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Unlocking Cellphones Becomes Illegal In The U.S.  
User currently offlinevarigb707 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3006 times:

Becomes illegal in the US, this Saturday. Jan 26 2013.
"The clock to unlock a new mobile phone is running out.

In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress, who determines exemptions to a strict anti-hacking law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), decided that unlocking cellphones would no longer be allowed. But the librarian provided a 90-day window during which people could still buy a phone and unlock it. That window closes on Jan. 26."

So, set your clocks folks....

http://mashable.com/2013/01/23/unlocking-cellphones-illegal/

[Edited 2013-01-25 02:37:20]

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2997 times:

Your title is misleading.

Unlocked mobile phones remain available.

The new provision only turns it from a "mere" breach of contract into a legal offense to hack a lock which you've agreed upon in your contract to get a lower up-front sticker price for your new phone.

Quite to the contrary to your title the reasoning for the change even explicitly refers to the general availability of unlocked phones as a voluntary alternative without which they might not have made this change.

The anti-hacking laws are certainly dubious and should be abolished, but this particular change is not an issue from my point of view.

Either get a "subsidized" phone and then stick to the contract you've signed yourself, or get an unlocked phone at the real, full price if you want to switch between networks at any time.

As long as you've got the choice, I don't see a problem there.


User currently offlineQFA380 From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 2083 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2895 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
The new provision only turns it from a "mere" breach of contract into a legal offense

This is dangerous territory though. It is very well established in the common law that a breach of contract is a civil matter. I will admit though that is becoming all the more normal for civil matters to lean to become criminal matters.

The matter of a alternative contracts (or lack there of) is completely irrelevant. Nearly all consumers will enter these contracts under the assumption that certain standards of service exist. Of course you can't send AT&T or Verizon to jail if they fail to hold up their end of the bargain -which they dictated to you, in a take it or leave it manner- but they can send you to jail if you don't.

Quoting varigb707 (Thread starter):
So, set your clocks folks....

Back to 1984?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2859 times:

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 2):
This is dangerous territory though.

Absolutely. The entire DMCA is a legal cancer which needs to be exterminated again, together with its international metastases

It asymmetrically elevates commercial interests above personal freedoms to an extent which damages basic civil rights, besides being functionally futile anyway.


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2816 times:
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Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
The new provision only turns it from a "mere" breach of contract into a legal offense to hack a lock which you've agreed upon in your contract to get a lower up-front sticker price for your new phone.

With prosecutors threatening to throw people in prison for 30 years for accessing too many free articles from a school website, I would still worry.



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7719 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2809 times:

I take it one can unlock a phone after expiry of the contract?


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2792 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 4):
With prosecutors threatening to throw people in prison for 30 years for accessing too many free articles from a school website, I would still worry.

Absolutely. That aspect is still a huge problem.

What I was speaking to is just that this doesn't prevent anyone from having an unlocked phone, since those are and will remain readily available.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 5):
I take it one can unlock a phone after expiry of the contract?

Nothing at all changes about that. The only thing it changes is the potential repercussions if you get a "subsidized" phone and decide to hack its net lock before your contract is up.

Unlocked phones remain on sale and after expiration of your contract the provider should still unlock your "subsidized" phone.

So functionally there should not be any change for regular users; For hackers it can get outright dangerous, however.


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2659 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2745 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 5):
I take it one can unlock a phone after expiry of the contract?

Wind mobile in Canada will unlock your phone after one month. Quite adifferent approach, isn't it?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2692 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 7):
Wind mobile in Canada will unlock your phone after one month. Quite adifferent approach, isn't it?

It is likely proportional to the amount they "subsidize" their phones, combined with the actual opportunities of users to defect to other carriers.

The net lock is not an arbitrary punishment, it is an instrument to preserve an outstanding investment until that investment is paid back.

A "subsidized" cellphone is actually just a phone the customer is paying for in installments and in surcharges for roaming and other additional services the user has agreed to get only from the primary carrier.

If I agree to such a contract and then go and breach my own side of it, that is just as incorrect as if the carrier shirked its own obligations on its side.

If you don't like the limitations of a "subsidized" phone, pay for the phone yourself and you're free to use whichever SIM you want.

I also think it is wrong to make such a breach of contract a criminal offense and in addition to that only on the customer's side, but that is a separate matter.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6926 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2692 times:

What about rooting or jailbreaking for purposes entirely unrelated to the contract ?

