Should it be illegal to unlock your own cellphone?

posted at 11:21 am on February 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The answer to that question is another question: who owns the phone? Consumers normally don’t pay retail prices for their phone, but instead pay an artificially low price in exchange for a two-year contract.  But are those prices truly “artificial,” or are the retail prices ridiculously inflated to dissuade the kind of free choice that might undermine the lock-in contract business model of the cell providers?  Derek Khanna wrote a paper for the Republican Study Committee blasting the criminalization of the unlock ban, and got fired two months later* by the RSC. 

Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie talks to Khanna about the question of who owns the phone, why hacking a cell phone gets a steeper sentence than politicians in Chicago facing corruption charges, and the broader issues of intellectual property and the need for open-source development:

Last fall, Khanna earned notoriety - and a pink slip – for a public memo urging GOP members of Congress to rethink their stance on copyright law.

More recently, in a column for The Atlantic, Khanna blasted a new ruling that criminalizes the unlocking of cellphones under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Unlocking the phone simply means that a person could use a phone designed for one carrier on another carrier, assuming they had switched his plan. In addition to civil penalties, breaking this law could land you in prison for up to five years and force you to pay a fine of up to $500,000.

“In 1998 a poorly written statute, the DMCA, was passed and it prohibited a wide swath of commonly used technology in the name of defending copyright,” Khanna explains. “If this is allowed to stand, then the answer is you don’t own your phone.”

A White House petition to change the law recently reached the 100,000 signature threshold, which means the Obama administration will have to give an opinion on the matter.

Oddly, this comes up just as I’m trying to unlock an old T-Mobile phone for possible alternate usage.  I paid retail for it (north of $400), so no one gave me any trouble when I wanted to get the unlock code.  If it was my current Samsung III, I’d bet I’d have had more pushback on the question.

Be sure to watch it all — it’s long, but intriguing.  At the 14:30 mark or so, Khanna discusses the way in which the DMCA interferes with political speech, thanks to a “heckler’s veto” by claiming spurious copyright violations.

Update: I originally wrote “got promptly fired,” but his termination was two months later, Dustin Siggins reminded me in an e-mail.  Few doubt that the paper and the firing were related, though.


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I work in the industry and the retail prices are not out of line with what the Bill of Materials cost on most phones. It’s amazing the things that they put in these things we get for free or pay $100.

shooten on February 22, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Not if it’s an ObamaPhone.

steebo77 on February 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM

I’m bringing this from the other thread. A great comment:

The White House doesn’t make law. WHy would anyone petition the White House for legislation? This is why the whole idiotic White House petition thing is so un-American and stupid. If people want laws made or changed they need to petition the legislators who actually are charged with doing that sort of stuff. We are not some demented, unlimited, centralized power Euro-style party-oriented democracy (well … we’re not supposed to be, though the American Socialist Superstate that people seem to be very comfortable with is certainly not the Constitutional Republic that America was defined as).

The fact that people don’t recognize how un-American and perverted this whole White House petition cr@p is is a pathetic comment on our society, in and of itself. They like the idea of pleading with the Emperor for some crumbs … great.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

APPLAUSE!!!!

portlandon on February 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Slow day on the news front when such a topic migrates from the headlines.

Bishop on February 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Simple – buy Nexus phones from Google. They come unlocked and so you don’t break some stupid law when you want to take your business to another carrier.

They’re also some of the best phones on the market (not including the HTC One and LG optimus Pro which came out after the Nexus 4)

Defenestratus on February 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

So the Phone I pay hundred of dollars for is not mine? Sorry Govt, Im smarter, better, faster than you on the understanding how rooting/ jailbreaking works. I work with IOS and Android all the time for a living. I may just want to remove all the crapware off of MY phone, and its no one’s business. Personal Property rights being challenged once again.

ninjacoastie on February 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Ed, you’ve missed an important point–the lower up-front cost you pay when you sign a 2-year contract is MORE than made up in the higher monthly cost.

