The Fight Isn't About Unlocking Mobile Phones, But Whether You Actually Own What You Bought

from the unlock-everything dept

One of the reasons that we're so concerned about the weak proposals introduced in Congress concerning mobile phone unlocking is that they all seek to add yet another layer of duct tape to outdated copyright law. As we've pointed out for years, every time technology bumps up against copyright, rather than fix the problem, Congress tries to rush in with some duct tape narrowly focused on just that issue. It creates a huge mess of a law and does little to nothing to fix the actual problem.

Kyle Wiens has an excellent opinion piece over at Wired that points out that the focus shouldn't be on unlocking mobile phones, but on our rights to unlock everything we own. This is what ownership is supposed to be about -- and it's that right of ownership that copyright maximalists, and companies abusing copyright law, have been seeking to strip from the public over and over again.
We really don’t own our stuff anymore (at least not fully); the manufacturers do. Because modifying modern objects requires access to information: code, service manuals, error codes, and diagnostic tools. Modern cars are part horsepower, part high-powered computer. Microwave ovens are a combination of plastic and microcode. Silicon permeates and powers almost everything we own.

This is a property rights issue, and current copyright law gets it backwards, turning regular people — like students, researchers, and small business owners — into criminals. Fortune 500 telecom manufacturer Avaya, for example, is known for suing service companies, accusing them of violating copyright for simply using a password to log in to their phone systems. That’s right: typing in a password is considered “reproducing copyrighted material.”
This is a big and important issue, and the fight over mobile phone unlocking is just one symptom of a broken system that is in desperate need of fixing. And yet, as we noted, this issue isn't even touched in the Copyright Office's call for copyright reform.

As Wiens points out, this is not what copyright law is supposed to to.
It hasn’t always been that way. Copyright laws were originally designed to protect creativity and promote innovation. But now, they are doing exactly the opposite: They’re being used to keep independent shops from fixing new cars. They’re making it almost impossible for farmers to maintain their equipment. And, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, they’re preventing regular people from unlocking their own cellphones.
If we really believe in true property rights, there should never be a question about the legality of unlocking a product you legally purchased.


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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

    Of course it was never about just unlocking phones. You and Khanna and the rest of the copyleft really want to dismantle the DMCA. Thanks for the honesty (for once).

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

      Re:

      That's funny, I didn't know that the DMCA was Holy Scripture that must never be questioned, where the thought of modifying it or getting rid of it is heresy that must not be tolerated in the slightest.

      Again...fuck off.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

        Re: Re:

        As eloquent as always. Mike is truly blessed to have someone so faithful and clueless at his side. A real asset for the cause.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hello there, kettle.

           

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          jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And even more blessed to have people like you just waiting for his next post. He is cleaning up on guys like you. I am sure he is happy about you're bringing traffic and ad impressions.

           

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          Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Faithful? He provides evidence. You don't. In fact, in the Indie Film Distributor, you trolls didn't once question the fact that that lady didn't back up her assertions about piracy killing her business, despite the fact you regularly call Mike out on that.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't think that was me.

             

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              Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And whose fault is that if I made a mistake, Mr. I Will Never Make a Signed In Profile? All I've got to go on is Anonymous Coward. The snowflake doesn't really help, since your IP address can easily change.

               

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                Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                can't say for sure, but i think the snowflake is unique per story, not per IP. so here's an experiment. In the story on the inde film distributor, i had a blue/greenish vaguely X shaped snowflake. If it is different here it means that you can NEVER reliably track an AC from one story to another.

                 

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                  Wally (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 10:55pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Oh trust me it's per IP address per story....I have had a particular AC troll on my back lately who typically uses a proxy.

                   

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      jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

      Re:

      Are you really taking the position that one should not own what they have purchaced?

      I see why you are a coward

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

        Re: Re:

        People own exactly what they have bought. If certain rights are reserved to others and those rights are not purchased by you, then guess what, you don't own those rights. It's not hard to understand.

         

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          jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I bought my phone, I own it. its an an iPhone. I have compiled LINUX to run on it and am running android on top, so my iPhone runs android. care to explain the law in this case?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The White House agrees, as do most people.

            The thing is that Mike is trying to make this a referendum on the DMCA, and thus copyright law, and that's nothing but a dead end for him.

            If you said to the White House, "thanks for doing away with the unlocking phone issue, can we now do away with the DMCA?" they'd laugh at you and consider you a crazy zealot-type person.

             

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              JEDIDIAH, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 8:16pm

              A false choice.

              You are attempting to perpetrate the false dichotomy fallacy.

              Accepting copyright does not require accepting a SUBSET of the DMCA. Rejecting one element of the DMCA does not require rejecting copyright entirely.

              Rejecting one element of the DMCA doesn't even require rejecting the rest of the DMCA.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But which rights do you own and which do the seller rent to you? It is actually not clear where people stand juridically on this point and that is close to grifting from the seller.

           

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            jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't think I rented any thing.

