Monday, March 4, 2013

White House Says: Unlocking Cell Phones Should Be Legal

Should it be legal to unlock your cell phone?  It was up until earlier this year.  However, due to a ruling by the Library of Congress that was based on a new interpretation of the DMCA it is now against the law to unlock your legally bought subsidized cell phone. 

Last month, a petition that was started on the White House's web site received more than 100,000 e-signatures to request that that ruling be changed.  Today, the White House responded and stated that unlocking cell phones should be legal.

Once a consumer has fulfilled his contractual obligations to a service provider for a subsidized cell phone why shouldn't he be able to utilize his cell phone on another carrier?  When someone buys a new car and is finished paying off any outstanding loans on it he is able to generally sell or utilize the vehicle in any manner that suits his purpose.  This includes updating the car's engines and internal mechanics. Therefore, why shouldn't cell phone owners have the same rights?

While the White House and the FCC's acknowledgement that this is a matter that may need a legislative resolution is good news; changing the law will take more than a couple of announcements and/or blog posts.   

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Copyright 2013 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.

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