Compare, for example, the “unlimited everything” plan from straight talk, or virgin mobile, or any of the MVNOs, vs a similar plan (if you can get it) from one of the Big carriers. It’s something like $40/month cheaper, if you have just the one phone. That means that the carrier breaks even on the subsidized phone cost within a year, and the rest is pure profit.

Mohonri on February 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Intellectual property laws in generally are full of of flaws that lead to all sorts of anti-free market injustices. Monsanto immediately comes to mind. Fun times!

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

And that’s exactly why I will not support Marco Rubio, even against Hellary. SOPA was designed a natural extension of the nightmarish encroachment of the government on privacy and property rights that is DMCA. Cosponsoring that abomination screamed “Bush!” louder than any talking head could.

Archivarix on February 22, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Simple – buy Nexus phones from Google. They come unlocked and so you don’t break some stupid law when you want to take your business to another carrier.

They’re also some of the best phones on the market (not including the HTC One and LG optimus Pro which came out after the Nexus 4)

Defenestratus on February 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

I just upgraded to the LG Optimus G(AT&T locked) and it blows away any other phone I’ve had. The Nexus 4 is supposed to be very similar to it, albeit more expensive and harder to find in stock.

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM

The prices I have seen for an unblocked phone are about the same as a higher end ham hand held radio which doesn’t do nearly as much. I don’t see where an outright purchase price is out of line. Just depends on if you want a contract or not.

CW20 on February 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM

The unlock ban reminds me of the days of the AT+T government-insured monopoly where AT+T owned the phones in your house (which you were only allowed to rent, really) and you weren’t allowed to touch them.

Back to the good ol’ days … except that you get to pay full price for the phones that the government now says aren’t your property (and when you get a phone free or cheap with a mandatory high-priced provider contract, you have certainly paid for that phone in full).

The whole insanity of the intellectual property laws have led to this, in addition to the evident government nostalgia for the feral government getting back in between you and the phone you bought and paid for.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM

No, it should not be illegal. It should only be a problem when you do not honor your contract for purchasing a locked cell phone.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Intellectual property laws in generally are full of of flaws that lead to all sorts of anti-free market injustices.

NorthernCross on February 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

You beat me to it! Good job.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Here is the nuance that is being over looked is this,

This applies to the phones that are being subsidized by the carrier and are still under contract.

Obviously if you purchase a phone outright, you can do with it as you wish.

p0s3r on February 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Here is the nuance that is being over looked is this,

This applies to the phones that are being subsidized by the carrier and are still under contract.

Obviously if you purchase a phone outright, you can do with it as you wish.

p0s3r on February 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM

But once that contract is up, that phone should be yours to do with as you please.

Doughboy on February 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM

This applies to the phones that are being subsidized by the carrier and are still under contract.

Obviously if you purchase a phone outright, you can do with it as you wish.

p0s3r on February 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM

If you’re still under contract then you’re still paying and the phone is yours. Unlocking the phone doesn’t abrogate the carrier contract that you still have to pay for. If you want to keep paying for no service and use the phone for something else that should be your choice. The contract doesn’t demand that you use X amount of minutes on it by that exact phone. If it did, then you would still be liable for those “minimum” charges.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM

I didn’t know it was locked and I don’t have any keys!

Cindy Munford on February 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Oh man, the US is still pretty pathetic (technologically and legally) in this regard. I’m well travelled. Most of the foreign nations have unlocked phones. Thats the norm, not the exception. lol. We’ve almost become slavish in this sphere. Get out there, travel, and you’d understand. Frogs in a pond imagine that the pond is the whole world. Not so.

tommy71 on February 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

You can buy an unlocked phone right now. Im in sales and I can tell you that 90% of the business accounts I deal with (1000+ lines or more) do NOT want to pay retail for the phone. We do NOT recoup our money back off a standard two year contract. The two year contract barely pays for the phone it doesn’t cover our cost to improve our network, to hire employees, to advertise, etc. We make that money back off of additonal features and accessories. In Europe your phone isnt locked but the carriers don’t subsidize the price of the phone. Try that here and watch how quickly people complain about that feee phone all of a sudden costing 250.00

P.s. we will unlock youe phone for global sims just not for domestic carriers. Verizon isnt going to eat the cost of a 700.00 phone for you to use on Sprint or vice a versa and why should they?