            Maybe the original operating system, but I deleted that (hopefully, I can delete what I don't own when it is on my property).

            The rest is just platic and metal, i paid for the platic and metal with cash for a price described as the SELLING PRICE. The iphone is made in china, so I guess I cant resell it, I just use it for myself.

            I thought is wasn't hard to understand?

             

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          Bergman (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This.

          If you own it, it is no one else's business what you do with it, so long as you aren't harming anyone else with it. But if you break it while modifying it, you're the one who gets to buy a new one.

          If you didn't buy it, but leased it instead, then of course the company can forbid you to tinker with it. But if it breaks before the end of your contract, the company is the one on the hook to replace the equipment.

          The companies want to maintain lease-level rights over the hardware while passing every cost on to the customer. That's not how it works in the real world.

           

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          Rekrul, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          People own exactly what they have bought. If certain rights are reserved to others and those rights are not purchased by you, then guess what, you don't own those rights. It's not hard to understand.

          If I buy an Xbox, do I have the right to repair it to keep it in working order? Let's say that the hard drive dies, do I have the right to replace it in order to continue being able to use it?

          Well guess what, the DMCA makes it impossible to do that legally. Xbox hard drives are specially formatted and tied to the system that they were installed in. In order to install a new drive, you have to mod/jailbreak the system, which is illegal thanks to the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA. So even if the problem is something minor that you're technically capable of fixing yourself, you're not allowed to.

           

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            Bergman (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 10:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Your reasoning is flawed.

            Expecting a modified XBox to be usable on XBox Live isn't too reasonable, as the company does have an interest in not allowing mods, since most mods are used to cheat.

            But it shouldn't be a criminal act to use it as a media center controller that never connects to Microsoft's network. Either you own it or you don't. If you own it, it's yours. If you don't own it, then if it wears out, Microsoft owes you a new one. Is your XBox your property or is it leased? Each condition has different legal rights and obligations attached to it, and you can't cherrypick just the ones you want.

            If I buy a car in, say, Seattle, I shouldn't be locked into only driving it in Seattle. There should not be a chip in it that kills the ignition at the city limits. If there is such a chip, and I disable it so I can drive to visit my mother a few blocks outside the city limits, it shouldn't be a criminal act.

            If I move to San Francisco, I should be able to use my car that I paid full market price for there as well. I shouldn't have to buy a totally new car when my old one works just fine and has all my stuff in it.

            Yes, if I lease a car, I might have contract terms in the lease saying I can't drive it to certain places (for example, a common term in such leases is not being allowed to cross national borders with the car). If I paid a subsidized price below market value for the car, I might expect contract terms to come with it. But if I paid full market value for that car, it's mine and I'll drive it anywhere I like.

             

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              Rekrul, Mar 21st, 2013 @ 10:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Your reasoning is flawed.

              Expecting a modified XBox to be usable on XBox Live isn't too reasonable, as the company does have an interest in not allowing mods, since most mods are used to cheat.


              How does replacing a defective hard drive with a new, blank one, let you cheat? Why doesn't the console see that it's a different hard drive and ask if you want to format it?

              By not allowing users to replace the hard drive, they are encouraging people to mod their consoles to get around this limitation.

               

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            nasch (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Let's say that the hard drive dies, do I have the right to replace it in order to continue being able to use it?

            Well guess what, the DMCA makes it impossible to do that legally.


            I think you're mistaken. You can't put just any hard drive in there, but if you buy a (massively overpriced) XBox hard drive, you can replace it just fine.

            If you want to hack it so you can put a normal hard drive in, then you risk getting banned from XBox Live, though I'm not sure it's actually a DMCA violation.

             

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              Rekrul, Mar 21st, 2013 @ 10:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I think you're mistaken. You can't put just any hard drive in there, but if you buy a (massively overpriced) XBox hard drive, you can replace it just fine.

              If you want to hack it so you can put a normal hard drive in, then you risk getting banned from XBox Live, though I'm not sure it's actually a DMCA violation.


              Maybe I'm mistaken, but it's my understanding that the only thing special about the Xbox hard drives is that MS specially formats them and locks them to the console that they're installed in. As far as I know, the hard drives themselves are just off the shelf parts.

               

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              Rekrul, Mar 21st, 2013 @ 11:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I accidentally submitted the comment before I was done...

              Just for the sake of argument, let's say that Xbox hard drives are somehow special. Why is that? What do they do, other than prevent a user from replacing them, that a normal hard drive can't do? What is the point of using a special piece of hardware that prevents a user from replacing a defective part?

              It's not as if a new, blank hard drive from Western Digital or Maxtor is magically going to allow you to cheat at games or get stuff for free. It's just a storage device.

              That's like saying that allowing a race car driver to replace the gas tank on their car will allow them to cheat.

               

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                nasch (profile), Mar 22nd, 2013 @ 8:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I don't know what the actual difference is, but it fundamentally is the same type of hardware as a normal drive. I think there is something in the firmware that the console recognizes, and without it the console will not accept the drive. They do this to charge hugely inflated prices for replacement and upgrade hard drives (and a "kit" to transfer data), not to make it so you can't repair your console.

