Unlock Smartphones, Unlocking Mobile Phones, DMCA Rules and Laws

The DMCA law that went into effect in January is being challenged by American citizens, as a White House petition has just amassed more than 100,000 signatures on the American government’s We the People website. Now that it’s hit that particular mark, the White House will need to issue an official response.

The first 80,000 signatures took only 26 days to get. Here’s a copy of the official petition:

The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA. As of January 26, consumers will no longer be able unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired.

Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full. The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked.

We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.

The petition was started by Sina Khanifar, who intends to continue pushing against the law through FixTheDMCA.org, where people can sign up to move against the law.

As users of global SIM cards as well as a site devoted to unlocked devices, we here at TruTower would be glad to see this new law take a back seat for good.

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By Josh Robert Nay

Josh Robert Nay is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TruTower. He has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003 and specializes in GSM based technology. He also uses (too many) VoIP apps and is a long-time user of BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone. He adores anything having to do with space exploration and writing. In addition to the links below, he can be found on LinkedIn and can also be found on his website at http://www.joshrobertnay.com.