Bill to Legalize Phone Unlocking Clears Committee
The House Judiciary Committee today approved the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which will eventually make it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones without first obtaining permission from their wireless carrier. It will also allow third parties to help consumers unlock their cell phones. Earlier this year, an exemption in copyright law expired and unlocking cell phones (without carrier permission) became illegal. Consumer advocates immediately campaigned to have the law reversed. "We all live with our phones 24/7, so it is important for consumers to have the flexibility to pick the service plans that work for them," said Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble, co-sponsor of the bill. Now that the bill has passed committee, it must be approved by the full House of Representatives.