Starting today, the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress are no longer allowing phone unlocking as an exemption under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

You can read the full docket here but, in short, it is illegal to unlock a phone from a carrier unless you have that carrier’s permission to do so. If you’re wondering what this has to do with copyright, it turns out not much.

“It wasn’t a good ruling,” Rebecca Jeschke, a digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told ABC News. “You should be able to unlock your phone. This law was meant to combat copyright infringement, not to prevent people to do what they want to do with the device they bought.”

Of course, the carriers prefer the new rule because it ties your phone to their network.

  1. Ed Gurney says:

    If I had the money to stop things like this, I would. I don’t. Instead I stopped voting.

  2. Dudeski says:

    At the risk of pointing out the offensively obvious..
    This wouldn’t be a problem if you morons stopped buying locked phones from those fuckwad carriers.
    Just get one unlocked like the rest of the world does. =/

  3. MikeN says:

    The carriers have always given me unlock codes for my phones.

    Bigger problem is you are required to buy a dataplan with a smartphone.

  4. MikeN says:

    Uncle Dave has become the grammar police. According to him only an uneducated person would use ‘noone’. According to Wikipedia, use of ‘no one’ outnumbers ‘no-one and noone’ 500-1 in America, but in Britain it is only 12-1 of no one vs noone. So Americans are about 40 times less uneducated than Britain.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Run sentence. Dangling modifier.

      Bailiff, whack his pee pee.

  5. GKY says:

    There is good news here. But NOT if you’re an American.

    Seems like American’s don’t like importing common sense – just oil and dope. It could be why their immigration laws are all fucked up not to mention why there are so many damned fool liberals with locked phones!

  6. Grandpa says:

    I don’t travel outside the USA. Why would I want an unlocked phone for? What would it do that mine cannot already do?

    If it’s about switching carriers, no problem. They would be very happy to give me a discount to do that.

  7. Captain Obvious says:

    The EFF weighs in. As usual, nothing is as it appears.

  8. toad says:

    It is always a government’s goal to make everyone a criminal. Sorry, this is not news to me. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. The first law of Political Science is that every government tends towards totalitarianism. Some are just quicker than others. Cheers to FREEDOM and absolute zero.