Bill Legalizing Phone Unlocking Moves Forward

Untitled-gbWired.com has an insightful article on the ramifications of the bill. Quote from the article: “Large refurbishers like Gazelle, BuyBackTech and Cell Phones For Soldiers collect and purchase used cell phones in bulk. They repair them in bulk. And then they put millions of phones back out there, creating a resale market (not to mention new business models and other potential benefits). But they can only do this if phones can be unlocked in bulk. Under Goodlatte’s bill, only individuals have the right to unlock phones.” I didn’t know this, did you? I assumed the “bulk” parties were all shadey ‘bad guys’ – I guess I need to remind myself it’s unwise to make snap judgments especially if I don’t examine the issue from all sides. See the original article at: http://www.wired.com/opinion/2014/03/cellphone-unlocking-bill-passed-good-thing/

The whole article especially the last half is important. Definitely a must-read.

Tech

The Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill this week to once again legalize the unlocking of cell phones for use with multiple carriers, but the bill’s future is far from certain thanks to a controversial provision meant to protect carriers’ profits.

The process of unlocking phones used to be legal. It was considered an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which makes it illegal to circumvent software designed to protect copyrighted material. The exemption makes sense, as phone unlocking is a “noninfringing use” – the process has nothing to do with copyright. That changed in late 2012, when the Librarian of Congress revoked the exemption at the behest of carriers, making unlocking your own phone illegal.

If passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, H.R. 1123 would once again make it legal to unlock your own phone or have a carrier do…

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