“At 7:37 AM EST on February 21, 2013, a White House petition on cellphone unlocking went over the 100,000 signature threshold on the White House’s ‘We the People’ website,” Derek Khanna reports for Forbes. “This was the threshold for a White House response. Now they will will wait to hear from the White House.”
“On January 26, 2013, the Librarian of Congress issued a ruling that made it illegal to unlock new phones. Unlocking is a technique that allows your phone to use a different carrier. Doing so could place you in legal liability for up to 5 years in jail and a $500,000 fine,” Khanna reports. “This prohibition is a violation of our property rights, and it makes you wonder, if you can’t alter the settings on your phone, do you even own your own phone?”
Khanna reports, “Overall, this is a clear example of copyright law run amuck – the underlying law was created to protect copyright but it’s being applied in a manner that no legislator expected in 1998 when they voted for the bill. The underlying law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), was passed three years before the iPod, six years before Google Books and nine years before the Kindle. Now that it’s clear that the DMCA is being interpreted in a way clearly contrary for which it was passed, it’s incumbent upon Congress to act.”
Read more in the full article here.
White House petition lobbies to make cellphone unlocking legal – February 20, 2013