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Comments on news posted 2013-01-25 09:21:10: While the oft-criticized Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to bypass DRM, when the law was based back in 1998 a provision allowed the Librarian of Congress to grant certain exemptions. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next


Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Librarian of Congress?

In before dictator etc etc.

However if you unlock your phone after Sunday and get convicted.. it's 10 years of federal prison.

I suggest killing someone instead and have good behavior if you have an urge to unlock a phone.
--
"If something about the human body disgusts you, complain to the manufacturer" - Lenny Bruce
What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.


cahiatt
Premium
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA

said by Mike:

I suggest killing someone instead and have good behavior if you have an urge to unlock a phone.

Maybe the people that write these laws? Two birds with one stone. Just sayin....

(Note to FBI: Not serious. Read into the sarcasm)


ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

yeah, okay

As long as this rule remains in place, I will never buy a phone from a carrier again. My property is MY property.



elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2

Crazy laws

You get less time in jail for armed Robbery, which has real victims then unlocking a phone or camping a movie.

That's why you get when you allow lobbyists to write laws.


camelot

join:2008-04-12
Whitby, ON

I don't understand how they're actually going to know??

There are plenty of ways to unlock your phone, and if a company truly wants your business, they're not going to care.



Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY
reply to elwoodblues

Is there any surprise with this sort of thing. When you have the RIAA using the provisions of the same law to sue people for an amount for one song shared that exceeds the total revenues for the entire history of the recording industry. The solution is the purchase your phone outright and then look for a carrier as they do in Europe. Chinavasion has all kinds of smart phones that can operate anywhere in the world and many have multiple SIM slots so you can actually run more then one carrier. Friends at work are ordering stuff from this outfit and they have been very pleased with what they are getting for such a cheap price.
--
I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
- Mark Twain in Eruption



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Ownership of software and other works

You may own the device but you don't own the software on it, the copyright owner does. As with software, you don't own it but you are granted a license by the developer to use it.

Same with any media, when you buy a CD or Blu-ray, you don't own it, you are purchasing a license to have a copy.

So in other words, it is a breach of the license to modify the software on your smartphone and that includes unlocking it. While you may own the physical device, you don't own the software on it and you are bound by the software licensing agreement.


elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

1 recommendation

reply to camelot

Re: Crazy laws

This is going to have the unintended (or intended) consequence of destroying the secondary market (used) phones. This will do a few things:

1. If you can buy a phone off of ebay, CL, etc now all of a sudden you are taking a chance that by buying a phone, you now become an oulaw.
2. These new "protection" databases where carriers will be tracking "stolen" phones will be used as an intimidation tool by the mainline carriers to ban phones on their networks AND MVNO, and once they start sharing across the board.
3. Theoretically a carrier locking a phone should be illegal, because even if the phone is subsidized (leased) it is still your property. The action to make whole is the termination fee if one breaks a contract which is a CIVIL not CRIMINAL matter.

Did you hear any of the big guys complain- NO. They LOVE this, it artificially limits competition. It's like you have to scrap your 2 year old car and buy another new one (cash for clunkers), except the car still has robust economic value for many years....Guess what cars, phones, etc depreciate in value like heck in the first 2 years. I can buy a 2 year old phone that "cost" $500 for $100.

The imperial government is in the process of criminalizing civil matters so they can simply gain more control and the lobbyists use the congress and pres to be their hammer.

Copyright, etc are purely civil not criminal matters and breaking DRM is not breaking the law at all. By finding a hole in intellectual property (known as an INVENTION) that person who breaks the DRM should be filing a patent, not going to jail. Of course that is yet another way the government limits competition and the entrepreneurial spirit. And then we become Greece.


MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

The Supremes will rule in this case....

....which will have "trickle down" effects on smartphones and indeed every other non-USA manufactured device

Note: no decision has been rendered yet in this case.

