Mobile Operator Threatens Software Firm
from the how-dare-you-make-our-phones-more-useful dept
This isn't quite that bad, but an unnamed "large" mobile operator in the US is apparently pulling out the DMCA and threatening a software company that makes unlocking software. The two companies have no direct relationship, but the mobile operator claims that in unlocking the phones, the company violates the "anti-circumvention" clause of the DMCA. Again, this is exactly how we were told the DMCA would not be used. Hopefully, should this lawsuit go to court, the court will look at similar cases where Lexmark and a garage door opener company tried to use the DMCA to blatantly block competition, rather than prevent unauthorized copying. Still, the silliest thing about all of this is that the number of people who are actually interested in unlocking handsets is tiny. Most people couldn't care any less about it. And, for the people who are unlocking (as mentioned) it's often just so they can use the phone out of the country. Any provider that embraced unlocked phones would get more business from business travelers (who tend to spend more anyway). They're already locking in users with ridiculously long contracts that have high termination fees, so why not let them actually use their phones how they want? It seems unlikely that they would end up "losing" any more money than they're paying these lawyers to hassle a software company.