New White House Petition Started to Make Unlocking Phones Legal


If you’re planning on getting your iPhone unlocked unofficially in the U.S., make sure you complete the process by tonight unless you want to end on the wrong side of the law. From tomorrow, unlocking phones without the approval of your carrier or the phone manufacturer would constitute as a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

A new White House petition, addressed to the Obama administration, appeals to the U.S. President to ask the Librarian of Congress, who originally deemed unlocking illegal in October last year, to reconsider the decision given the legitimate reasons a customer might want to unlock his or her carrier locked phone:

Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full.

The petition concludes with a request to the administration to pass a law that makes phone unlocking permanently legal.

The DMCA prevents unofficial modifications to the copyrighted firmware found on the iPhone, so while an unlock could be allowed, it would have to be from the “owners” of the software, that is Apple or by extension, the carrier.

At the time of writing, there nearly 5,000 signatures on the petition. An official White House response requires signatures on to cross a minimum threshold of 100,000, so if this law affects you, be sure to head over to this link to help make unlocking legal again.

Via: The Next Web