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  1. mokimoki's Avatar
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    Default Unlocking Cell Phones Becomes Illegal In The U.S. On January 26th

    What does this really mean? I live in Bermuda and was planning to buy a locked bb10 in the US and unlocking it when I got back home, would this still be possible after the 26th or can I still by a unlock phone?
  2. TomJasper's Avatar
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    Means iOs/droid will get hurt the most!
    Locked phone resale values will drop like a rock, who has the most used phones for sale, ouch.
    I fully expect this to be fought in the courts going forward though.

    Quote Originally Posted by mokimoki View Post
    What does this really mean? I live in Bermuda and was planning to buy a locked bb10 in the US and unlocking it when I got back home, would this still be possible after the 26th or can I still by a unlock phone?
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  3. raino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mokimoki View Post
    What does this really mean? I live in Bermuda and was planning to buy a locked bb10 in the US and unlocking it when I got back home, would this still be possible after the 26th or can I still by a unlock phone?
    This changes nothing for you, really. You can buy it locked and have it unlocked in Bermuda, OR you can buy the phone unlocked in the US. What you can't do in the US is buy the phone locked, and have it unlocked by anyone else but the carrier.
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  4. helis4life's Avatar
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    Why is it illegal?
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    Quote Originally Posted by helis4life View Post
    Why is it illegal?
    I also wonder what the reasoning behind this is...
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    Quote Originally Posted by helis4life View Post
    Why is it illegal?
    Violation of the DMCA, which is essentially an anti-hacking law. Unlocking was an "exception" allowed under this law, and that exception expired last year. January 26 is when a 90 day grace period expires.

    How the government deemed unlocking to be equivalent to hacking (while jailbreaking/rooting is not) is beyond me.
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    What is funny to me is how little coverage this received during the grace period. We heard about it.... Then it went away. With the amount of "smart phone" users out there I figured more people would be upset or at least intrigued by this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raino View Post
    Violation of the DMCA, which is essentially an anti-hacking law. Unlocking was an "exception" allowed under this law, and that exception expired last year. January 26 is when a 90 day grace period expires.

    How the government deemed unlocking to be equivalent to hacking (while jailbreaking/rooting is not) is beyond me.
    If unlocking becomes illegal, does it benefit samsung and Apple? That's your answer. Throw a bunch of money at a politican as a big company and you get what can best drive revenues.
  9. raino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kfh227 View Post
    If unlocking becomes illegal, does it benefit samsung and Apple? That's your answer. Throw a bunch of money at a politican as a big company and you get what can best drive revenues.
    I really don't see what you're trying to imply here. Are you saying that Apple and Samsung got unlocking banned? I doubt they really care. You can buy iPhones directly from Apple or on a subsidy from AT&T, Apple gets it full price either way. So does Samsung, and so does RIM.

    You can buy unlocked BBs just as easily as unlocked Androids and iPhones: either through carriers directly after paying retail price, through third party sellers that sell factory unlocked phones (I believe these will stay legal, as factory unlocked implies the phone was never locked to a carrier), and from hardware makers' stores (like the Apple store.) RIM, Samsung, HTC, etc. are all welcome to build B&M retail stores and sell phones from there if they feel their sales will suffer due to this ruling.

    I haven't looked at a scenario by scenario interpretation of this decision, but third party sellers that sell branded (i.e. non-factory) unlocked phones might still be able to do so as well.
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  10. SparkyBC's Avatar
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    Default Unlocking Cell Phones Becomes Illegal In The U.S. On January 26th

    You can still get the carriers to unlock them after your contract is up. Or after 3 months. So doesn't really matter.
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    seems like an absurd law designed to benefit large companies. It apparently hampers competition between the carriers which is bad for the consumer, well that's what I read anyway.

    When will common sense prevail again amongst policy makers
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    I'm sure the interpretation will be challenged in the courts at some point. I don't see all the unlockers closing their businesses because a non-elected official decided it is illegal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raino View Post
    I really don't see what you're trying to imply here. Are you saying that Apple and Samsung got unlocking banned? I doubt they really care. You can buy iPhones directly from Apple or on a subsidy from AT&T, Apple gets it full price either way. So does Samsung, and so does RIM.

    You can buy unlocked BBs just as easily as unlocked Androids and iPhones: either through carriers directly after paying retail price, through third party sellers that sell factory unlocked phones (I believe these will stay legal, as factory unlocked implies the phone was never locked to a carrier), and from hardware makers' stores (like the Apple store.) RIM, Samsung, HTC, etc. are all welcome to build B&M retail stores and sell phones from there if they feel their sales will suffer due to this ruling.

    I haven't looked at a scenario by scenario interpretation of this decision, but third party sellers that sell branded (i.e. non-factory) unlocked phones might still be able to do so as well.
    I don't know about Samsung, but I recall Apple campaining very hard for this. Not being able to unlock your phone traps you with your carrier & with the phone you currently have. If you have an iPhone but then switch carriers, guess what, you can't use your current phone & have to buy a new one. Thus Apple just got an extra sale. Also, people will be less likely to switch carriers (even if AT&T sucks) becuase they don't want to have to buy a brand new phone. This law SUCKS

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    Sounds like buying some BB10s in Canada and unlocking them, then selling them on eBay as "Unlocked" devices could be a good money-making idea for us Canucks.... hmm
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyleheney View Post
    Sounds like buying some BB10s in Canada and unlocking them, then selling them on eBay as "Unlocked" devices could be a good money-making idea for us Canucks.... hmm
    so you think it is a good idea to sell stuff in the US that is illegal in the US? i doubt it....
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    Quote Originally Posted by silversun10 View Post
    so you think it is a good idea to sell stuff in the US that is illegal in the US? i doubt it....
    It's not illegal in the US. Read the thread. It's illegal to UNLOCK phones in the US, not to BUY unlocked phones.

