1. michikade's Avatar
    Ok, so I don't see this in the previous threads, but I've been reading quite a bit about it.

    The question is Tether and the terms / legality / contract, etc. I just kind of wanted to know what you guys think.

    Please see this article I found:

    As Palm Begins Monthly Tethering Fees, RIM Offers Tether Sans Fees

    Specifically this line:

    Thanks to the FCCs Comcast/BitTorrent ruling, consumers do not need to purchase expensive tethering add-ons to tether but carriers are not required to support, or even ensure such options are available on a device.

    Does this mean that Tether (and other programs, such as PDANet, etc) are perfectly fine to use and the telecom companies really can't do anything about it? Just so long as you don't go over your 5GB soft cap, of course.

    I'm interested in hearing the opinions on both sides of the board - and any other info anyone can scrounge up. I don't want a flame war here, I'm just interested in better understanding all of this.
    01-10-10 04:40 PM
  2. jlsparks's Avatar
    I would tend to think that what you contractually signed up for would control, legally speaking. That is, if your carrier only permits tethering through their service, defines tethering, and states that other forms of tethering aren't permitted, then they aren't. If caught you could try the 'ol FCC route, but I'd suspect the arbitrator, or court, would rule that the contract language is controlling.
    01-10-10 04:59 PM
  3. FF22's Avatar
    One would have to read that FCC ruling and figure out how it applies in the Verizon-Tether(berry) situation. Just because an article says so does not mean it is absolutely true or accurate.
    01-10-10 06:20 PM
  4. michikade's Avatar
    One would have to read that FCC ruling and figure out how it applies in the Verizon-Tether(berry) situation. Just because an article says so does not mean it is absolutely true or accurate.
    Oh, I 100% agree with that statement. I'm extremely interested in learning more about it, but right now Googling is getting me some news articles and legal-eze that hopefully someone here can help me/us understand.

    I'm not even with Verizon, but it still holds true to Sprint (who doesn't allow phone as modem even as an add-on to their SE or Everything Data plans - the only way to get it is to have everything as attachables onto a basic voice plan that one isn't even supposed to be able to do with a smartphone anymore).

    I completely understand how a company is completely within their rights to charge overages and investigate accounts for excessive usages of data. I think the "OH NOES, I used Tether/Tetherberry/PDANet and got charged <insert exuberant amount here> in fees" threads come from this. "Unlimited" doesn't mean "unlimited" - it means 5GB for nearly all of the carriers - so if you plug your blackberry into your computer and start watching Hulu/Netflix/lots of porn or if you go on a raid on WOW for 16 hours/download the last 18 seasons of the Simpsons on Bittorrent you're going to run into some serious issues.

    I'm just curious as to what one may run into - and the contractual implications and FCC's stance - based on responsible tethering: a few emails, maybe some light browsing.
    Last edited by michikade; 01-10-10 at 06:38 PM.
    01-10-10 06:33 PM
  5. travelingfool's Avatar
    Man, there are tons of treads currently discussing this. We're having a discussion about it here as we speak.

    It's a very controversial issue, and all of the various threads about it are worth reading, but you'll end up just having to make up your own mind.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by TravellingFool; 01-10-10 at 06:48 PM.
    01-10-10 06:43 PM
  6. michikade's Avatar
    I know, TravellingFool, I've been following your thread as well. It is just very Verizon specific, so I'm hoping to get some insight and/or some legal opinion from some folks with other carriers as well.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    01-10-10 06:51 PM
  7. travelingfool's Avatar
    I know, TravellingFool, I've been following your thread as well. It is just very Verizon specific, so I'm hoping to get some insight and/or some legal opinion from some folks with other carriers as well.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Ahh, I see. It should be interesting. BTW, thanks for the link to that article. It was enlightening.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    01-10-10 07:03 PM
  8. michikade's Avatar
    Ahh, I see. It should be interesting. BTW, thanks for the link to that article. It was enlightening.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    No problem. Hopefully the power of the Crackberry forums will shed some light on all of this. I am extremely interested in this topic, as you are, so hopefully we'll get some responses

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    01-10-10 07:30 PM
  9. bluz's Avatar
    I have never used tethering but was unaware of the many issues raised in this post. Would love if other CB members shed light on these.
    01-11-10 01:50 AM
  10. hossra's Avatar
    I would add one small caveat. The issue of tethering is NOT a legal issue (as in you may or may not be breaking law) but, rather, a contractual issue. In other words, you may violate your commercial contract with the provider, but the police are not going to care.
    01-11-10 01:19 PM
  11. michikade's Avatar
    While it is true that tethering in itself isn't a legal matter - the contract itself may be in violation of the FCC. Of course, I don't know what laws would state that or what the Comcast V. Bittorrent ruling actually says deep down, but it looks like the ruling states that a provider can't restrict how you use your service that you pay for. Obviously they can charge the bejeezus out of you if you go over the 5GB soft cap, but if you keep it reasonable, it looks like they can't touch you.

    Like I've said before - if anyone can help us out here with some more information, that would be great!
    01-11-10 05:48 PM
  12. jbs-horn's Avatar
    Beware of this advice. All things are not equal from state to state. In many states the use of services without paying constitutes theft of services. In small doses it would not be a felony, but it still amounts to a crime.

    I would add one small caveat. The issue of tethering is NOT a legal issue (as in you may or may not be breaking law) but, rather, a contractual issue. In other words, you may violate your commercial contract with the provider, but the police are not going to care.
    01-11-10 07:31 PM
  13. hossra's Avatar
    Fair enough, JBS. As an attorney though, I only suggest that the chances that a US attorney (it would be federal since the Commerce Clause applies) would prosecute is slim to none.
    01-11-10 10:56 PM
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