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Hey, what if an illegal alien unlocks a phone?

Fogpig on February 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM

You don’t own those phones just as you don’t own your own body or land. The government tells you what to put in your body – vaccines – and what not to put in your own body. The government owns the land you think you own, if you don’t believe me try not paying property taxes. Via property taxes, you simply just rent your land.

Wake up people – you are owned by the government.

MoreLiberty on February 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Obama isn’t getting involved because he’s a sort of honest politician: He stays bought by whomever was there last with a bag of cash.

HBowmanMD on February 22, 2013 at 11:56 AM

nexus 4

My phone cost 299 unlocked. I also pay only $42 a month for unlimited everything. My phone is also better than your phone.

jhffmn on February 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

MONSANTO!!!!11!!! Arg

Wasn’t Mitt Romney all about catching the Chinese intellectual pirates?

aryeung on February 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

2 year contract for me and my wife. The minimum costs, with lots of reductions for being a very long term customer is $2200, the phone unlocked is $600 meaning a total of $1200 minus what we paid for the phones, $230 and $290 = $680 total that the company could have lost, of course, they do not pay retail for the phone, so that is not likely. $2200 – maximum of $680 = $1520, we use on average about 1/10 of our allotted minutes and network usage.

The company makes plenty of money.

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

…land of the free?

KOOLAID2 on February 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Heckler’s Veto…. Isn’t that the same thing that happened on Twitter with regards to Liberals trying to cease Republican tweets? Dana Loesch’s husband got kicked off Twitter due to unverified reports of misconduct on Twitter if I remember correctly.

I like Khanna’s idea that the person or people that do stuff like this could be fined 500K if they cannot back their claim with proof.

ooonaughtykitty on February 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I don’t understand the copyright angle for a locked phone. What intellectual property is being stolen? What property right is violated? To me it’s like saying that the company that made your front door lock owns your house.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 22, 2013 at 12:09 PM

astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

And if you had bought two phones unlocked and gone to a prepaid service you’d still have paid 2200 over two years.

jhffmn on February 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM

If the Republicans want to win the youth vote, reforming copyright law should be a major goal.

By going after the RIAA and its ilk they’ll get more of the 20-something vote then you would be abandoning their supposed conservative principles on every issue under the sun.

And considering who these government-media complex companies support there really is no reason to continue to hand them favors…

18-1 on February 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Unlocked phones don’t mean much when users’ brains remained locked away. It’s almost as if technology gets dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, and what little ability people had to communicate effectively and maturely quickly atrophies. Ten texts over 5-10 minutes to resolve an issue which could be handled by a 30-second conversation? Newsflash: you’re dealing with an actual person on the other end, not a bunch of pixels.

Christien on February 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Get out there, travel, and you’d understand. Frogs in a pond imagine that the pond is the whole world. Not so.

tommy71 on February 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Here here!

DarkCurrent on February 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM

P.s. we will unlock youe phone for global sims just not for domestic carriers. Verizon isnt going to eat the cost of a 700.00 phone for you to use on Sprint or vice a versa and why should they?

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Why are you guys paying $700 for a phone when a Nexus 4 comes unlocked from Google for $300?

I cannot wait to ditch Verizon. On sunday my contract expires on my Xoom 4G. Can’t wait to walk in there and tell them to cancel the contract. Now that Verizon can’t charge me twice for my data when I turn on wireless hotspot, I’m going to pickup a Nexus 10 wifi and just tether it to my Galaxy Nexus with its grandfathered unlimited data.

