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Unlocking your phone is now against the law in the U.S.

0. phoneArena 27 Jan 2013, 06:54 posted on

Now that phone unlocking is no longer seen as being exempted from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), technically, it is illegal to unlock your phone in the states without written permission from your carrier; if your phone already has been unlocked, don't worry about cops busting on with guns drawn, ready to send you to the pokey as you are grandfathered in...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:07 5

2. jsdechavez (Posts: 731; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


This seems reasonable for a country where most are plan/postpaid subscribers.. They get free or discounted/subsidized handsets depending on the cost of the subscription and locked to that network. It's ok that the phone be locked and be used only to the network that paid for it.

However, prepaid subscriptions deserve to be unlocked. Handsets on prepaid will have to be purchased unlocked or in-full, without network subsidies of course.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:21 10

5. frydaexiii (Posts: 1460; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


No, it isn't reasonable. Carriers sell us discounted/subsidized handsets because we chose them and have decided to tie ourselves down to a 2 year contract with them. What we do with the phone shouldn't be any part of their business since we still have to pay our subscription every month until the 2 years is up and if we terminate our contract before the 2 years, we pay a penalty which would cover the cost of the subsidy/discount the carriers gave us in the first place. Now that's reasonable.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:21

28. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


It would be OK if you where not tied for a contract, if you find your carrier was crappy cancel the contract playing around 1k for it, would it be fair to now be forbidden to use that phone on another carrier just because someone decided to wave his little finger on me and say FU

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:50

34. frydaexiii (Posts: 1460; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Well, that's just how it works here in Singapore. You sign a 2 year contract, you buy a high-end phone for cheap and it's yours to keep and do whatever the hell you want with it unless you decide to break your contract, in which case you pay the rest of the phone cost (which is usually about S$200-S$300) and you still get to keep the phone.

Which is why it is rather common for the folks here who don't use a smartphone to buy one on contract, use the line as usual with their regular phone and sell the smartphone for a profit (Bought for subsidized price of $200, sold for about $500).

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:16 12

3. frydaexiii (Posts: 1460; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


WTF is this? So in America, when you "buy" a phone you're really just "loaning" it from the carriers? Ha, it's times like these I'm glad I don't live there...

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:27 15

6. e.wvu (unregistered)


Yeah, I sadly have to agree. I live in the U.S. and it seems like all we worry about are small issues, while we ignore the big
ones.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:24

30. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14182; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Well you are buying it subsidized. You don't really own the phone until you either wait out your contract or pay the etf.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:52 3

35. Guile (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


That has nothing to do with the subject: If you pay the phone or cancel your contract, it's still illegal to unlock your phone.

posted on 28 Jan 2013, 13:51

82. donfem (Posts: 652; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


I find myself agreeing with you. Albeit with mixed feeling

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:16 4

4. regkilla (Posts: 83; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)


Glad my Verizon iPhone 5 comes Unlocked out the box.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 18:53 1

68. darkkjedii (Posts: 22052; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Lucky u

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:31

7. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


seems fair enough.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:36 16

8. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)


Completely and UTTERLY ridiculous! ......its things like this that make me ashamed of this country...... The more america tries to "control" what people do and buy.....the more america will continue to keep its citizens in BONDAGE...........have a good rest of your sunday people

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:41 1

9. wendygarett (unregistered)


unlock it or not, you still pick Verizon in the end, what's the point of unlocked it when you pick the one and only carrier and use it for the rest of your life?

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 07:52 1

10. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


Carriers subsidize the phone you buy, carriers have rights to prohibit unlocking cellphones, if you don't want that to happen just buy the unlocked one, it is that simple

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:52 3

36. Guile (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


That has nothing to do with the subject: If you pay the phone or cancel your contract, it's still illegal to unlock your phone.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:05

11. Azure01 (Posts: 127; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


So basically T-mobile has until 2015 to get their hands on the iPhone.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:44 6

19. big.e927 (Posts: 94; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)


No, T-Mobile is already getting their own iPhones. The unlocking being.illegal is effective today, so no more taking your unlocked iPhone to T-Mobile UNLESS you have the original carrier for that phone approve of it. So either way, you'd get stuck being AT&T's bitch either way. Most likely, carriers will charge you a fee so you can unlock your phone, it seems as the only "fair" alternative. >.>

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:06

12. lonewolf2873 (Posts: 40; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)


What is the definition of "unlocking"? Is root considered unlocking or is it just unlocking to go to a different carrier? Unlocking is a pretty broad word.
Unless I don't fully understand root and it does unlocking to get a different carrier.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:34 1

33. roscuthiii (Posts: 2226; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Unlocking has more to do with a phones ability to work on other carriers. Carriers all work within certain ranges of radio frequency bandwidth that they own/license. The cell radios inside the phone can usually operate within a wide array of those frequencies. (It's more efficient for the manufacturers to produce one radio chip as opposed to having to manufacture multiple versions.)
The carriers then include firmware which limits you to use only their frequency. Unless they have roaming contracts, whereby they can really jack up the cell charges.

Rooting is still legal as far as I know.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:13 5

13. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)


This isn't gonna stop ppl and especially resellers from unlocking. How are they gonna prove who unlocked the phone and further more, who is gonna care enough to investigate it?

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 18:55

69. darkkjedii (Posts: 22052; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


IPS# for those using Internet. Unless there's another way.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:17 6

14. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


They are taking away your rights and freedoms one at a time. Pretty soon will all be hauling stones to help build a pyramid for our pharoah. Pathetic! I am still going to unlock every phone I get! F the govt!

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:20 3

15. md227a (Posts: 153; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


What about people like me who buy carrier branded phones at retail price. Yes, its branded but I didn't get subsidy I should be able to unlock if I want to.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:46 5

20. big.e927 (Posts: 94; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)


Again, you must get permission from your carrier which will more than likely require you to pay a fee. Nothing to excessive I'm sure, but still a pain in the ass and degrading, which sucks, because all major carriers besides Sprint are charging too f**king much.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 19:55

71. JC557 (Posts: 1572; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Before there was no fee for Verizon. You just have to be in good standing for 6 months and they'll unlock the phone for free. Now that this has passed I wonder if Verizon will start implementing fees.

Since my family and I (extended as well) have been with Verizon for 10 years or so, the carrier better continue to unlock my phone for free.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 08:24 1

16. RGreen (Posts: 75; Member since: 06 Jul 2012)


Hot Damn, one bad apple! My Guess is all smartphones that are unlocked craple messed it up for everyone I'm getting this right or this only apply to apple?

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:24 1

31. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


This is a load of.....

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 09:58 1

37. Guile (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


It's strange, while in other country like France it's illegal for a carrier to refuse to unlock a device, even more, they have to provide the service; in the USA it is forbidden... Yes it seems retard.

posted on 27 Jan 2013, 10:15 1

40. legend1 (Posts: 104; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


this sucks big time :(

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