Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013

In late January, unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list last year. It remains legal for you to jailbreak your phone, but you can't unlock it unless you get your carrier's permission. Several bills have since been introduced that would make unlocking your phone legal again, but none seriously reform the DMCA, and most are considered band aids.

The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 (introduced by Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO)) is being heralded as the first bill that tackles this problem seriously:

Here’s how this bill really is different from the others: It would allow all consumers to circumvent the digital locks on their mobile devices. Anyone could access and modify software on their devices, in the same way they already modify and repair hardware. Importantly, it would also protect the engineers and entrepreneurs who create tools that allow consumers to unlock their phones. This is a particularly huge distinction and major departure from other bills. Most people don’t write their own software. If you need to unlock your phone, odds are you’d go online and download a software program that does it for you.

So what's the over under these days on an intelligent and pro-consumer bill to survive the legislative gauntlet these days?

Read the rest here....

Bill Could Make Unlocking Your Phone Legal Again

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