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Cell Phone Unlocking Is Legal -- For Now 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-successfully-kicked-down-road dept.
On Friday President Obama signed into a law a bill allowing mobile devices to be legally unlocked, so that consumers can switch between carriers. The legislation was kicked off by a successful petition on Whitehouse.gov after the Librarian of Congress decided that cell phones no longer needed an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-hacking provision. The legislation (PDF) passed both houses of Congress and is now law. Unfortunately, the new bill doesn't guarantee permanent legality. It simply reinstates the exemption, and leaves the DMCA alone. For the next year, cell phone unlocking will certainly be legal, but after that, the Librarian of Congress once again has the ability to void the exemption once every three years.
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Cell Phone Unlocking Is Legal -- For Now

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  • Funny (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Torp (199297) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @10:44AM (#47588687)

    Because where I live carriers are obligated by law to unlock any phone not tied to a contract for free, and one tied to a contract for a minimal fee as soon as the contract is up.
    The legality of firmware modifications isn't even talked about, this is a consumer protection requirement.

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