                I don't think the drive is locked to the console, because you can just buy a new (xbox specific) drive and use it. It's possible the console writes something to it that makes it unusable on any other console, but I've never heard of such a thing.

                 

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          Karl (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 10:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          People own exactly what they have bought. If certain rights are reserved to others and those rights are not purchased by you, then guess what, you don't own those rights.

          If you have actually bought something (as opposed to renting or leasing), then you have bought all the respective rights inherent in the property you have bought.

          And property rights are not "creatures of statute" (unlike copyright laws). This means that you do not need explicit authorization under statute, do do whatever you like with your property. Those rights are inalienable - "natural rights," in the parlance of the Founders.

          This is why it's called the "first sale" doctrine. The first sale is where the copyright holder loses their rights in that particular copy.

          They do retain rights in other copies - no matter who makes them. The fact that you can't manufacture and distribute other copies of property that you own makes copyright a limitation on inalienable property rights. In fact, that is the nature of a government-granted monopoly right, which is what copyright is (intentionally).

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

      Thanks for being honest about your desire to strip the public's rights to their legally purchased property.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

        What rights are stripped? What rights does a person hold that are then taken from them?

         

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          jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

          perhaps you should read the article. At least try to be informed.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

            I did read it. What exact right did a person have that was then later taken away? Please be precise.

             

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              Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              The right to enter legally acquired passwords into legally acquired products.

               

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              jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              the right to do what they want to with their possessions

               

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              btr1701 (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              > What exact right did a person have that was
              > then later taken away?

              The right to be free from misleading corporate bullshit where I'm either an owner or a renter depending on what's most advantageous at any given moment to the corporation that 'sold' the thing to me.

              The right to not be marketed to as 'buying' and 'owning' something only to find out in obtusely-phrased microscopic print that all of that stuff in 97-point font was just bullshit and lies.

               

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              Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              Oh! oh! How about the right to load an"other OS" onto your playstation?

               

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          Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

          The right to unlock a phone...a right that just recently the US public were allowed to do free from threat of litigation but has now been made illegal...

          Go on, continue not reading the fucking articles.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

            Please cite the source of this "right to unlock a phone." I am only aware of the DMCA, which says you cannot unlock a phone. I have not seen the law that says you can. Do tell.

             

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              Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              For three years, the US public were allowed to unlock phones, because the Librarian of Congress said they could. Now, as part of their tri-annual review, the Librarian said no. The right has been stripped away.

               

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              jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              natural law allows it. Sort of like possession is 9/10 of the law. If you own it, you can pretty much do what you want, it is a natural law.

               

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                out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

                @ "jackn": "natural law allows [unlocking a phone]. Sort of like possession is 9/10 of the law. If you own it, you can pretty much do what you want, it is a natural law."

                You win the prize for being silly enough to draw me out.

                No, it's NOT natural law. HOW can it possibly be a natural if you're using some corporations totally artificial equipment EVERY time you call? -- Natural rights exist outside of society: they can be taken away by others, but when you get into complexities like the phone system, it's definitely NOT natural.

                 

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                  jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

                  well now you win. Corporation? wtf? Its not the corps equipment, it is mine. Why don't you acknowledge that. It my phone, my computer, my car, I will do with them as I please.

                  You keep saying its not difficult, but then you cant give an easy answer.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

                  There you go again, sucking corporate cock even though you claim to hate them. Nice going, you hypocritical nutjob.

                   

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                  Wally (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

                  Possession is nine-tenths of the law...

                   

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              Rekrul, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              Please cite the source of this "right to unlock a phone." I am only aware of the DMCA, which says you cannot unlock a phone. I have not seen the law that says you can. Do tell.

              Translation: The only rights people have are the ones clearly spelled out by law.

              Apparently that means that you're breaking the law by posting here, since I can't find any law that specifically says it's legal to post comments on web sites. And as you've stated, anything that isn't specifically marked as legal, isn't.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

          What rights are stripped?

          Property rights. The right to own what's in your possesion. The right to do with your property as you see fit.

          People own exactly what they have bought. If certain rights are reserved to others and those rights are not purchased by you, then guess what, you don't own those rights. It's not hard to understand.

          If I buy something I don't expect someone to be able to take me to court over the use of it. Especially not for doing something like adding value to an item by unlocking it with a password.

           

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            out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

            @ AC: "Property rights. The right to own what's in your possesion. The right to do with your property as you see fit."

            You CAN do whatever you wish with your property. But it's not totally yours when you've agreed to interface with some corporation's equipment; they get to set some terms.

            By the way, kids, you're all overlooking the possibility of mailicious hacking to get free services off the telco. -- That is, you're all commenting as if malicious use and theft couldn't occur, because in reality IF you could STEAL service, you WOULD.

             

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              Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              I'm actually quite curious as how one steals mobile phone service. The telco's computers keep records of which phones have credit or are allowed make calls. Not the phones themselves. So how, by "hacking" a phone that I own would I be able to steal service?