Justices Weigh Case on Imported Textbooks
»www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/busin···oks.html

The general rule for products made in the United States is that the owners of particular copies can do what they like with them. If you buy a book or record made in the United States, for instance, you are free to lend it or sell it as you wish. The question for the justices was whether that rule, called the first-sale doctrine, also applies when the works in question were made abroad.

The answer turns on a phrase in the Copyright Act, which appears to limit the first-sale doctrine to works “lawfully made under this title.” The lower courts said that textbooks manufactured outside the United States cannot have been made under American law and so remained subject to the control of the owner of the copyright.



Lark3po
Premium
join:2003-08-05
Madison, AL
Reviews:
·Knology
reply to ArrayList

Re: yeah, okay

said by ArrayList:

As long as this rule remains in place, I will never buy a phone from a carrier again. My property is MY property.

Agreed.

Don't buy a subsidized phone if you want to mod/hack it. Pretty simple really...

kd6cae
P2p Shouldn't Be A Crime

join:2001-08-27
Bakersfield, CA

I've got a technical question

I've got a question for anyone who knows about such things. How does a phone know which carrier it is suppose to lock to if it's a locked device as mine currently is? Even an upgrade of the phone's OS keeps it locked to the carrier, as does a phone restore.
I have an iPhone 4S, and when my contract is up at the end of this year, I'm considering switching to Verizon. If I do so, will I be able to have sprint unlock my phone, so I can use the same device on Verizon if I wish? I know plenty of folks who have unlocked GSM devices, but I don't hear much about anyone with CDMA carriers getting their phone unlocked. Correct me if I'm wrong on my understanding of this, but my iPhone 4S is a phone capable of CDMA or GSM. Currently since my phone is locked to sprint, I could not put any GSM carrier's sim into my phone and have it work. And since Verizon is CDMA, the phone will not see Verizon towers unless unlocked? I'm just curious how all this works, and what the procedure will be for me when the time comes that I do wish to unlock my phone. Thanks. Oh yeah it's silly to make unlocking your phone illegal, I mean I've already long since paid for the total cost of my phone. OK rant done.


adampsyreal

join:2012-10-13
Reviews:
·Comcast

Once again; laws created by those who don't understand.

*Why is it legal for cell phone companies to make my phone run slower with apps that cannot be removed without unlocking?
=They way I see it; phone companies owe us $ for lost time that we could have been using to make money -had we not been spending time out of our lives waiting for crap to run on our phones.

What's next? -no laptop bloatware removal?
--
»www.homesystech.com
Richmond Chesterfield VA Computer Tablet Cell Phone Repair


elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: Ownership of software and other works

I work w/ copyright in software all the time. You assertions while excellent are a little off base:

1. Software are covered under intellectual property law and copyright, which means that yes you own that license (meaning the actual method of use), and it has been proven in the courts that you can resell that license EVEN if the licensor says you can't. This falls under fair use and first-sale doctorine laws which is what they are going after next.
2. Software will also contain intellectual property which may or may not be covered by patents, and this is totally different than the copyright laws.
3. Breaking DRM or protection mechanisms on software is actually a new invention and has been protected since the beginning of time. It should not be illegal to break a lock (DRM), but to use what is behind that lock illegally that is the problem. The DMCA took what was legal since the beginning of time and made a "specific" invention illegal. So this makes an inventor a criminal to limit competition, nothing more. This is NOT a common sense law, but one meant to be anti-competitive.
4. Much of the phone's software is based upon *nix and its open source variants, so there are ZERO phones out there that do not take advantage of open source software that falls under differing licensing requirements. Now imagine AT&T putting a lock on Central Park (a public park), and then telling people that you now have to pay AT&T to go into the park and use it. Do you think that people would go for that? No, and that is EXACTLY what they are doing.

