Just Two More Days To Unlock Your Phone, Then You'll Be Breaking The Law

from the ridiculous dept

We've always had our concerns about the ridiculous DMCA "exemptions" process concerning circumvention of digital locks. If you don't know, the DMCA has a strict anti-circumvention rule that says breaking digital locks, such as DRM, is itself a violation of copyright law, even if the purpose of the lock-breaking does not infringe on anyone's copyright. As a sort of "pressure valve" every three years, people can "apply" to the Librarian of Congress for exemptions to that rule. This, of course, is completely ridiculous and backwards. We need to apply, once every three years, to use legally purchased products the way we want to without it being considered illegal? That's crazy. But it's the way things are set up, and it can lead to some bizarre scenarios. As we explained last year when the latest round of exemptions was announced, the Librarian of Congress took away the exemption for unlocking your phone... but provided a 90 day window.

That window ends on Sunday. In other words, unlocking your phone on Saturday: legal. Unlocking your phone on Sunday: you probably just broke the law. As the EFF properly notes, this is not what copyright law is supposed to be about:
"Arguably, locking phone users into one carrier is not at all what the DMCA was meant to do. It's up to the courts to decide."
I don't even think there's anything "arguable" about it. Copyright law has no business being involved in deciding whether or not my phone can be unlocked. It's silly that this is an issue. It's silly that there needed to be an exemption in the first place. And it's silly that this exemption is being taken away. It's for things like this that people lose respect for copyright law.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Shmerl, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Isn't such restriction in DMCA unconstitutional in the first place?

     

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  2.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    I don't even think there's anything "arguable" about it.

    Oh but here come the trolls to prove you wrong in 3...2...1...

     

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  3.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Re: I don't even think there's anything "arguable" about it.

    Oh heaven forfend that we be allowed to do what we want with hardware we bought with cold hard cash.

     

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  4.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    I would think so. Perhaps one day this will be challenged in court. In the meantime, I will be totally ignoring this law.

     

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  5.  
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    droozilla (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    In b4 subsidy trolls

    Before any jerkwad brings up the $200 subsidy a carrier puts on a locked phone, let me just remind you ignorant trolls that they make that money back by getting you locked into a 2 year contract where they will rape your wallet.

    Thanks.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re:

    It's completely unenforceable anyway.

     

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  7.  
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    jingoi, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    saturday=legal
    sunday= I don't give a fuck about the law, I'm still doing it. Need to rehack my wii.

     

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  8.  
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    Aztecian (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    I'll go quietly... more or less

    My phone contract is up the end of January, so I'll be creeping in a very suspicious manner down to my carrier and getting a new phone this coming Friday.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to try it in its safe and secure state first or commit my crime (felony or misdemeanor?) so I can remove all of the safe and secure godddam bloatware right out of the box.

    Either way, I shall be a criminal by Saturday morning, I'm sure. If I can't get an exemption, may I please have a cell with a view?

     

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  9.  
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    Adrian Lopez, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They could enforce it indirectly by prohibiting the distribution of jailbreaking software and shutting down websites (perhaps without a warrant) that carry such software.

     

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  10.  
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    relghuar, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Breaking The Law

    Fuck law! Fuck it in the ear!



    (Sorry, I really couldn't resist this trolling outcry :-D )

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry... Lol?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Riiiiiight. Because that works so WELL for the entertainment industry.

     

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  13.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    I used to use a smart phone but don't anymore (mostly because I got sick of charging the damn thing so often). Now I am back to a bog standard phone that makes calls and send texts and I get a battery life of a week. Plus I don't have to work about app security. I couldn't be happier.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Is it illegal to read if you have a photographic memory?

     

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  15.  
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    Mario, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Nexus phones are all unlocked

    Vote with your wallet. All Google Nexus phones are not carrier locked.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    This sounds like the kind of law that prosecutors love to use to trump up charges against you and force you into a plea bargain.

     

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  17.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Although it may not be broadly enforceable, my fear is that it will become yet another piece of ammunition to use against anybody with the guts to challenge rightsholders.

     

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  18.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    It's for things like this that people lose respect for copyright law.
    This is demonstrably false. I have no respect left for copyright law. This kind of stuff cannot help me lose what I did not already have.

     

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  19.  
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    Space Pirate, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:31pm

    Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    I'm not sure which of the governments actions against Bell / AT&T beginning in 1913(!) resulted in the rule; but it prohibited that monopoly from restricting what phones could connect to the network. The current lunacy in mobile phones would see to be a close analog and I am at a complete loss as to why the FCC and/or DOJ allows these mobile companies to roll back 100 or so years of policy that had given consumers choice in hardware if not service provider.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    I have no doubt that there's a Rosa Parks in everybody.

