‘DMCA’ Archive

White House Pushes for Cell Phone Unlocking to be Made Legal

Good news regarding our Blog’s post from the 26 January 2013 about DMCA Ruling (Only for Customers from USA). The Petition hit before the deadline the 100k signatures and the answer from the White House was to Pushes for Cell Phone Unlocking to be Made Legal.

You can read the official answer from the White House here:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cell-phones-legal/1g9KhZG7

And you’ll find numbers of articles in the news today about this:

Bill to legalize phone unlocking on the way (NBC News)
Mobile Phone ‘Unlocking’ Should Be Legal (TIME)
It’s Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking (ABC News)
Senator Crafting Bill to Make Cell Phone Unlocking Legal (PC Mag)
White House Pushes for Cell Phone Unlocking to be Made Legal (Fox)

However if you’re a seller from the USA and want to be sure that the Bill to legalize cell phone unlocking not ONLY concern consumers but also business providing this service, here is a letter we suggest you to send to Senator Amy Klobuchar before she finish to draft the bill.

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Dear Senator Klobuchar,

I commend you for standing up for consumer rights and the free market.  I also have some concerns that I would appreciate having you consider while writing this legislation.

Please be sure to include wording that makes it clear that it is also okay for businesses to assist consumers in unlocking their phones.  I own an online (or offline) business called XXXXX and I have sold hundreds of thousands of unlock codes the last several years.  I also sell hundreds of codes every day to hundreds of independent wireless business owners who unlock and flash phones for their customers because they cannot do it their self.

This ban on unlocking has had a direct impact on thousands of wireless stores and businesses all over the country who have relied on unlocking phones for their customers not only to earn income, but also to allow their customers access to the service providers they want to use.  Without businesses being able to offer this service there is no point in allowing consumers the ability to unlock their own phone.  It would take someone who is very technically inclined to even know where to begin.  USA consumers would be forced to buy unlock codes from companies out of the USA and would have no local assistance to enter the codes, and no legal recourse should the codes fail.  This causes more risk of financial loss to consumers, takes even more money out of our own economy, and causes thousands more people to be unemployed.  If cell phone unlocking is legal it should be made legal for both consumers and businesses.

Although it was legal before for consumers to unlock their cell phones, it has never technically been legal for businesses to assist them.  Please consider my experience when writing this legislation.  If there was not a very high demand for consumer assistance by businesses then I would not have had a very successful business since XXXX.

Sincerely,
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Digital Millenium Copyright Act

As you may have heard, there has been some changes to the law regarding unlocking of cell phones affecting individuals in the USA. As of January 26th, 2013, it will be illegal to unlock devices that are manufactured from this date onwards for USA phones, phones made BEFORE this date are still 100% okay to unlock. This law can be completely ignored by clients outside of the USA in foreign countries. This is part of the DMCA ruling, more info can be read here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2012-26308.pdf

How you may protect yourself against this law? For one thing, each and every wholesaler, reseller, dealer, etc with a store front or online front selling unlock codes should have some type of disclaimer to protect themselves from scrutiny such as: “Due to the recent legislation passed by the Library of Congress for the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), we are forbidden to unlock devices that were manufactured on January 26th, 2013 and later. We will not be held liable for unknowingly unlocking a device that was made from this date onwards. We invite you to sign the petition to make unlocking 2013 cell phones legal: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-unlocking-cell-phones-legal/1g9KhZG7 (please share with your friend)”

Please note this is not a legal advice and for all legal inquries, its BEST to contact a lawyer as we do not provide legal services.

However Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Mitch Stoltz told EnGadget: “What’s happening is not that the Copyright Office is declaring unlocking to be illegal, but rather that they’re taking away a shield that unlockers could use in court if they get sued.” This does make lawsuits much more likely according to him, but it’s still up to the courts to decide the actual legality of phone unlocking. Indeed, it’s a grim day for those who want true freedom over their own devices. Stoltz said to EnGadget, “This shows just how absurd the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is: a law that was supposed to stop the breaking of digital locks on copyrighted materials has led to the Librarian of Congress trying to regulate the used cellphone market”

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