I will never renew my contract ever. I will only purchase my phone outright. In fact, once T-mo builds out its LTE network, I’m saying goodbye to Verizon. You guys suck. You managed to take the Galaxy Nexus release and totally botch it. If I hadn’t flashed an aftermarket ROM on it, it would be FOUR VERSIONS BEHIND the latest build on AOSP. I hope Verizon never gets the chance to have another Nexus – ever again. You don’t deserve it.

Defenestratus on February 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

If the Republicans want to win the youth vote, reforming copyright law should be a major goal.

By going after the RIAA and its ilk they’ll get more of the 20-something vote then you would be abandoning their supposed conservative principles on every issue under the sun.

And considering who these government-media complex companies support there really is no reason to continue to hand them favors…

18-1 on February 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

How do I +1 posts on Hotgas?

Defenestratus on February 22, 2013 at 12:19 PM

They are trying to do this by law because current precedent supports unlocking — because no vendor has ever won a case requiring bundling of both hardware and software.

IBM on the hardware side lost its case. Microsoft on the software side lost its case. And even Apple skirts the issue by allowing one to install a competitor’s operating system on their hardware.

My son unlocked his Droid a couple of years back — not because he wanted to shift vendors but because he wanted to add capability. AT&T’s operating system didn’t allow one to stream video from one’s phone to one’s tv, and he wanted that capability badly. So he did it himself — unlocking and rooting the phone so that it had the capability he wanted (and which, incidentally, his data plan supposedly allowed). A couple of months ago, he upgraded his phone via AT&T and lo and behold — the necessary streaming capability was built into his new phone’s OS. Needless to say, he has not bothered with any of this unlocking business because the phone does what he needs it to do.

unclesmrgol on February 22, 2013 at 12:19 PM

jhffmn on February 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Lol actually my math was off. Two phones at 600 a piece with prepaid service… so + 2×24×$42 = 3216.

That’s more than the 2200+680 used as evidence that cell carriers are making plenty of money.

I’m starting to get an “ebil corporations” here.

jhffmn on February 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM

If you pay full price for your phone, then you should be able to use it with what ever service you want. If, however, you’ve paid less than full price for the phone as a result of a deal with the carrier, NO you should have to abide by the contract with the company you got the subsidized phone from.

Warner Todd Huston on February 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM

But are those prices truly “artificial,” or are the retail prices ridiculously inflated to dissuade the kind of free choice that might undermine the lock-in contract business model of the cell providers?

Pretty much they are.

I remember back in the late 80′s and early 90′s going in to rent videos and on the counter at the checkout desk there was always a stack of glossy trifolds announcing the videos coming to VHS in the next month. You could get most of them for them $14.99 to $29.99, but the brochure stated the suggested retail price was from $99.99 to $299.00.

The game is always the same, it’s just the particulars that change. But that’s the contract. No one forced you to sign the contract.

If you want to do something about it that is reasonable, require the phone company to contact you with the unlock code the day the contract has been met with instructions on how to do it, with a fine if they do not. Better yet, require the phone company to unlock the phone and notify you when the contract obligations heave been met.

Dusty on February 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

If you have paid for your phone outright or, at the end of a contract it is stipulated that you can keep the phone you got with it, then it is yours. If the carrier doesn’t want you to have the phone then you are only RENTING IT and have to give it back and that should be spelled out in the contract.

Yeah carriers lose money on hardware. They make it up on services. That is called a ‘business plan’. The US federal government should not be supporting ‘business plans’ like the Disney one to extend copyright forever so that it can forever own materials that no one ever expected to be worth anything 16 or 32 years later. Disney has made a ‘business plan’ of using Congress. Now the phone people want to do that as well.