    Some things are just plain wrong.

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, but that won't really make such software hard to find. Or maybe it will push people from iPhone to Android, where you often don't need any special software at all and when you do, the "special software" is a standard developer's tool that will always be legally and easily available.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    Is there existing terminology for these types of laws? Laws that are completely toothless on their own, but are only used to tack more penalties onto an actual crime? I personally like the term 'Stack Laws' because you stack them on top of other laws.

     

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  23.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re:

    "Is there existing terminology for these types of laws? "

    Bollocks?

     

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  24.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    You're at a complete loss as to why the DOJ allows this to happen? A quick google search shows that a Space Pirate has been commenting on techdirt for quite some time, so it can't be an ignorance of current events.

    Tell us, what do you define DOJ to mean? Because it can't be the US Department of Justice.

     

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  25.  
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    Cdaragorn (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    I still stand confused as to how they apply the DMCA to this at all. The anti-circumvention clause is about protections put in place to prevent copying. What do these locks on the phones have to do with copying the phone???

     

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  26.  
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    Adrian Lopez, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I never said it would be effective. Drug laws, for instance, are often enforced, but that hasn't stopped a lot of people from doing drugs.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think Watson has a term for them.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    This should help drive down apples SPx even further

     

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  29.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    My respect for copyright law was lost long ago.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    Because that's how laws work. They are written for one purpose, but are poorly written and vague such that later a lawyer comes along that wants to use them for something else finds it and twists it to mean whatever he wants it to mean. That's how performing a series of routine network troubleshooting steps gets you charged with 13 felony counts for breaking a law designed to address computer and telecommunications BANK FRAUD.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    Well it's also silly to have Sony along for a police raid in the US for a guy that defeated their precious PS3 DRM to allow people to install Linux again and nothing more. Money decides the laws in the US not common sense.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    Sounds to me like AT&T greased the palms to allow unsatisfied customers in Silicon Valley to stop complaining about the quality of their network in relation to the cost of service.

    If they can have a court case heard by the Supreme Court to limit class action, which causes bad PR, likely they can also open that window allowing legitimate users to unlock their phones.

    That said however, if you bought a phone in the past from someone that filled their contractual obligation to poor AT&T coverage and customer service, it can often be unlocked. I suggest you do. An unlocked phone doesn't depreciate in value as quickly because anyone can use it!

     

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  33.  
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    Adrian Lopez, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Google "circumvention device".

     

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  34.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    " The anti-circumvention clause is about protections put in place to prevent copying."

    Ahh, and you see that is where you went wrong. You assumed that a law would only be applied to what it was intended for. You silly person you.

     

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  35.  
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    mhab, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:06pm

    R E S P E C T?

    you assume that there is respect for such a (currently) lopsided and broken system in the first place? awfully big leap of logic there

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    This is why I can't see how it matters if the DMCA is valid or not.... The court ruled this was an anti-trust issue and you would think something on that magnitute (coorporation) would trump a ruling about a single device...

     

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  37.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Watson had those terms lobotimized.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    The Constitution hasn't stopped Congress, so why would anyone be stopped by this?

     

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  39.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you really believe that?

    All the carrier has to do is look up the device IMEI( International Mobile station Equipment Identity) and run a check to see if it is locked, probably through some of the existing malware they put on the phones. They could also check a cross reference a list to see if that IMEI was unlocked by a carrier. Then they can just send a list to the Feds, say once a week. The Feds can then round all the terrible hacker thieves up and put them in prison.

    Will they do that? I doubt it for out of contract phones, especially since the carriers have to unlock them if you are out of contract and the account is in good standing. It is certainly in the realm of possibilities, even likely, for those who get contract phones and leave the carrier prior to the end of their contract and don't fork over the early termination fee.

     

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  40.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    "Tell us, what do you define DOJ to mean? Because it can't be the US Department of Justice."

    That is easy:

    DOJ = "Department of Judgment"

    It saves the cost of a trial that way.

     

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  41.  
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    Some Other AC, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Nexus phones are all unlocked

    Actually not completely true. The Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Nexus devices were both locked to the respective carrier. Hence the delay in getting actual updates. Took an additional 2-3 months to get a JB update and still not on 4.2 yet.

     

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  42.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Soon will be the time

    I believe my contract is up in a few months. Since I won't be able to legally unlock a subsidized phone. I guess I will need to purchase an unlocked phone. Since I won't get a break on my monthly bill because of that I guess I will be moving to a 'value' carrier.