I have worked for a number of software companies, and I can tell you that I am 100% on board for people paying for what they use, but I also 100% disagree with software locks and license owners telling me what I can do with the software, because the entire fact for purchasing the software is to create a new or derivative work.



a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
reply to IowaCowboy

Last I checked, breach of copyright laws is not a criminal matter, but rather a civil one. Granted, it's been some time since I last bothered buying a locked device, but AFAIK, I do not agree to anything concerning the locking status of the device I am activating, either on the carrier contract or device license agreement... Locking is strictly a matter between the carrier and myself... They can choose to grant me an unlock code, or I can vote with my wallet and buy unlocked hardware (whether or not it's factory-unlocked is irrelevant.)
--
Physics: Will you break the laws of physics, or will the laws of physics break you?
If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.



skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

This isn't DRM

What is the exact "digital right" they are managing by locking to a carrier? Unlocking isn't about copying or copyright at all and the phone itself isn't the property of the carrier nor is the operating system (eg iOS, Android).


MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

1 edit
reply to adampsyreal

Re: Once again; laws created by those who don't understand.

said by adampsyreal:

What's next? -no laptop bloatware removal?

In a word, yes.
Especially if the Supreme Court upholds Wiley v. Kirtsaeng (see post above in this thread)

Here's another view of this case
»www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/1···-sale-2/

"The government’s position was, and still is that the U.S. Copyright Act’s first-sale doctrine does not apply to goods produced and copyrighted overseas and imported to the United States — period. Costco had told the Supreme Court that the decision effectively urges U.S.-based manufacturers to flee the United States (.pdf) to acquire complete control over distribution of their goods in the American market, arguments now being made in the latest case."

Now take, for example, a hypothetical HP-branded laptop made in China or Taiwan, filled with bloatware, whose copyright is 'owned' by a non-US company - perhaps a HP foreign 'partner' or perhaps even HP's own Irish (not picking on the Irish) subsidiary. You decide to remove the bloatware and HP has an 'alarm' system which phones home and tells HP that you've removed something that provides HP with additional revenue (ie. selling your page views or whatever to a 3rd party). HP sues you for lost revenue and damages - or more likely just sends you an extortionate "copyright troll" letter offering to 'settle' out-of-court for $10,000.


skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to adampsyreal

Oh no, they understand completely. They read all those extra zeros on those campaign contributions and understood what was expected of them clear as crystal.



skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
reply to MaynardKrebs

Re: The Supremes will rule in this case....

So this means GM can tell you whether or not you can resell your truck since it was made in Canada. Great.



carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to skeechan

Re: This isn't DRM

I usually buy unlocked to begin with, but my kid lives in the EU. She can use any unlocked GSM so I can give her my old ones.

I unlock and root just to get rid of carrier crap, entertainment of all types, social media of all types. No DRM involved, dammit.

There are quite a few weather apps, astronomy apps, nature apps that simply don't run on a dumb phone.

Some movie named Inception or something like it was included on some TMO phones. I guess it was on the SD card - but I formatted my card first and wouldn't know. But some were looking for it. That would involve DRM, I suppose. So would music if the app is installed by the carrier.


MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to skeechan

Re: The Supremes will rule in this case....

said by skeechan:

So this means GM can tell you whether or not you can resell your truck since it was made in Canada. Great.

And any car manufacturer can prohibit you from 'tuning' the engine computer to alter any parameter which can improve performance.

They could even claim that installing OEM or aftermarket parts is not allowed.


PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA

1 recommendation

This should work...

So if I cannot unlock my phone to bring to another carrier at the end of my contract, I assume the carrier I bought it from will buy the phone back from me at full retail?
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???


Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
reply to skeechan

Re: The Supremes will rule in this case....

much more then just that. Think must go to dealer for any work on the car and you can't even do a DIY oil change.

And if they want to real dicks you must only buy the gas we say to.



skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
reply to MaynardKrebs

The student wasn't "tuning" or otherwise changing books. Simply importing them and reselling them. If that can be prohibited, so can reselling an imported car.



J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..
reply to cahiatt

Re: Librarian of Congress?

said by cahiatt:

said by Mike:

I suggest killing someone instead and have good behavior if you have an urge to unlock a phone.