This is the other part of Fascism: government being used by corporations to secure their position in the market when they don’t want to suffer through competition and freedom. Bad enough the Solyndras and the ethanol scams, plus the Monsanto protections… this stuff is just crazy. Perhaps the Open Source maker’s community will come out with something to replace this old, outmoded system of cellphones and their use…

ajacksonian on February 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Don’t worry, folks. Your healthcare isn’t going to be at all like this.

rogerb on February 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM

No, it should not be illegal. It should only be a problem when you do not honor your contract for purchasing a locked cell phone.

[astonerii on February 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM]

There is an argument for the government not getting involved in criminalizing civil contract torts and certainly not with the prospect of tens or hundreds of thousands of in fines plus prison terms.

Setting aside that the above should be outside the realm of law, then what are the alternatives and what are the consequences, good and bad, of not doing so?

Dusty on February 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Consumers normally don’t pay retail prices for their phone, but instead pay an artificially low price in exchange for a two-year contract.

Unlocking your phone doesn’t get you out of the contract… and you’ll have to pay a severance fee to end the contract early. Unlocking the phone doesn’t matter to the contract.

If my dealership offers me discounted oil changes for the next 2 years to get me to buy a car; do I get in trouble going to Jiffy Lube? No, they don’t care if I don’t use their incentive package, they got what they wanted (a car sale).

The phone contract is the goal here, not the phone sale… the phone sale at a discounted price is the incentive to get you to sign the contract.

This makes no difference if you do whatever you want with the phone tomorrow; you’ve signed the contract so they got what they wanted.

gekkobear on February 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Astonerii

The arpu is around 56.00. This is public info. Minute plans don’t make us money. Basic phones don’t make u s money. This is why you see companies getting rid of unlimited data and the huge push to get people on 4G phones. Your

indivual situation matters little when you figure that we have over 100 million customers.

Like I was saying eariler. I do business sales. If I sell 1000 samsung convoy 2s to a company for free thats over a 200, 000.00 lost we just took. If that company only uses push to talk which is 19.99 a month were barely recouping the cost of our phones not to mention employees, network, etc.

To be clear im not aruging against unlocking phones im arguing the fact that when ever I mention the retail price to one of my clients very rarely do they want to pay that price and avoid a contract.

People complain about losing their unlimited data for example. I say you can keep your unlimited data if you pay retail for the phone. They whine and moan but 90% of the time they give up their unlimited data in order to pay that cheaper price.

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Also. Once you unlock that phone. Fine.

But now when you’re having technical issues who are you going to call?

I have clients who get upset with me because their users forgot their itune account info or thwor google account info. They are upset we don’t have access to those companys services to assist them.

When you have that tmobile phone on the sprint network and something goes wrong whose going to help you? You’re not tmobiles customer anymore so they arent going to pay someone to help you and sprint isnt paying for their tech support to learn how to troubleshoot tmobile phones so where do you go?

When you speak about this situation in general it sounds good but as someone who deals with this everyday this really isnt what people want.

Defenestratus

You should double check your contract because we generally don’t do contracts on tablets since we don’t discount them. Good luck with tmobile. They’re the numbee 4 carrier and on the choppi g block for a reason.

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

If you pay retail or your contract is up it is your phone. IMO, hack away.

Russ86 on February 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

or thwor google account info

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Is this like a Google+ thing? Only with hammers and chaps (and nothing but chaps)?

GWB on February 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Really we should be paying for our phones separate from the phone service.

thuja on February 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Hey, what if an illegal alien unlocks a phone?

Fogpig on February 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM

No harm.

No foul.

Some animals are more equal…

Solaratov on February 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Illegal? No. That’s preposterous.

If you’re still in the middle of a contract with the carrier, then the phone does not completely belong to you yet, any more than you completely own your car before you’ve actually paid for it. But that’s a contract matter. There is no reason to make a generic ruling that unlocking a phone is illegal, since there are multiple cases where it’s perfectly plausible. Such as, when you pay the service termination fee to be released from your contract, when you paid for the phone upfront without a contract, or when your contract has expired.

If the phone doesn’t belong to you after the contract has expired, then how could you sell it? And if you can sell it, then you have a right to unlock it.