    While I do hate corporate greed, let's face it... AT&T and Sprint (and whoever else sells the iPhone, for example) pays a lot of money for the rights to sell these devices exclusively on their networks. They take a hit and don't break even for years. So all they want is the right to say "you bought this with Sprint, you have to use it with Sprint." There's no secret to it, you have your choice of whichever carrier sells what you want to buy. If BMW said "you can ONLY service your car at a BMW dealership" then you have the choice of buying it or not, or trying to circumvent their policies which might get your warranty revoked.

    This is how the market works. Supply and demand. If you don't like what they're selling, then you go elsewhere to buy it (unlocked from me, your Canadian pharmacy and cell phone supplier).
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    Default Unlocking Cell Phones Becomes Illegal In The U.S. On January 26th

    I thought the US was about freedom

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    Quote Originally Posted by KermEd View Post
    I thought the US was about freedom

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    Default Re: Unlocking Cell Phones Becomes Illegal In The U.S. On January 26th

    Quote Originally Posted by KermEd View Post
    I thought the US was about freedom

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    Yeah right. This made me lol.

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    Seriously, who is going to enforce it? It's a meaningless provision of the DMCA.
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  21. samab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helis4life View Post
    seems like an absurd law designed to benefit large companies. It apparently hampers competition between the carriers which is bad for the consumer, well that's what I read anyway.

    When will common sense prevail again amongst policy makers
    It doesn't really hampers competition at all. There are a lot of Canadians (like me) in this forum that will tell you the horrors of 3 years contract up north --- and Canada doesn't have DMCA. What really hampers competition in Canada is the fact that there are only 3 major carriers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Branta View Post
    I'm sure the interpretation will be challenged in the courts at some point. I don't see all the unlockers closing their businesses because a non-elected official decided it is illegal.
    The Library of Congress has ALWAYS hold the position that unlocking businesses is illegal according to DMCA.

    The previous DMCA exception is for you to write your own unlocking software by yourself and unlocking your own cell phone --- that's all. A completely useless DMCA exception.

    Here is the explanation from the Stanford law professor who was instrumental to getting the DMCA exemption in the first place.

    http://www.wired.com/politics/online...cuitcourt_0829
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  22. jegs2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raino View Post
    This changes nothing for you, really. You can buy it locked and have it unlocked in Bermuda, OR you can buy the phone unlocked in the US. What you can't do in the US is buy the phone locked, and have it unlocked by anyone else but the carrier.
    Okay, so there seems to be no issue for anyone but cell phone thieves. If I want to sell my Sprint phone, I take it to Sprint and they unlock it (or whatever it is they need to do), I wipe it, and then I sell it on eBay.

    If a thief steals my phone and tries to sell it unlocked, then they're SOL.
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  23. raino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBPandy View Post
    I don't know about Samsung, but I recall Apple campaining very hard for this. Not being able to unlock your phone traps you with your carrier & with the phone you currently have. If you have an iPhone but then switch carriers, guess what, you can't use your current phone & have to buy a new one. Thus Apple just got an extra sale. Also, people will be less likely to switch carriers (even if AT&T sucks) because they don't want to have to buy a brand new phone. This law SUCKS
    I agree with you that this law sucks, but I don't buy the notion that Apple pushed for this--unless you can show me some proof. The way it is right now (until T-Mobile releases their iPhone), Sprint iPhones cannot be used on Verizon and vice versa, and customers who take their unlocked iPhones over from Verizon or possibly Sprint too will at best get crippling 2G on AT&T and T-Mobile. I really doubt a lot of people were doing that, especially when a) they will have to pay a hefty ETF to take their phone over if they buy on a subsidy, and b) they can buy the AT&T version of the phone for retail for roughly the same price as the Verizon/Sprint versions.

    The most common scenario of unlocked phones being used on other networks is AT&T customers taking it over to T-Mobile and using it originally on the 2G network, and now on the refarmed 3G/HSPA+ networks in some markets. These sales are counter to your point, because they bring Apple money without having to release a phone for the destination network.

    IMHO if anyone lobbied for the exceptions to expire, it would have to be the carriers (especially AT&T.) Or it could just be a nonsensical interpretation of the law made by an un-elected official.
    Last edited by raino; 01-25-2013 at 05:11 PM. Reason: clarity
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    One big thing I see with making unlocking cellphone illegal (aside from carrier unlock) is that carriers have an excuse to charge someone an unlocking fee regardless if the phone was bought outright or the term is finished.

    In Canada, although unlocking is still legal (there's a copyright bill C-61), we still have to pay carriers a fee to unlock.

    Bill C-61
    "If enacted, Bill C-61 would not allow unlocking of cellphones, forcing consumers to acquire a new cell phone each time they switch a carrier, creating excess waste.
    Bill C-61, which parallels American DMCA, could allow lawsuits over the legality of companies that offer to recycle printer ink cartridges."
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    Quote Originally Posted by KermEd View Post
    I thought the US was about freedom
    It is!
    Freedom for Big business to rob you blind with the blessing of the politicians!
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