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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:07pm
As of Saturday, January 26th, 2013, it is illegal to unlock your cell phone in the United States of America...

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Jailbreaking cell phones to become ILLEGAL at midnight: Law makes 'unlocking' devices to switch carriers punishable by fines and even prison

By John Clarke

PUBLISHED: 12:26 EST, 26 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:42 EST, 26 January 2013

A new law that makes it illegal to 'unlock' your cell phone and switch carriers goes into effect today and will carry fines between $2,500 and $500,000, and in some cases, prison time.

The change made by the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will make it illegal for consumers to unlock mobile devices without the permission of their carrier.

The lock feature on mobile devices essentially allows carriers a way to prevent customers from switching to a new plan with a different company. Unless your phone came unlocked and are grandfathered in under the law, you're device is legally chained to your service provider.


'For many users, unlocking a phone is a necessary fix, opening up a feature and freedom that people need to effectively use their devices,' reads a blog post on iFixit.com, 'The Copyright Office’s decision to outlaw this right of ownership hurts users and further empowers carriers to trap consumers.'

 

Now, it is illegal to unlock a phone from a carrier unless you have that carrier's permission.

'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.'

So what could happen if you unlocked your phone now that it's illegal?

'Violations of the DMCA [unlocking your phone] may be punished with a civil suit or, if the violation was done for commercial gain, it may be prosecuted as a criminal act,' Brad Shear, a Washington, D.C.-area attorney and blogger who is an expert on social media and technology law, told ABC News. 'A carrier may sue for actual damages or for statutory damages.'


The worst-case scenario could be a fine as high as $500,000 and include prison time

The worst-case scenario for an individual or civil offense could be as much as a $2,500 fine. As for those planning to profit off of the act or a criminal offense -- such as a cellphone reseller -- the fine could be as high as $500,000 and include prison time.

'I don't see carriers going aggressively after people, but bottom line is that I would not recommend violating this provision of the law,' Shear said.



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ThoughtCouture View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (21) Thanks(21)   Quote ThoughtCouture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:11pm

what a crock of bullshyt...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote Guidette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:16pm
Damn first they made u buy a cable box to put in yur house now they are telling u what to do with yur phone!!Yall sure we leave in the land of the free??Looks like we cant do sh*t no moe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote niecy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:17pm
Not like it'll stop people from doing it. Also kind of doesn't make sense when some companies like AT&T willingly unlock certain phones for you once your contract is up.

EDIT: Okay, nevermind as far as that last part I see the line where it says unless you have the carrier's permission. Still dumb as hail though. Wonder if that affects sites that sell already unlocked phones at all.


Edited by niecy - Jan 28 2013 at 2:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Cocoa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:21pm
SMH...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Midwest_Da_Gawd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:25pm
Welp, this is Obama's America! Beer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (17) Thanks(17)   Quote Guidette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:27pm
Originally posted by Midwest_Da_Gawd Midwest_Da_Gawd wrote:

Welp, this is Obama's America! Beer



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ms_wonderland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:27pm
I'm surprised that it hasn't been illegal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Addicted19034 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:29pm
Doesn't bother me
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (25) Thanks(25)   Quote Allure. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:30pm
So it's illegal to unlock your phone, but it is legal to shoot and kill an unarmed person if you're standing your ground? This country is Hell.
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