               

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                Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

                Yes. Please, someone explain. I only want to know for...umm...informational/research purposes....

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              But it's not totally yours when you've agreed to interface with some corporation's equipment; they get some terms.

              Let's assume at first that you're not referring to the manufacturer, but rather the telco. What would they have rights to? If the device wants to work, that means it needs to have certain capabilities and act/respond appropriately as well as likely have the necessary cedentials for service. That's in the telco contract. Fine, but that's not the arguement in this article or that anyone is making here. In fact most of us are good with this portion.

              Now let's assume you're referring to the rights of the manufacturer. What harm could I possibly be doing if I unlock it? I could understand that voiding the warranty (becuase it's changing the use of the device), but I don't see the copyright/legal basis for any issues.

              Even worse, if the manufacturer still has rights, what about (as this article and many others allude to) a case where I build up a collection of 100 Blue Ray digital copies (legally), but then the manufacturer decides to go down without allowing me to make a copy? I lose all 100 because the manufacturer still has rights? What's the incentive to buy those as digital copies then (especially when they are near/full price) instead of the hard disk?

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              because in reality IF you could STEAL service, you WOULD.

              He's so right, these people would steal water if it fell from the sky and they were surrounded by it, even if prices for water were reasonable.

               

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                Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

                Really? We're to be judged guilty of stealing service because...accusation? (why does that seem so familiar? Oh yeah, six strikes!)

                I do hope you're being sarcastic with the second sentence, but I honestly can't tell. Since the other trolls here have gone off the deep-end and said that people shouldn't be able to own their phones at all...

                 

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                  Rapnel (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

                  Well, given that a gallon of soda would take about 125 gallons of water to make then if people were stealing water that fell from the sky they'd actually be taking money from the likes of coca-cola and not entirely indirectly at that. So, given the current state of IP, any and all misappropriation of text, soundbites, code, visual media, ideas, thoughts, hand gestures, minerals, elements, mathematics, genomes or any other "Excuse me but that belongs to me"s then, yes, the statement is bereft of any sarcasm.

                  On the other hand ... rain. You might need to start building that boat.

                   

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              JEDIDIAH, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 8:21pm

              Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

              > But it's not totally yours when you've agreed to interface with some corporation's equipment;

              That's total bullshit. This exactly the kind of nonsense that got AT&T in trouble with the federal government over anti-trust.

              Using my phone with AT&T doesn't make it any less my product. Doesn't matter if it's a land line or a cell phone.

              You're basically arguing for a total corporatocracy where only corporations have rights and they strip everyone else's through contract and un-paid web forum shills.

               

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          Karl (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 11:01am

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

          What rights are stripped? What rights does a person hold that are then taken from them?

          Easy question to answer. What are you not allowed to do with the property that you purchased?

          Those are the property rights that are stripped away.

          In this particular case, it is the right to modify the property that you legally own. A right, by the way, that is not a right granted to authors in 106 - hence is not stripped away from property owners.

           

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      Shmerl, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      What's wrong with dismantling the DMCA? It has practically no useful purpose whatsoever, except serving private interests of those who force DRM on everyone.

       

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        gnudist, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

        Re: Re:

        What I want to know is where he got the idea we were hiding the intent to dismatle that patently stupid law.

        The anti-circumvention clause only hurts people who want to play by the rules while the pirates just ignore it like they already did with copyright law prior to it's passing.

         

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        gnudist, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

        Re: Re:

        What I want to know is where he got the idea we were hiding the intent to dismatle that patently stupid law.

        The anti-circumvention clause only hurts people who want to play by the rules while the pirates just ignore it like they already did with copyright law prior to it's passing.

         

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        nasch (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

        Re: Re:

        What's wrong with dismantling the DMCA? It has practically no useful purpose whatsoever, except serving private interests of those who force DRM on everyone.

        Actually the safe harbor provisions are nice. Let's just keep that part and get rid of the rest.

         

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    bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    And why do we care if we own it?

    Look around the world and especially the Internet. Netflix built a business where people don't own the content they watch. Zipcar built a business so people can drive without owning the car. All of the clouds are filled with servers that people rent not own. Pretty much every other Internet proposal I see involves someone trying to save people the trouble of owning something.

    Yet here we are listening to Mike and Co. arguing that it's absolutely essential that we be able to OWN our content. DRM and phone locking is bad because we won't own it.

    Why? No one else on the Internet wants to own anything but somehow we're supposed to want to own our digital books and our phones.

    I submit that it's all part of the wacko obsession of this site to hate upon either the artists or the phone companies, two of the sworn enemies of Big Search.

    Why would I want to "own" my phone? Why would I want to pay $600 up front for the phone when I can let the phone company tie up their capital and rent it out to me with a higher monthly fee? I know owning is right for some of the people out there, but I think most would rather avoid the hassles of tying up their money for so long.