Maybe the people that write these laws? Two birds with one stone. Just sayin....

(Note to FBI: Not serious. Read into the sarcasm)

Sure...IP address noted. Don't contact us, we'll contact you.

Jeff Williamson
Director, CIA; Ottawa Branch (Canada)
1-888-WE-CALL-U

www.cia.gov
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Sprint iPhone

I guess people with Sprint iPhones are SOL because Sprint will not unlock iPhones for domestic SIM usage. International yes but try and get an off contract phone unlocked so you can use a T-Mobile or AT&T SIM and you are screwed.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.


bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY
reply to kd6cae

Re: I've got a technical question

The 4s CDMA is locked to Vz/Sprint by the ESN. in theory they could let you use a Sprint phone on Vz..but they won't. The SIM in the Iphone 4s CDMA version IIRC is only used for overseas.


Chaldo

join:2008-03-18
West Bloomfield, MI

This isnt going to stop anything.

You will still see people unlocking phones and using them. Do you think this is going to stop the huge demand in other countries for unlocked phones from US? That is a big multi million dollar business, people still will unlock their phones.



delusion ftl

@comcast.net
reply to kd6cae

Re: I've got a technical question

CDMA phones are not really technically locked like GSM phones can be. The way those carriers handle those phones is to simply refuse to activate a device not sold through them. So while your Sprint iphone could be up and running on verizon without any changes to the phone. Verizon refuses to allow any Sprint MEID's on their network. And vice versa.

If you wanted to take a sprint phone and move it to cricket or metro pcs, those carriers will often activate phones from other carriers on their network. I do believe though that while they used to now Apple has forced Cricket to agree not to activate iphones from other carriers as it as cutting down on iPhone users purchasing new iphones and digging into Apple's profit.

I understand that Sprint will not factory unlock your iphone's GSM portion to use on tmobile or ATT. This is probably to keep the phone in a state where it can only be used for sprint revenue. Given the insanely terrible iphone contract Sprint signed I cannot imagine them ever relenting on that.

Your best bet is probably to sell off the 4s, and get a better phone. You would probably come out money ahead swapping to a Verizon galaxy nexus, or pitch in 50-100 and you could probably get a verizon gs3 if that's the way you want to go. However, if you are going to get a phone off contract you may as well save money. So i would look at tmobiles monthly 4g, straight talk, and the like that will run you 30-50 dollars a month for talk/txt/web


kd6cae
P2p Shouldn't Be A Crime

join:2001-08-27
Bakersfield, CA
reply to kd6cae

Wow that's unfortunate. So you are saying, that even when my contract is up, I would not be able to use my same device on Verizon, or for that matter any network even GSM networks such as AT&T, even if I contacted sprint? That doesn't seem right to me, but I suppose it's a good reason to purchase a fully unlocked iPhone 5 then, if my current device is stuck on sprint here in the US. To be clear, I don't hate sprint, I just was hoping to have the option when my contract is up, to go to another domestic carrier if I choose with my same device. Guess that can't happen with sprint. Very silly in my book.



MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1
reply to Lark3po

Re: yeah, okay

It may be simple to avoid, I myself don't have to worry about this as much as I'm on a byod sim prepaid plan, I can just buy an unlocked device, but the truth is that many phones on ebay are used phones, many of which were carrier subsidized. and used carrier phones are normally cheaper than the full unlocked versions. This move could kill a substantial part of the second hand market.

This is about greed, carriers can make it harder to switch by refusing to unlock your phone, even if your contract is up or you've left and paid the etf, which in reality pays for the rest of your subsidized phone not the mention the boom for phone manufacturers to increase sales, as more phones become harder to resell.

With T-mobile's refarm and bring your own device promotion. I fully expect AT&T to start refusing to unlock phones, regardless of your contract being over. Verizon and Sprint may be better about it, as their phones aren't easily moved from one carrier to another. It's anticompetitive and anticonsumer, they shouldn't have the right to tell you what you can do with a device you own.