Representatives Propose Fix to Device Unlocking Laws
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.
Carriers Have to Unlock Eligible Phones Beginning Today
Wireless network operators are now required to unlock customers' phones once the phones are paid off or no longer under contract. Today's change follows an agreement forged between the FCC, the CTIA Wireless Association and carriers in December 2013.
TracFone Settles with FCC Over Locked Phones
TracFone has reached an agreement with the FCC concerning its policies for unlocking handsets. In February of this year it became mandatory for all carriers to unlock customer handsets and to properly disclose their unlocking policies to customers.
AT&T Sues Former Employees Over Stolen Unlock Codes
AT&T this week sued three former workers, alleging they aided in the theft of cell phone unlock codes. Kyra Evans, Nguyen Lam, and Marc Sapatin, who all worked at AT&T's Bothell, Wash., site, are accused of installing malware on AT&T computers that was used to obtain hundreds of thousands of unlock codes.
E-Label Act Passage Means Fewer Stickers on Phones
President Obama signed the E-Label Act into law on Wednesday, which will give phone and other device makers the ability to label their hardware electronically rather than with stickers or graphics. By law, devices such as phones require labels from the FCC and other organizations proving the can be sold in the U.S.
It won't change anything....
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....
Pro Government Goons