    The same goes for textbooks. If I own my textbook, I have to pay more up front and hope that I can get it back later when I resell it. The First Sale doctrine looks like a pain in my butt that forces me to go through all of the trouble to resell things. I would much rather "rent" my books from someone and pay less.

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      Well, at least you're being upfront about your insane belief that the right to own property should be stripped away.

      In case you don't realize, people will want the OPTION of either paying upfront for a phone, or going on contract. People want the OPTION of either renting or buying. Not of having the government forcing renting down our throats.
      I want to pay for my property. I want to own it. Is that really so bad?

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

        Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

        @ "Rikuo": "I want to pay for my property. I want to own it. Is that really so bad?" -- Okay, now what's that got to do with the service that you pay for of using telco equipment every time you call? Guess you think you're entitled to give terms to multi-billion telcos too.

        You evidence a total lack of following laws and cooperation in a complex society, and are only fit to be a tyrant. Need to buy your own little island, kid, and quit bothering civilized people.

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          If I don't pay to access their network, then guess what? I. Don't. Acess. It. I agree with you there!
          The problem here is you. You've conflated two very separate things, buying, owning and unlocking the SMARTPHONE with access to the mobile network.
          The US public wants the right to do what they want with the things they buy. If they rent the smartphone under a plan but unlock it anyway, then the telco already has the right to go after them for breach of contract, with an early termination fee, to recoup the cost of the phone. There's no need to drag in the DMCA's anti-circumvention into this.

          Oh, by the way, how would I buy the island? According to you, I shouldn't have the option to buy anything, only rent.

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

            > Oh, by the way, how would I buy the island?
            > According to you, I shouldn't have the option
            > to buy anything, only rent.

            And also according to him, if you had the means to buy an island, that's only more evidence that the government isn't taxing you enough.

             

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          jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          the telcos don't own the right to transmit my messages. It is licensed to them by the government. So yes, I feel entitled to give them terms. In fact, I already have and I will continue to dictate terms to them. They can accept the terms or go out of business.

          What makes you think they can dictate terms to me?

           

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          jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          that's your repsonse? I think you are the childish one

           

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        bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

        And you have that option. It just costs a fortune and that's why most people don't really want the option. I bet 99% of Mike's readers here wouldn't buy an unlocked iPhone for the real price even though they'll argue day and night for some abstract "right" that they've always had.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          That doesn't matter. Everyone wants options. Your arguement is not proper.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          You're conflating two different issues. The issue of subsidized vs unsubsidized phones and the issue of proeprty ownership.

          I maintain that whether or not you buy the phone on terms (subsidized), you own the phone and should be able to do anything you want with it. Unlock it, grind it up, whatever.

          Doing so doesn't relieve you of the obligation you took on with the subsidy -- something the contract recognizes by charging early termination fees. So the phone provider still gets the contracted-for money regardless of what you've done with the phone.

           

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          G Thompson (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 10:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          I have an unlocked iPhone, and unlocked Samsung Galaxy 3, actually every single one of the phones I have ever owned has been unlocked either at time of purchase or 6 months later - normally for approx $30.

          Oh wait.. sorry, I am not in the USA I'm part of that 95% of the human population (where you stated firstly to "Look around the world") that is allowed to:
          * Tinker with anything for legal purposes (and legal means anything that is not specifically criminal)
          * Unlock or change IN ANY WAY any device for any reason at any time we so wish
          * backup for personal purposes digital goods
          * Not have to worry about the draconian structure and removal of due process inherent in the US's DMCA
          * Have the seller repair/replace/refund for faulty goods whether we use an 'authorised repairer' or not since claiming an exclusivity on 'authorised repairers' is unlawful itself.
          * and many more consumer centric equitable rights that are inherent, statutory and can not be removed by contracts, EULA's, or other trickery by mostly (because they don't know better) US corporations

           

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      Shmerl, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      When you get content are you provided with "rent it" proposals, or with "buy it" ones? Content owners fool people into thinking they are buying the content, while in reality people buy "licenses" to "access the content", and the content isn't even sold. I.e. in essence it's a rent, not a purchase.

      So why can't distributors honestly say they are only renting it? Because it doesn't look attractive. So they are playing on false expectations to gain more customers. If they do that, customers should treat that content as bought in return, and let the distributors swallow their anger over the fact that their DRM was scraped to ensure that content is really owned by the user.

       

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        Steve R. (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

        There is a slight twist to this. In theory, the content is supposed to fall into the public domain after a limited period of time. So you as a member of the public would "own" the content after the copyright privilege has expired. I would advocate, that those who have extended the scope and time-span of copyright have been "stealing" from you.

         

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          Shmerl, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          That's a different discussion. The subject above was about the content which is still under active copyright. It's owned in a sense of using it, but not in full sense (like redistribution). However publishers try to limit even basic ownership to a "rent" and devise all kind of crooked DRM schemes for that.

           

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:54pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      That's great bob. No one here is arguing against renting. It has it's uses. Thank you for knocking that strawman down for us. We were all so terribly afraid of getting straw in our panties, but you have heroically saved us all.

