Congress Introduces Bill to Legalize Phone Unlocking

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by Gahars, May 13, 2013.

  1. Gahars
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    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    The Library of Congress determined that consumers should not be allowed to unlock their cell phones. You might remember the decision. We had a thread all about it, and the internet collectively threw a shit fit over the whole ordeal.

    Well, it looks like some Congressmen agreed with the internet, and they're taking action. Or, at least, they're trying to.

    :arrow: Salon

    So much for being lock-blocked, am I right, fellas?

    Now, this doesn't mean that anything has changed yet. The bill will have to make its way through both houses of Congress (the Republican controlled House and Democrat controlled Senate). After wading through procedures and committees, it'll also need the President's signature or it's back in Congress' hands. This is a positive sign, but don't take it as a definite just yet.

    After all, as Mark Twain so famously said, "If pro is the opposite of con, then the opposite of progress must be Congress. Also, bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks."
     
  2. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Upon reading the title, I was thinking "Bill" meant Bill Gates. I should've known those connies don't make things THAT easy. :P
     
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  3. TheCasketMan

    TheCasketMan Keyblade Apprentice

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    I thought this was already legal. I see thousands of unlocked phones in ebay
     
  4. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Thank God for that, the Congress thinking logically for once.

    The way I see it, the moment you "buy" a phone, it's yours to do whatever you want with it. For all intents and purposes SIM Locks shouldn't even exist - if a phone is bought on a contract, the user will have to pay the monthly fee anyways. If it's Pre-paid then the phone was already paid for, ergo the user has no obligations towards the provider whatsoever.

    If I can smash a phone with a hammer just because I feel like it, I should be equally entitled to put a different SIM card in it without having to face repercussions, especially if the contract ended.
     
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  5. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    it was until recently. And people can still sell ones that were unlocked already. Or they might not give a shit.
     
  6. urbanman2004

    urbanman2004 GBAtemp Regular

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    Congress has always been full of shit
     
  7. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    When they're doing the good thing for the average Joe, that's all you've got to say?

    On the actual bill, I welcome the US (back) to the 21st century in the tech business! About time (again) that the consumer has at least a bit of choice in the mobile sector.

    ps. While I understand the need for monthly paid phones, the prices are absurdly high over there even with the better conversion for $/€.
     
  8. SifJar

    SifJar Not a pirate

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    Outside of the US, it is (generally) legal (although that can't be guaranteed for all jurisdictions, obviously), and within the US, it was only recently made illegal. Plus "unlocked phones" aren't illegal, it's the unlocking process that is illegal. Phones can also be bought SIM-free and unlocked, albeit usually at a higher price than with a SIM and network lock, and these phones don't need to be unlocked and therefore there is no unlawful practice taking place.
     
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  9. urbanman2004

    urbanman2004 GBAtemp Regular

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    I was generally speaking: Congress takes more vacations than they are actually solving our nation’s governmental issues. When you watch the news, it's always some drama going on over there like a soap opera, and bill passages are then grid locked between the House and Senate. From the debt ceiling being capped to the risk of going over fiscal cliff to the sequestration, I ask myself is there anything that Congress are doing right especially since I paying even higher taxes since the beginning of this year? It's the citizens' (such as myself) tax paying dollars that provide Congress's income. I’m about results, and don’t see much they are showing for it.
     
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  10. TheCasketMan

    TheCasketMan Keyblade Apprentice

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    Oh that sucks. I was about to unlock my phone to sell it on ebay. It was time to upgrade to a better phone, but I guess now I have to save money.
     
  11. Pleng

    Pleng GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Surely all a carrier has to do to get around this is convert their deals so that instead of getting a free phone with a contract, you're just renting a phone (thus it remains their property and they can do whatever they want with it) with an option to buy it at then end of the contract for, like, a cent?
     
  12. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Yes, but you have to pay the contract either way. Even if you unlock the phone, you still have to make the monthly payments to them, that bit is not the issue. Making unlocking illegal means you have to stay with the provider even after your contract runs out (or buy a new phone).
     
  13. Kouen Hasuki

    Kouen Hasuki Kouen the Cyber Husky

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    Wait, what? Since when is it against copyright? Going by that definition then unlocking should not be an issue since its the Service Provider who gets locks and branding put on it not the Manufacturer lol
     
  14. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    The "explanation" goes as follows: the part of the code that locks the phone is copyrighted and owned by the provider, and changing the code in any way infringes on the copyright.
     
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    You can thank the convoluted DMCA of 1998 for that. Either way, I never cared about it being illegal or not, I'd still do it if I had a smartphone irrespective of what those Congress wankers would do. Who are they to dictate what's right and wrong? For them to call it copyright infringement is spurious at best. There is no evidence that unlocking a phone makes providers lose money.

    Still don't give a tin schilling. I should be able to do whatever I want with a phone I spend hard earned cash on, like the Galaxy S4, regardless of what Big Brother says. Big Brother can sod off for all I care :evil:
     
  16. air2004

    air2004 Air

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  17. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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  18. air2004

    air2004 Air

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    You might want to read the article ....I'm all about making jokes , but .....
     
  19. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    But it isn't a joke, that's the sad thing. Those government douchebags need a swift kick to the balls with a steel-toed boot. If such asininity for "our safety" is being compromised like this, I might defect. I've connections in Australia, Japan, Brazil and New Zealand, one of those places might be viable.
     
  20. Kouen Hasuki

    Kouen Hasuki Kouen the Cyber Husky

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    Aye that makes more sense though it should be worded Modifying the Service Provider locks is against blah blah spose doesn't matter I am not a American so these laws dont really effect me so much :P

    oh aye I am with ya on that especially since with say the iPhone you have to pay for the code to the service provider unless your out of contract

    All that said mind you I unlocked a Blackberry Bold 9700 I was given to mess with, without a shred of guilt :D though my main phone is still my iPhone btw xD