Here the previous right wing government imposed rules forcing the providers to unlock the phone after 6 months (or 3 months I'm not sure), and rules for breaking the contract before its term (paying part of what would be owed, but not all of it).

I still decided to take a contract without phone and a phone without contract, it may be cheaper or it may not but I'm free (and my provider is called free mobile  ).



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3410 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2678 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
The net lock is not an arbitrary punishment, it is an instrument to preserve an outstanding investment until that investment is paid back.

Isn't this illegal in Europe and all phones have to be unlocked by law??

I don't mind my S3 being locked right now but if I were to go overseas I think it would be nice courtesy for the provider to unlock the phone so I can use a local SIM.

If I'm locked into a contract and want out I still have to pay the cancellation fees so what difference does it make.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 9):
What about rooting or jailbreaking for purposes entirely unrelated to the contract ?

There you run into issues with the phone's manufacturer. IIRC Apple will void the warranty on a jailbroken Iphone, where android operators are a bit more forgiving because of the nature of android being an open source OS.

However your phone may not run well if rooted and that is the risk you take.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 9):
What about rooting or jailbreaking for purposes entirely unrelated to the contract ?
Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 10):
Isn't this illegal in Europe and all phones have to be unlocked by law??

No. Netlocks are allowed, but at least here in Germany the carriers are forced to perform an unlock on request when the initial contract has been completed.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 10):
I don't mind my S3 being locked right now but if I were to go overseas I think it would be nice courtesy for the provider to unlock the phone so I can use a local SIM.

If I'm locked into a contract and want out I still have to pay the cancellation fees so what difference does it make.

On average customers will use additional services such as roaming on top of their contract payments. This is why "subsidized" phones are offered as cheaply as they are. Cancellation fees may or may not completely compensate for lost revenue.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 10):
There you run into issues with the phone's manufacturer. IIRC Apple will void the warranty on a jailbroken Iphone, where android operators are a bit more forgiving because of the nature of android being an open source OS.

No, there is no difference. Nominally you void the warranty by jailbreaking an iPhone just as much as by rooting an Android phone. Manufacturers just don't really care in practice most of the time on either side.

And the only Android "openness" manufacturers and carriers care about is the openness to them in modifying and branding it. Openness for user modification is not a factor for them, nor do they encourage it in any way.

This is contrary to the iPhone which is entirely under Apple's control, permits no modifications or carrier branding whatsoever and system updates go directly through Apple with again no interference possible.

This is one of the main reasons why carriers like Android a whole lot better since it approximates the classic branded feature phones most closely.

[Edited 2013-01-25 10:07:52]

User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2609 times:

Under this new law, unlocking cell phones is illegal only if you do so without permission of the carrier. The powers that be at the Library Of Congress that draft these policies every few years have decided that the firmware on a cell phone is copyrighted software of the cell phone provider since some elements of the operating system has been tailored to a particular cell provider.

Jailing breaking one's phone is allowed but jailbreaking one's tablet is not.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...a-for-smartphones-but-not-tablets/

Interesting point regarding the unlocking of phones from the above article:

Quote:
Also, the Librarian found that there are more unlocked phones on the market than there were three years ago, and that most wireless carriers have liberal policies for unlocking their handsets. As a result, the Librarian of Congress decided that it should no longer be legal to unlock your cell phone without the carrier's permission.

It will soon be illegal in the US under the DMCA to rip CDs or DVDs in order to put them on devices (tablets, computers, etc.). Meanwhile, the MPAA and the RIAA agree that consumers should be allowed to rip CDs and DVDs for personal use on devices without an optical drive.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/...-and-other-new-dmca-rule-insanity/


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7719 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2597 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 12):
It will soon be illegal in the US under the DMCA to rip CDs or DVDs in order to put them on devices (tablets, computers, etc.).

What a complete joke. And they wonder why people don't want to legitimately puchase films and music.....



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlinekngkyle From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 414 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2505 times:
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FORUM MODERATOR

And this will stop absolutely nobody from doing it. Just look at torrents and how easy they have made music, tv, and movies available to everyone for free.

User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3090 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2314 times:

The way I'm reading,the contract boys want you to serve your contract.At retail, iphone5 can cost you $800-1100 depending on memory.Contract carriers are losing big money because people are breaking the contracts and in many cases not even paying for the "Real" price of the phone which takes at least six months to do.