      Now, if you would like, the rest of us are talking about the property rights being taken away for things we are told that we are buying, but are really being treated as if we're just renting them.

       

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        bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

        Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

         

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        bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

        Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

        Uh, it's not a straw man. If you force every phone to be unlocked, then the only choice for people is to pay $600+++ up front for a phone. You'll destroy the way that the phone companies help people afford things.

        The only way to have low upfront costs and bundle the real price into the monthly bill is to prevent people from taking the phone to a different provider. You can't have easy terms and unlocking.

         

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          Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          No one is talking about renting, no one is talking about doing away with contracts. The phone company can continue offering two year contracts with unlocked phones. Phone locking has absolutely nothing to do with the mechanism you and the phone company agree upon to finance the phone.

           

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            Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

            To continue:
            The only way to have low upfront costs and bundle the real price into the monthly bill is to prevent people from taking the phone to a different provider
            Look, if I'm a provider, and get someone to sign a two year agreement to pay me monthly for two years, and they take the phone provided in that contract and go to another carrier, I don't freaking care. That's actually in my interest. Why? Because now they are still paying me (remember the contract?) but not using my services. That's got to be the phone carriers wet dream. Get people to sign contracts to pay you and not have to provide any service because they go elsewhere while still paying you.

             

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          Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          No-one here is forcing smartphones to be shipped unlocked. What we want is the freedom to unlock the phones if we so desire. If a US citizen does so while under contract, they pay the early termination fee and that should be that. They shouldn't also be liable for the DMCA's anti-circumvention.

          Besides, weren't you just a while ago arguing for only the one choice, that of renting? Now suddenly, you're saying that the only choice will be to pay full price. Hmm...and what if people do pay the full price? What rights to to their own property do they have then?

           

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          Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          Who the hell is talking about "forcing every phone to be unlocked"?! It's like this guy is arguing with the even crazier voices in his head.
          No one is even talking about taking away mobile operator subsidized contracts. Verizon would still be able to give away a new iPhone for "free" with a 2-year contract. The right to unlock a phone means I have the ablitity to take that phone to a different carrier AFTER THE 2year CONTRACT IS UP.

           

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          Rekrul, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          Uh, it's not a straw man. If you force every phone to be unlocked, then the only choice for people is to pay $600+++ up front for a phone. You'll destroy the way that the phone companies help people afford things.

          You do realize that it doesn't cost anywhere near $600 for Apple to manufacture an iPhone, right? Electronics always have insane markups because the general public has no idea of the true cost of electronic devices.

          Back in the late 70s, Atari cartridges used to sell for about $30 each. Know what they cost to manufacture? $4. About 1/7 of the price that they were selling for.

           

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            Billy (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

            Disregarding the crazy markups for the moment. The original comment about unlocked phones being $600+ up front is simply untrue.

            If I take a 24 month contract that eventually costs me $1000 and I get a phone that _retails_ at $600, that the network purchased for $300. The network only cares that I keep paying, so they can recoup their $700 in previously agreed line rental. They couldn't care less if I use the phone they provided or not.

            I'm from the UK where many contract phones are already unlocked or networks are obliged to unlock them for a small fee (15 - 20). The only reason they lock them in the first place is to discourage customers from defecting to other networks. We have no DMCA and no restrictions on unlocking, it can be done at any market stall or any high street shop for as little as 5 and we can still get all the newest phones, heavily subsidised on contract.

            If your government panders to the networks' controlling desires then you'll find the networks abusing their privileges and imposing draconian rules. People will *think* availability of subsidised phones is dependant on strict controls but it's simply not true.

             

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              Billy (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

              Heh, previous comment I meant they want to recoup their $1000 which includes $300 costs and $700 sale of their service.

              -----------------------

              And on the mark-ups subject.

              When you look at these deals, realising that you can't obtain the phone at a reasonable price (e.g. $300 in the example) then it makes a lot of sense to take the $1000, 2 year plan instead of spending $600 and having to make separate arrangements for connectivity.

              The mobile phone business is a demonstration of price fixing at it's best. I'd much rather governments got involved in the massive disparity of prepaid vs contract phone prices, to redress the balance and provide a benefit to the public. It seems like governments are usually far more interested in protecting multinational corporations than their own citizens.

              BTW, whether you buy a phone outright or receive it in a contract deal, it's your property. It isn't subject to finance nor is it rented or hired. At least that's how things are in the UK; the phone belongs to you.

              Therefore, the only interest that the manufacturer and/or network retain is in their warranty obligations. Of course, they'll use any excuse (such as rooting/jailbreaking) to deny costly warranty services.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          WTF is wrong with you?

          Last I checked contracts had the force of law, if, you can still offer subsidized phones to people who want they just won't be able to not pay you, they could however unlock the phone and go elsewhere but still having to pay you for the contract.

          Has anything changed?

          Contracts are not good enough anymore?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 10:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

            Funny. For all the whining that hurricane head and the Lowerys do about contracts, it turns out that their side don't even like following them.

