Why unlocking your smartphone without permission will be illegal

Kevin Purdy, ITworld:

In October 2012, that Librarian of Congress, tasked with regularly reviewing and determining whether the exceptions to the DMCA are still valid, changed course from previous decisions in 2006 and 2010 and determined that, in short, there exists enough unlocked phones, carrier unlocking options, and other options for consumers, such that unsanctioned unlocking of cellphones no longer needed to be a protected right.

  • This is garbage – the contract pays for the device – there really isn’t a way to get a device cheaper than the unlocked price – why make it illegal if the carrier gets their money back anyways from cancellation fees etc.

    • lucascott

      Perhaps the article didn’t make it clear but since about six months ago the carriers started issuing unlocks on request if you were out of contract. That remains legal.

      What this is about is those online services that are using jailbreaks or illegal access to carrier systems to unlock phones.

      • I hadn’t heard about this. How does that work? Can the carrier physically unlock the phone once you opt not to renew the contract?

  • samdchuck

    Damn librarians.

  • Hardik Panjwani

    Its a good thing. More people will realize that its better to look for contract free services. Should aid in breaking the US carrier duopoly.

    • No. Stupid law is not good, no matter how good outcome is.

  • Good for Android.

    You always can wipe your phone (= remove software) and install your own, 100% open source (GPL) version.

    At least tinkers have a choice on Android phones.

    • I get tired of tinkering when I have actual work to do.

    • Steven Fisher

      Removing legal protection for unlocking phones affects unlocking Android devices exactly the same as any other phone.