deprive the owner or the person with rightful possession of that property or its use."

That's a fairly simple definition but it covers the matter fairly well.

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January 26, 2013 9:08:07 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Doc....don't blind Kona with Latin....you can often get the same results with English....

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January 26, 2013 9:16:27 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
Nope. Not until you fulfill all the purchase contract terms. Until then, it isn't. Please don't argue. It's the law, not what you might think the law "should" be.

Is this not a debate? Are we not allowed anymore to state our opinions? I'm kinda confused here.

As far as this issue is concerned I think once you buy the phone it's yours to do with as you please. Good luck enforcing that law when we have bigger problems to deal with.

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January 26, 2013 9:25:21 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting kona0197,
As far as this issue is concerned I think once you buy the phone it's yours to do with as you please.

Yes....within reason you can do what you like with it...if you BUY it.

Contracted phones from a Telco are NOT 'bought'.  At best they are LEASED.

Good luck explaining to the rental company you may have for your fridge when you tell them you didn't like the colour so you chucked it out the window....

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January 26, 2013 9:30:01 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

My insurance company didn't believe a fridge "fell" on my car. Now i have proof.

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January 26, 2013 9:37:08 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I can understand the reason behind this. And it should be illegal.

 

Although, I did jailbreak an iPhone so I could skin it.....

 

I no longer have it. I now own a smartphone, that I paid full cost for, that lets me skin it, so I have no need to jailbreak it.

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January 26, 2013 9:38:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Oh, sorry about the vid....couldn't help myself. 

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