             

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          G Thompson (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 10:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          HA HA HA HA HA

          the rest of the planet and the way they have mobile phone plans and/or prepaid disagrees with you,

          Also if you don't think you are paying for the whole FULL retail price (with no discounts ever) under your plan anyway then you are more of a fool than you think. It's just not upfront but instead over a period of x months when you are more than likely paying more in long run too.

          But then again the rest of the planet doesn't pay for RECEIVED SMS's either so guess it's about time for the USA to change the way of how it actually treats it's consumers.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      What if you visit a place where the network you are contracted with is not available? It then becomes useful to be able to use the phone on a different network for a bit. So long as you pay the contract the company has no reason to complain.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      But the phone is NOT rented. It is PURCHASED. If you buy a car, then Ford can't tell you what to do with it. You can replace the engine if you feel like it.

      If I own a painting, then I own the painting. I can hang it on my wall, resell it, or paint over it. I can't make a bunch of copies of it and sell them due to copyright, but I can do just about anything else with it that doesn't involve making copies.

      But if you take an electronic version of that same painting, put some sort of cheap anti-copy mechanism on it, and I buy THAT, then it would be illegal for me to circumvent the copy protection to do anything with it, even if I would otherwise have every right to do it. Why? Because they think I'll make a bunch of copies? That's ALREADY illegal.

      "I would much rather 'rent' my books from someone and pay less."

      Many universities do offer book rentals. It's your choice whether to buy or rent. But if you do buy, you should not have to seek permission to resell.

      You seem to hate first sale in general. Would you seriously make rummage sales illegal? Do you have any idea how wasteful it is to make people throw everything away instead of letting someone else use it?

       

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        bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

        No, I don't hate first sale, but I think the blind love of it is foolish because it precludes many interesting business models that make life easier for consumers.

        Face it. You can't have low, upfront prices without locking the phones. Locking makes it easier for people to afford fancy phones and it lets them finance them easily.

        If you want to own it like a car, you can always pay close to $1000 for that right. AT&T offers it on every single phone in their inventory.

         

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          Rapnel (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          I'm sorry, I'm confused. What is the difference between a contract with a locked phone and a contract with an unlocked phone?

          In my view this seems like a petty thing to do that servers to manipulate the customer only. A contract is a contract you either finish it or buy out of it. What difference does the device make?

           

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            Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

            And to add to your questions, "why should copyright law (of all things) enter into a contract made with a phone provider?"

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          Face it. You can't have low, upfront prices without locking the phones.


          Why not? I don't see the connection at all. Please elucidate.

           

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            Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

            He won't. He'll realise that he doesn't know the meaning of the word elucidate, look for a dictionary, realise he doesn't have one, borrow one (without paying, gasp!) then completely ignore you or spout some nonsense without attempting a proper answer.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: And why do we care if we own it?

          First a subside managed by others is not "cheap" is in general double the value you would pay if you did it yourself and had the discipline to save $20 bucks a month for 2 years.

          Second a contract is a contract, the locking is just ice on the cake, the contract by itself has the force of law behind it or contracts became jokes?

           

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      btr1701 (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      > No one else on the Internet wants to own
      > anything but somehow we're supposed to want
      > to own our digital books and our phones.

      The fact that you don't want to own things is hardly justification for passing laws prohibiting others from doing so.

      Your personal desires aren't the objective benchmark by which all mankind is judged.

       

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      totalz (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:46pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      Well, I'm pretty sure u will rent a dick just for pissing (even if u don't need one), and u don't need an asshole, cause u got your month for that. IMO!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 7:57pm

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      you're wrong on so many levels but let me just address this one;I want to own the shit I buy

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 10:16am

      Re: And why do we care if we own it?

      Why do we care? Because it opens the door to unilateral and abusive agreements that bind the consumer to do what the manufacturer wants. They would essentially be able to dictate what you can and can't do with what you PAID for!

      For example, They can sell a car model that is locked for driving outside the state, and then sell you the same car for much more, except that this time it works everywhere.

      You're essentially held hostage to the manufacturer's desires.

      If you want to change the software in your phone because it doesn't suit your needs, you should be able to do it! It's not a corporation's business to choose what I can do with my devices, and having anyone control my devices certainly isn't in my best interests either (copyright is about the public interest, remember?).

      The manufacturer shouldn't be able to dictate their terms without negotiating at all and forcing me to either accept or be left without a car or a mobile phone.

      Even worse would be if what I needed wasn't offered by anyone. What should I do there? Ram my phone up my butt? No! I should be able to modify the software!

      All smartphones ship with data-collecting bloatware now. I can't remove it. Should I have to tolerate bloatware installed by the manufacturer, which is absolutely superfluous to the phone's correct functioning and serves no other purpose other than fattening the manufacturer's pockets? The answer is totally NO. I should be able to remove it!