    See this is a good thing, it will drive me to leave AT&T and cut my mobile phone bill in half. Just kind of sucks I need to get all 5 phones out of contract to do that.

     

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  43.  
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    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

    Re: I don't even think there's anything "arguable" about it.

    I don't think there's anything "arguable" about it. This obviously is exactly what the DMCA was designed to do: take away users' rights to any meaningful ownership of their own property. And that's what people have been using it for ever since. This is why the DMCA needs to be repealed.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    but the Librarian is happy. he got a gazillion dollars for returning to the dark ages where companies can keep you locked into their terms.
    as for people losing respect for copyright, did they have it in the first place? what would the librarian say if he wanted to put thicker tread tyres on his car, but had to apply to Ford to do so? what would he say if that permission was then removed? what if he had to get permission from the maker to sell his car? would he be happy? of course not, but he would still do it! anyone from the ordinary people who do something 'illegal' though are locked up and the key thrown away. anything to keep control with businesses or to return it to them. similar with giving stuff from the public domain back to copyright holders. fucking ridiculous! but when your getting a nice little earner from the companies concerned, are you going to use sense and decency and look after the people or forget everyone else and look after your bank balance?

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't give them any ideas.

     

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  46.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Screw smartphones - only reason I ever get a call is someone 'wanting something' - less I have a phone around me, the better.

    Keep your overpriced junk.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    Not just roll back policy, but rather create new policy that enforces the telecom's monopolies for them.

     

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  48.  
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    fb39ca4 (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:09pm

    Is this jailbreaking in general, or just carrier unlocking?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That would be absolutely the DUMBEST thing for the carriers to do and they know it. If they started doing that then the backlash and PR nightmare they would have on their hands would be of epic proportions and unlike the broadband market, the mobile service market has LOTS of competition. Currently their tactic is to try to scare people with the "You'll void your warranty" routine which is enough to keep many people from taking the leap. The rest they just tolerate as long as the customers don't abuse the capabilities of their rooted phones. At the end of the day they want people to keep paying them monthly.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hell, even some of the OEMs have stopped trying to prevent it and even embrace the unlocked crowd. HTC has dedicated a site with an approved method that they released for their phones.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This will simply be another thing they will use to try to scare people into not doing it. It'll go from "You'll void your warranty" to "and you could be prosecuted for committing a crime."

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Re: I'll go quietly... more or less

    To be honest, if you're in the US, you're probably breaking some arcane law form the 1850s each time you walk into a shop.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    With a phone contract, you contract for a period of service. locking is meant to stop you breaching your contract? Anti-circumvention is meant to stop you unlocking your phone because the locking technology is no good.
    Whats wrong with the laws to enforce the original contract?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Nexus phones are all unlocked

    This.

    However, they are not TRUE Nexus phones, mainly due to the fact that they are not GSM phones, which by default are unlocked.

    As for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, I believe it received 4.2 this past week if memory serves me correctly. Through an OTA (over-the-air) update. And it can be manually downloaded for those who haven't received the notification.

    As for the Verizon version. Well, that's no Nexus. There, I said it. When it had Verizon bloatware on it (one app or two, anything at all counts) that alone disqualified it as being a Nexus device.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    Both. I believe jailbreaking was made legal with a previous exemption, which didn't get renewed before this one.

    However, jailbreaking is considered up in the air. Not quite legal, not quite illegal. But the manufacturers, particularly Apple, will not honor a warranty on a jailbroken device. (Actually, it's more Apple than anyone else. As rooted devices can still be covered by warranty from OEMs and many honor the warranties. Even carriers have started doing so. Previously, root meant kiss your warranty bye bye. Now, not so much. As long as you don't buy Apple.)

     

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  56.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh it's still being used for what it was intended for, just not what it was claimed to be for.

     

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  57.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The problem came about when they assumed that the fact that he kept using the same word was due to a glitch, and not an accurate assessment.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 4:21pm

    I think it would be great if there was an article with steps for how to apply for an exemption. Hopefully enough people would apply to cause issues for the Library of Congress.

     

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  59.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We aren't talking about what is smart for them to do, but what is possible for them to do. The AC said "It's completely unenforceable anyway." That is factually incorrect.

    Now if we want to talk about what is smart for them to do that is a different story.

    By the way 'Unlocking' a phone (removing the provider lock to change providers) is a totally different procedure than 'Rooting' a phone (to attain super user privileges).

