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Thread: Unlocking New Cellphones to Become Illegal in the U.S.

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Unlocking New Cellphones to Become Illegal in the U.S.


    According to a new federal policy in the United States that is effective starting Saturday, it will become illegal for certain mobile phone owners to unlock their devices for use on other carriers unless specifically authorized by their carriers. The policy applies to newly purchased devices but not to legacy devices purchased prior to that date. As noted by Tech News Daily:

    In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress, who determines exemptions to a strict anti-hacking law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), decided that unlocking mobile phones would no longer be allowed. But the librarian provided a 90-day window during which people could still buy a phone and unlock it. That window closes on January 26.
    Unlocking devices allows users to take their phones to other carriers such as T-Mobile or two use SIM cards from international carriers while traveling abroad without needing to purchase expensive international roaming packages from their domestic carrier. Users will still be able to purchase unlocked iPhones at unsubsidized prices and last April, AT&T began unlocking iPhones for customers whose contract terms were completed or who had paid early. The SIM card slots on the Verizon iPhone 5 came already unlocked, while Sprint announced that it would unlock the SIM card slot on its iPhones for international usage three months after purchase.

    In the recently outlined decision in the Federal Register, these policies were cited as reasons for not allowing an unlocking exemption to the DMCA for newly purchased devices:

    The Register concluded after a review of the statutory factors that an exemption to the prohibition on circumvention of mobile phone computer programs to permit users to unlock "legacy'' phones is both warranted and unlikely to harm the market for such programs. 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. Looking to precedents in copyright law, the Register recommended that the class designated by the Librarian include a 90-day transitional period to allow unlocking by those who may acquire phones shortly after the new exemption goes into effect.
    Previously, carriers such as AT&T already forbid unauthorized unlocking in their customer contracts but the clarification of DMCA policy with respect to unlocked will now make the issue a criminal offense. Although iPhone unlocked services have enjoyed a fair amount of popularity in the past, it appears the services will be unable to legally unlock any new devices for their customers, leaving only a pool of eligible legacy devices remaining.

    Source: Federal Register, Tech News Daily via MacRumors

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    Livin the iPhone Life Carvensno's Avatar
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    Typical f@#%ing government sticking there nose where it doesn't belong. Why should they give a damn, its our phone and can use it as we please!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
    Typical f@#%ing government sticking there nose where it doesn't belong. Why should they give a damn, its our phone and can use it as we please!
    Read the websites of most phone companies, you don't own the phone you just indefinitely lease it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
    Read the websites of most phone companies, you don't own the phone you just indefinitely lease it.
    You do own it. The hardware is physically yours. That's why this whole thing is moot.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
    Read the websites of most phone companies, you don't own the phone you just indefinitely lease it.
    I'm sorry, but just because a company writes a document doesn't make it fact. When you purchase something, when it is fully paid for, it is yours. Every basic and legal definition backups this notion up, as does the First Sale Doctrine and other constitutional clauses.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by szr View Post
    I'm sorry, but just because a company writes a document doesn't make it fact. When you purchase something, when it is fully paid for, it is yours. Every basic and legal definition backups this notion up, as does the First Sale Doctrine and other constitutional clauses.
    But you not purchasing it, you are leasing it, you aren't covered by sales laws as it was never sold. You agreed to a contract saying that you will give them x money and in return they will lend you z phone for a indefinite amount of time.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
    But you not purchasing it, you are leasing it, you aren't covered by sales laws as it was never sold. You agreed to a contract saying that you will give them x money and in return they will lend you z phone for a indefinite amount of time.
    No, the phone is physically yours. You paid for the hardware.

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  9. #8
    What's Jailbreak? DirkSwizzler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
    But you not purchasing it, you are leasing it, you aren't covered by sales laws as it was never sold. You agreed to a contract saying that you will give them x money and in return they will lend you z phone for a indefinite amount of time.
    Then why did I pay sales tax on it?

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
    But you not purchasing it, you are leasing it, you aren't covered by sales laws as it was never sold. You agreed to a contract saying that you will give them x money and in return they will lend you z phone for a indefinite amount of time.
    When I purchased any of my phones, nowhere was it stated that I was leasing it. If you paid it full up front, then you have purchased it. If you got one at the subsidized price, then when your contract is up, your device is paid for, and again it is yours.

    If it was actually leased (by any definition of the term, legal or otherwise), you'd be obligated to return the product at a certain point in time, such as when leasing a car (you return it at the end of the term.) Furthermore, leasing requires a specific contract that BOTH parties have to be aware of and agree to, and not something you can just quietly hide in a wireless service contract, especially when you consider that the purchase of the device itself is ultimately between you and the maker, regardless of middlemen carriers or vendors. When you buy any iPhone from AT&T, Verizon, etc, it's Apple that's made a sale in the end.

    A device such as an iPhone, Android phone, etc, falls into the latter category. Any one who tells you otherwise is ought right deceiving you, plain and simple. Not everyone on high it telling you the truth. No EULA (such as Apple's, Google's, etc) can just magically turn a purchase into a lease, either. Again, that requires a specific agreement. That phone is yours, period. Once it's paid for, it doesn't belong to your carrier/vendor, it doesn't belong to it's maker. It belongs to you alone.

  11. #10
    What's Jailbreak?
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    The government in this country is a joke. All their main interest is money and not people. I guess I'll just break the law. I don't think many people will obey this law anyways. Unlocking its not something they can control 100%

  12. #11
    My iPhone is a Part of Me iPittsburgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
    Typical f@#%ing government sticking there nose where it doesn't belong. Why should they give a damn, its our phone and can use it as we please!
    What he said

  13. #12
    Another great reason to switch to android. Unlocked my note 2 the day I got it. All you have to do is put into airplane mode and enter the phones system options and change carrier to unlocked. It took literally 30 seconds. Tested it on my friends T-Mobile and it worked perfectly!

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by xzero View Post
    Another great reason to switch to android. Unlocked my note 2 the day I got it. All you have to do is put into airplane mode and enter the phones system options and change carrier to unlocked. It took literally 30 seconds. Tested it on my friends T-Mobile and it worked perfectly!
    your dumb, you make it sound like it was that easy. with the updates that samsung is releasing, they are blocking this. be more specific instead of puking out what you read on xda. Android isnt better than iOs and vice versa. They both have their benefits and downfalls.

    Source: I have a note 2, galaxy s 3, iphone 5 and nexus 4.
    1st gen 16 giger on 1.1.4 on att....why....because i like my mms.
    1st gen 16 giger on 2.1 on T-MO
    1st gen 8 giger just unlocked laying around

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
    Typical f@#%ing government sticking there nose where it doesn't belong. Why should they give a damn, its our phone and can use it as we please!
    Amen

  16. #15
    Green Apple smooth22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvensno View Post
    Typical f@#%ing government sticking there nose where it doesn't belong. Why should they give a damn, its our phone and can use it as we please!
    I agree 1000% these phone corporations Probably paid off somebody in government...

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by smooth22 View Post
    I agree 1000% these phone corporations Probably paid off somebody in government...
    Every day. The best government money can buy. The word you are looking for is "lobbyist," which often entail a former congressperson now working for a corporation lobbying his/her former colleagues using money or favors to do the corporation's bidding.
    An excellent example is, during the start of George Bush's first term, **** (jeez, stupid auto censor!! Fine, Richard) Cheney inviting the oil industry in to write the "regulations" that would then go to Congress to be written into a bill that both sides of Congress would pass and then the President would sign. How do you like your $4.00 a gallon gas?

    Want to get rid of this stuff? Vote for people running for (or who are in) Congress that pledge to create lobbying and election reform. We've had these reforms several times in the past 15-20 years but for some reason they keep being overturned. Hmmmm, why do you think that happens? Bringing down the cost of running for election and forbidding former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists might be a good way to start. Make taking anything from anyone while you serve in Congress illegal and make running for office a paid government subsidy (everyone gets the same amount of money to run, use it up and that's all, folks), which might level the field a bit, too. It really is our government, we just have to pay attention, quit listening to people who manipulate our baser instincts, do our homework, and vote for better people. People get the government they deserve. If you are willing to go on a blog and complain about a phone subsidy cost but are unwilling to become engaged with reasonable politicians attempting to actually change the system (not fringe people who tell you they can make it better if they just refuse to pass anything the other side wants), this is the government you deserve. Your complaints go unheard because the people you vote for don't really (really!) care about you.
    Senior

  18. #17
    Green Apple smooth22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
    Every day. The best government money can buy. The word you are looking for is "lobbyist," which often entail a former congressperson now working for a corporation lobbying his/her former colleagues using money or favors to do the corporation's bidding.
    An excellent example is, during the start of George Bush's first term, **** (jeez, stupid auto censor!! Fine, Richard) Cheney inviting the oil industry in to write the "regulations" that would then go to Congress to be written into a bill that both sides of Congress would pass and then the President would sign. How do you like your $4.00 a gallon gas?

    Want to get rid of this stuff? Vote for people running for (or who are in) Congress that pledge to create lobbying and election reform. We've had these reforms several times in the past 15-20 years but for some reason they keep being overturned. Hmmmm, why do you think that happens? Bringing down the cost of running for election and forbidding former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists might be a good way to start. Make taking anything from anyone while you serve in Congress illegal and make running for office a paid government subsidy (everyone gets the same amount of money to run, use it up and that's all, folks), which might level the field a bit, too. It really is our government, we just have to pay attention, quit listening to people who manipulate our baser instincts, do our homework, and vote for better people. People get the government they deserve. If you are willing to go on a blog and complain about a phone subsidy cost but are unwilling to become engaged with reasonable politicians attempting to actually change the system (not fringe people who tell you they can make it better if they just refuse to pass anything the other side wants), this is the government you deserve. Your complaints go unheard because the people you vote for don't really (really!) care about you.
    And the same government you deserve as well...

  19. #18
    What if I hack my phone with a carrier that allows it then move to a carrier that doesn't allow it? I'd be stupid to do it, but all the same it could happen.

  20. #19
    too much control
    Last edited by dsg; 01-24-2013 at 06:41 PM.

  21. #20
    Green Apple
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    Another great example of our "democracy" at work. Only people don't get to vote, money does.

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