But I say the law should say the consumer needs to be on contract at least 6-8 months and in which the phone becomes unlock automatically rather or not the consumer stays on contract.

Another words pay the price of the phone and then do what you want.



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3410 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2301 times:

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 15):
The way I'm reading,the contract boys want you to serve your contract.At retail, iphone5 can cost you $800-1100 depending on memory.

Where are you looking??

A 16 GB Iphone 5 in the US will cost $649 unlocked, add $100 for the 32GB model and $200 for the 64GB model.

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 15):
Contract carriers are losing big money because people are breaking the contracts and in many cases not even paying for the "Real" price of the phone which takes at least six months to do.

I don't know how American carriers operate but here in Canada Rogers told me the rate the phone is subsidized per month which is $13.89 per month (the subsidize $500 for the Iphone 5, S3 etc). Furthermore our contracts are 3 years.

If you break early you have to pay the remaining amount left.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3090 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2298 times:

[quote=StarAC17,reply=16]Where are you looking??[/quote

It was on Price Is Right TV show yesterday.But I asked Radio Shack what was retail on IP5 and they said $900.



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2269 times:

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 17):
It was on Price Is Right TV show yesterday.But I asked Radio Shack what was retail on IP5 and they said $900.

Nope.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone5


User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3090 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2244 times:

Yep,

SRP,Buy-out new no contract.



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2112 times:

Jurt look up the new unlocked no-contract prices at Apple.com directly. StarAC17 has given the correct prices. There is no model that costs $900.

User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3090 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2054 times:

Well,this what I saw.Go to 16:00 mark to see.Now I now shows are taped 30 days before airing.



http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_price_is_right/video/



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2045 times:

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 21):
Well,this what I saw.Go to 16:00 mark to see.Now I now shows are taped 30 days before airing.

Who to believe? A game show or someone actually selling the device?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2040 times:

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 21):
Well,this what I saw.Go to 16:00 mark to see.Now I now shows are taped 30 days before airing.

The video link is expired, but if they've said the regular price was $900, that would simply have been wrong (even for the top model it would have been exaggerated by $51).


User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3090 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2033 times:

Here is RadioShack. I know price varies from retailer to retailer so some are lower some higher.


http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=15590876



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
25 Klaus : So Radio Shack has inflated prices relative to the original manufacturer. How is that relevant? Apple sells the iPhone 5 for $649 (16GB), $749 (32GB)
26 Post contains links srbmod : Other countries don't seem to lock their customers into 2 year contracts like they do here in the US and the early termination fees are typically what
27 DocLightning : I read one article that claimed that the Verizon/Sprint phone comes unlocked. Well, maybe. But if there is another network that uses the same protocol
28 mham001 : It's never been that easy. You cannot buy a subsidized phone, break the contract and merrily go to another carrier. It's never been that way. Search
29 StarAC17 : You have to pay to get out of the contract and many providers will charge an additional fee to unlock the phone when it is out of term. I don't know
30 EricR : That is because in most countries outside of the U.S., the customer pays full price for the phone. Therefore, a 2 year agreement is not necessary bec
31 RussianJet : In the UK 2-year contracts are becoming the norm. 12 to 18-month contracts have always been around.
32 srbmod : That's something that I have been doing for years, as I've always used prepaid/pay-as-you-go plans and in the last few years, month to month no contr
33 RussianJet : This is something I think I will do next time my contract expires. Sim-only contracts in the UK can be had incredibly cheaply now, using your own han
34 StarAC17 : A provider will give you a new SIM card for a small fee if you get a phone that has a micro or nano SIM. To get the discounted price you usually have
35 RussianJet : No - you failed to understand what I wrote. A 'sim-only' contract is exactly what it says - just a sim card and a monthly allowance of minutes and da
36 Klaus : Not really. "Subsidized" contract phones are more the rule than the exception. Few people buy unlocked hones over here.
37 Post contains links EricR : What are defining as "over here"? I assume you are referring to only Europe, so I'll give you some stats associated with Europe. Italy: 88% prepaid U
38 tu204 : Well in Russia it is illegal to sell locked phones, they cost full price and nobody complains. The huge upside is that you are not locked into an idio
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