       

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    identicon
    jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Why would I want to "own" my phone? Why would I want to pay $600 up front for the phone when I can let the phone company tie up their capital and rent it out to me with a higher monthly fee? I know owning is right for some of the people out there, but I think most would rather avoid the hassles of tying up their money for so long.

    Thats you choice, where you fail is assuming everyone else must want the same as you.

    You see, your level of thinking is elementary school level.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

      Re:

      Uhm, whether you buy your phone outright or pay for it monthly, you are still being told that you are buying it. The problem doesn't lie in the financing, it lies in the fact that manufacturers are telling you that you are buying it, but treating it as if you are just renting it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 8:44pm

      Re:

      elementary school dear jackn; you pay twice as much as the phones worth by going the contract route

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

    If we really believe in true property rights, there should never be a question about the legality of unlocking a product you legally purchased.

    I love this childish argument Magic Mike pulls out from time to time. If we ***REALLY*** believed in something, we'd agree with his silly extremist view. LMAO.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

      As compared to your extremist view?

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

      Re:

      Because the statement he provided makes pure logical sense? If one believes in A, then one must also believe in B since it flows on naturally and truthfully from A.
      If I believe in property rights, then naturally I must also believe I own the right to unlock my smartphone that I legally purchased.


      God...go back to kindergarten. I think you need to repeat those years about five or six times if that's the best you can do. I want REAL debate, not having to puncture apart weak statements without trying.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

    Yet here we are listening to Mike and Co. arguing that it's absolutely essential that we be able to OWN our content. DRM and phone locking is bad because we won't own it.

    Sorry but I am more impressed with farm tractor that the farmer can not use because he can not access the repair manual because of copyright.

    I am also impressed by the mechanic's bill for giving my car a tune up something I did in a previous life in my father's garage 40 years ago and I can not now do because of copyright on manuals.

    If I bought the phone I or my carrier should be able to place any operating system on it I choose since it is MY hardware.

     

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      Rapnel (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      Actually I think that the entirety of the human race OWNS all content, collectively. "You" get to own your "own" content for a limited time to benefit your bottom line (apparently). Breaking or bypassing DRM doesn't prevent your ownership for said limited time rather it prevents usefulness forever to those that contribute to your bottom line.

      Ownership for the life of the creator unless the creator transfers those rights (including by death to direct descendents) then all ownership rights expire 20 years later + two seven year extensions. PublicDomain = true or die

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      DRM and phone locking is bad because we won't own it.


      That's not why DRM is bad. DRM is bad because it prevents law-abiding citizens from engaging in legal activities -- often including simply using what they paid for in the very way the manufacturer intended.

       

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        Shmerl, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:23pm

        Re: Re:

        DRM is bad on a much deeper level actually. It's unethical, because it's abusive, privacy violating preemptive policing. It's like taking the idea of law enforcement to the Orwellian extreme. Would anyone say that placing a police camera in your home is just a discomfort, or it's unethical and unacceptable intrusion? For some reason it doesn't cause much doubts that the later is the case, but when it comes to DRM which is essentially the same (treating users as criminals by default) many people think of it in terms of discomfort, rather than in terms of unethical abuse. Up to the point of pushing such disgusting practices into HTML standards and the like.

         

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    Steve R. (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Good News! Student Wins Supreme Court Copyright Decision

    From the Los Angeles Times. Maybe our ownership rights are still holding on.

    "A former USC student who bought textbooks in his homeland of Thailand and sold them in the United States won a major Supreme Court ruling on copyright law that gives foreign buyers of textbooks, movies and other products a right to resell them in the United States without the permission of the copyright owner."

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/03/supreme-court-decision-copyright.html

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:57pm

      Re: Good News! Student Wins Supreme Court Copyright Decision

      Bit late to the party, Techdirt already has an article about that up. Just scroll down the home page and you'll see it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    what is so annoying about the ownership issue is, those that keep telling us that we dont own what we buy any more, we just rent it or own a license to use it, are themselves of the opinion that whatever they buy, they own completely and will sue the company that says different. what, therefore, is good enough for the goose, should be more than good enough for the gander!!

     

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    jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    I think he's gone!

     

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    Digitari, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:33pm

    Re:

    OK lets say I have a 2 year contract with company A, at the end of 2 years, my contract is up and company B wants to ofer me service, do I "OWN" my phone or not??

    or better yet, I just signed my 2 year contract and have my new shiny smart phone, happily I walk out of the store and a near by Jogger runs into be, knocking my new shiny smart phone out of my hand and it smashes into a thousand tiny pieces, does the phone company provide a new phone for me at NO CHARGE??

    if the first part is no, why did I sign a 2 year contract to "pay" for the phone?

    if no to the second scenario, how can they tell me what to do with my phone if I am not RENTING it?

    to me, the phone company's rights ends at the cell tower, not in my pocket

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:06pm

    Forget the Cellphone Fight We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own

    Forget the Cellphone Fight We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own


    http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/03/you-dont-own-your-cellphones-or-your-cars/

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    Life, Liberty, and Property.
    That's how it was originally.
    That's how they should have kept it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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