And let’s please not forget in any discussion of these things that “unlocking” your phone is not the same as “jailbreaking” your (Apple) phone or “rooting” your (Android) phone. I don’t know what the equivalent would be for a Windows phone, but there must only be about a hundred of those in existence, so I guess it doesn’t matter …..

tom on February 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Also. Once you unlock that phone. Fine.

But now when you’re having technical issues who are you going to call?

I have clients who get upset with me because their users forgot their itune account info or thwor google account info. They are upset we don’t have access to those companys services to assist them.

When you have that tmobile phone on the sprint network and something goes wrong whose going to help you? You’re not tmobiles customer anymore so they arent going to pay someone to help you and sprint isnt paying for their tech support to learn how to troubleshoot tmobile phones so where do you go?

When you speak about this situation in general it sounds good but as someone who deals with this everyday this really isnt what people want.

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Well, that’s the kind of thing that free people have to worry about when they make decisions. But you can’t take away someone’s freedom because they might make a bad decision.

tom on February 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Tom.

I disagree because in this instance it would negatively effect the company. The technology is there to unlock your own phone. We don’t do it. If we did it then people would expect us to support it. As an individual you have the freedom to take your phone right now and hack it. This voids your company warrant but it is currently your right.

The cell companies simply don’t assist you. No ones “freedom” is being infringed upon.

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

*Warranty

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I didn’t know it was locked and I don’t have any keys!

Cindy Munford on February 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I expect Broncobama to come to my rescue and declare the police acted stupidly if they try to arrest me for breaking into my own phone.

Nutstuyu on February 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Tom.

I disagree because in this instance it would negatively effect the company. The technology is there to unlock your own phone. We don’t do it. If we did it then people would expect us to support it. As an individual you have the freedom to take your phone right now and hack it. This voids your company warrant but it is currently your right.

The cell companies simply don’t assist you. No ones “freedom” is being infringed upon.

Politricks on February 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I wasn’t referring to asking the company to do it for you and still support it. The question isn’t, “should companies be required to unlock your cell phones on request.” Many actually will do it as a customer service — at least temporarily — if you give them a good reason to do it (trip abroad, for example)

The question is, should it be illegal. Even if it’s completely legal, there would still be no requirement that a phone company support a procedure taken by the customer at the customer’s own risk.

Even after I’ve completely paid for a phone and am out of the contract, unlocking a phone would still be done at my own risk.

tom on February 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I’d say if the carriers don’t like the business they’re in, get out.

If I buy a car from Ford, and use Ford financing, does that mean I can’t put Chevy floor mats in it until the loan is paid off (erh…the contract is complete)?

What if Ford says I must use Exxon gas?

“In the case of Ford v Bobmbx, defendant is charged with filling up at a WaWa fueling center, abrogating terms of contract with plaintiff”

BobMbx on February 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Want to know something else that’s locked by the DMCA? Your DVDs.

Ever wonder why some DVDs won’t let you skip previews or FBI warnings or studio splashes, etc, and won’t let you go straight to the main menu?

Its because in order for DVD player manufacturers to get the “keys” to unlock the copy protection on DVDs, they have to sign an agreement that also forces them to obey micro-ops (instructions on the DVD) that tell the DVD player what the “owner” is and isn’t allowed to do at any given time.

Obeying the instructions on the DVD has nothing to do with copy protection, but the DMCA forces DVD player manufacturers to sign the agreement (with added stipulations) in order to make legal DVD players.

taznar on February 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Slow day on the news front when such a topic migrates from the headlines.

Bishop on February 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Not really when you consider how many people have cell phones in this country. Even my home phone is a cell phone.

woodNfish on February 22, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Not sure if this has been mentioned yet but here in America’s Hat© my carrier, Bell Mobility, will unlock my iPhone for $75CDN

So…what the hell is going on down there?

mt

Mistahtibbs on February 23, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Great article

api on March 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM