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Representatives Propose Fix to Device Unlocking Laws

Article Comments  19  

May 9, 2013, 2:01 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated May 9, 2013, 4:09 PM

Representative Zoe Lofgren from California today proposed a new bill that would amend the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in a way that would make it legal to unlock devices such as cell phones. The "Unlocking Technology Act of 2013" would amend Section 1201 Title 17 of the DMCA, which currently says that it is a violation of copyright law for a device to be unlocked by its owner. Specifically, Rep. Lofgren proposes to add the statement: "It shall not be a violation of this section to circumvent a technological measure in connection with a work protected under this title if the purpose of such circumvention is to engage in a use that is not an infringement of copyright under this title" to the first paragraph of the DMCA. This and other proposed alterations to the DMCA would, in effect, let owners unlock their devices as long as the intent is not to infringe on the copyright, as well as legalize third-party unlocking tools and services. It specifically changes copyright law so that unlocking cell phones would no longer be illegal. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives today. It has been illegal to unlock cell phones since January of this year, when an exception granted by the Library of Congress with respect to device unlocking expired.

more info at Rep. Lofgren »
more info at Fix the DMCA »

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Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

T Bone

May 9, 2013, 8:25 PM

It won't change anything....

The reason phones don't get unlocked is not because it is illegal, phones don't don't get unlocked because carriers won't give out the unlock code.....and no law can make them give that code up as long as they put it in the terms and conditions that they don't have to hand it over..

Just because it's legal doesn't mean carriers have to assist you with it.....or that manufacturers have to make it easy for you....
Um, I'm pretty sure a law could make them give up the unlock codes, if that requirement was written into the law. Laws trump Terms and Conditions any day of the week.
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acdc1a

May 10, 2013, 9:38 AM

Pro Government Goons

What the pro-government goons on this site don't understand is this legislation shouldn't be required in the first place. The fact that it is proves over reach by the government.
Patent issues and licensing issues are a govt issue no matter how you look at it. That may not be the only reason I know that a phone gets locked to a company but it's not the only.
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freek1989

May 9, 2013, 2:46 PM

finally !!!

now they thinking about the consumer!!! Razz
But seriously who was actually following that rule??
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