    And I quote from:
    http://theunlockr.com/2010/08/27/android-101-rooting-jailbreaking-and-unlocking/

    "VI. Difference between Unlocking, Rooting, and Jailbreaking

    Another big question I get, is, “If I root my phone, can I use it on another carrier?” The short answer is no but I’ll explain.

    Rooting and unlocking are two completely different procedures. Rooting your phone does NOT unlock it. In order to unlock your phone and use it on a different carrier, you must either purchase an unlock code (if you have GSM phone), flash a new carrier’s firmware manually through a cable (if you have a CDMA device), or you have to alter the phone’s baseband (as with the iPhone unlocking software).
    Now, this seems to become a very confusing thing for people because of the iPhone I think. Sometimes people get confused with jailbreaking and unlocking by thinking they are one in the same (understandably with a name like jailbreaking you might think you are “setting it free”). But this is not the case. The iPhone has software to unlock it but that software is not automatically installed if you jailbreak your iPhone. The reason for the confusion, I think, is the fact that in order to use the unlocking software for the iPhone, you must have jailbroken it first (as the unlocking app needs root permissions to change the baseband, etc)."

     

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  60.  
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    PT (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    What is this "respect for copyright law" Mike is afraid we might lose?

     

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  61.  
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    User, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    They want a closed system to help control everybody it looks like.

     

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  62.  
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    Shmerl, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

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

    That's because the word "unlocking" can mean different things. From unlocking the access to other carrier networks, to unlocking the bootloader for example. So the phrase "unlocking the device" needs to be explained in the context.

     

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  63.  
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    Miff (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Unless you buy a device made by a company that doesn't want you messing with your phone, which is... all of them?

     

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  64.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 24th, 2013 @ 7:51pm

    Re:

    While a nice idea, it wouldn't do any good for a while, as they only allow people to submit exemption requests every three years, so it's going to be a bit before it comes up again.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 8:10pm

    stop buying them

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    1969; Carter's suit ultimately culminated in the FCC 's landmark Carterfone decision .....AT&T arguments could be read to forbid the attachment of a rubber shoulder rest on the handset .... of moral support when it came to his case, Carter did not receive "a dime of financial help"
    http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1485&context=chtlj

     

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  67.  
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    totalz (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 12:01am

    So anyone who joined a locked phone plan and changes carrier after Sunday will be a potential criminal...

     

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  68.  
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    btrussell (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    Dollars or Judgement

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 2:35am

    Re: Re: I don't even think there's anything "arguable" about it.

    The safe harbor provision of the DMCA is what protects every ISP, phone carrier, search engine, file locker, and user-uploaded content site from being sued for their users' copyright infringement. So at best, those intermediaries are going to lobby for reform, not repeal.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 3:42am

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

    The article clearly states that they are speaking about removing the carrier lock. The AC I replied to was clearly taking about rooting or jail breaking the phone.

    Its an easy enough mistake to make for people that do not have a thorough understanding of the technology and terminology involved. I simply felt it was important to make the AC and others aware of the distinction.

    I am fairly certain the reason for the change is to try to prevent someone from buying a subsidized phone on a two year contract then leaving the carrier prior to contract end, unlocking the phone and selling it or using it on a different carrier. A subsidized phone may cost $100, but an unlocked (no carrier restrictions) phone might cost $500. I actually have no problem with the carrier lock as long as when I fulfill my contract terms they are required to do a carrier unlock for me. The alternative is no subsidized phones (which frankly wouldn't bother me either), but that would certainly stop a lot of people from getting a new phone every 18-24 months. I would also like a lower rate if I don't buy a subsidized phone.

     

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  71.  
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    Niall (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    Re: Re: I don't even think there's anything "arguable" about it.

    But it likely wasn't, it was probably with 'digital' money that some entertainment coprolite claims to 'own' the 'copyright' on...

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 6:18am

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

    All good points. The other point that needs serious challenge is the duplicative nature of the Early termination fee. AND the carrier lock.

     

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  73.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 6:40am

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

    HTC provided software to unlock the last phone I had. There were just a few warnings about how I could seriously screw it up and it would totally be my fault. It seemed completely reasonable.

     

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  74.  
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    Aztecian (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 6:59am

    Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    I can help you out with this one, Space. The FCC and the DOJ both combined don't know enough about what they are regulating to fill a dramatic pause.

    I'm sure when you were digging around the history of these here now telephone things--which is a fascinating and educational thing to do--you saw how confused everyone was about what they did and what Our Government should do with them.

    Seems to me that by the time all of the errors (some understandable) were corrected the phone company (The Phone Company) was being driven to extinction anyway.

    So as long as we call it "jailbreaking" and "unlocking", well, those sound like things we shouldn't do--so the default action of a regulator will be to forbid it.

