Bad news for consumers who want to unlock there mobile phones so they can be used on other networks. As of Saturday, January 26 2013, it's is now illegal to unlock an exclusive (carrier specific) phone and use it on another network. The decision came from the US Library of Congress's Copyright Office, which is responsible for reviewing and overseeing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, back in October of last year. The Copyright Office gave people a 90 day grace period to unlock there phone before it officially became law. That grace period expired yesterday...
The new restrictions against unlocking phones do not extend to Jailbreaking phones, such as the iPhone, to allow them to run applications not supported in the App Store.
The LOC decision was based on evidence that consumer do have alternatives (such as purchasing an unlocked phone from Amazon), and what they considered a failure by opposition to prove that this will adversely affect consumers or the phone market.
Many feel that this new ruling will however limit consumer choice and hurt resale value for individuals looking to sell their old phones. Entreprenuer Sina Khanifar has started a petition to the White House, asking the LOC to reverse it's decision and support a bill to legalize unlocking phones.
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