    Maybe we should start calling it "owning" or "personalizing" or maybe "privacy protecting". All they read is the title anyway.

    Bill in New Mexico, criminal.

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 7:03am

    Re: Those who forget their history are doomed. Period.

    where there's money,, there's muck!!

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Robert Reeves, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Does this apply to your own phone? It is your phone and you should be able to do with it what you want. It is not hurting anyone.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Mason Wheeler, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: I don't even think there's anything "arguable" about it.

    No, actually it doesn't. It does the exact opposite: it exposes them to additional liability that would not exist if not for the DMCA. Calling it a "safe harbor" is an Orwellian-grade abuse of the language.

    If it was not for the DMCA, yes, maybe someone would have been sued. But without the shackles of the "safe harbor" provision weighing them down, they could have invoked a much stronger and more favorable legal protection: Common Carrier law, which says that they have no liability whatsoever, so long as they treat customer data in a non-discriminatory manner.

    The suit would have ruled in favor of the defendant, and it would have set a precedent, and it would have happened back in the late 1990s or early 2000s, before the mega-ISP-consolidation swept through the industry. Then, by the time today rolled around, we wouldn't even have to worry about net neutrality, as it would have already been settled by this case. Comcast and AT&T wouldn't dare screw with our traffic for fear of losing their Common Carrier protection from liability.

    That's what the DMCA has taken from us.

     

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  78.  
    icon
    Glaze (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re: I'll go quietly... more or less

    Actually, there is another article: on Droid Life that states that it has nothign to with unlocking the phone's bootloader but rather it has to do with unlocking the sim card to be used on another carrier. You can still hack your phone to pieces if you want...

     

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  79.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 25th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

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

    I am unaware of any Android based phone that you can't use the Android developers tools with. And there are a lot of excellent, name-brand Android phones that let you unlock them by checking a box in the preferences screen, so you don't even need to go to the bother of using any tools at all.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

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

    I know the difference.

    But before you can root most phones you usually have to unlock the bootloader (ie removing a different lock on the phone).

    I have never had a need to remove the carrier lock that allows it only to be used on one carrier.

    It is also widely known that Carriers do not like subscribers rooting their phones as well. When I first heard about the extension of the exceptions quite some time ago, the article was more about the ability to tinker with the phone, load custom roms, make backups, etc. and how that could become technically illegal to unlock the bootloader of your phone. This was also before manufacturers like HTC were offering unlocking tools which meant using an exploit that unlocked and replaced the bootloader with a custom one was the only way to do it.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I stand corrected. I think Watson HAD as term for them.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Jailbreaking an iDevice only technically voids your warranty though as it is completely removed if you do a restore. In which case they can never tell. If the thing is busted to the point that you can't load the OS and do a restore, they won't be able to tell either so they will usually honor the warranty anyway.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    The contract keeps you for that period without being subject to an early termination fee. The lock is supposed to discourage you from switching carriers after the contract is up by forcing you to have to shell out more money to get another phone to switch.

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    Breaking the law is one of my favorite hobbies!

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 6:01pm

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

    "But before you can root most phones you usually have to unlock the bootloader (ie removing a different lock on the phone)."

    This is true, but still has nothing to do with the carrier unlock. The article was clearly discussing carrier unlock.

    It is true that the carriers, and even the manufacturers don't particularly care for you rooting the phones or loading different ROMs, and that will void your warranty, but again that is not what is at risk and it is important that people understand what changed.

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Jan 25th, 2013 @ 9:32pm

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

    "glitch"
    nah, watson isnt human so he didnt have a need to be socially accepted, however he is "logical" so simple terms are perferable

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Totio Filipov, Jan 27th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Not good

    Well, this just sucks. It is completely ridiculous from my point of view and I am sure that all mobile phone users will agree. I first of all don't see the point why mobile phones should be locked in the first place let alone being illegal to unlock them.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    J Gardner PCIM (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:05am

    Date refers to manufactured date.

    I believe you have it wrong.
    Isn't that date for phones manufactured date? Any phones before that date can still be unlocked.

     

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

  89.  
    icon
    wiredworx (profile), Feb 13th, 2013 @ 1:16am

    affordable press release service

    Hip...!!

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    Peter Mobilabonnement, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:51am

    Arguably indeed

    "Arguably, locking phone users into one carrier is not at all what the DMCA was meant to do. It's up to the courts to decide."

    Arguably indeed. I can see why the manufacturer does not want you messing with their phones, but i does take away some personal choice in the process, i think.

     

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


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