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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
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
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.


JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to IowaCowboy
Unlocking a phone isn't about software ownership. It's about hardware. You own your phone, and it's provider lock has nothing to do with what software it's running. Your position means you couldn't mod your own computer if you were running windows or mac os, and we know that simply isn't true. Plus, this ridiculous restriction has nothing to do with jailbreaking a phone, which will still be legal, which IMO, makes the restriction on unlocking a phone just plain stupid and shows just how out of touch these people making such baseless and arbitrary rules really are.

ccureau

join:2002-12-28
Slidell, LA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

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.

Interesting... All this time I have been purchasing computers that come preinstalled with Windows, wiping the disk, and installing Linux.

Does that make me a criminal too?


iTroll

@charter.com
reply to IowaCowboy
Last I heard Android software was acquired by Google, and of course iOS is owned by Apple. So what part of the phone's software are you referring to that is owned by the carrier?

Are you saying that removing the portion of the firmware that only has to do with that carrier to use with another should be illegal?


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

Last I heard Android software was acquired by Google, and of course iOS is owned by Apple. So what part of the phone's software are you referring to that is owned by the carrier?

Are you saying that removing the portion of the firmware that only has to do with that carrier to use with another should be illegal?

The carrier loads software on to the device that is bundled with the phone's software. Also, most handset makers will void the warranty as modifying the software to unlock the device since that is a breach of the software licensing agreement. As for the unlock codes, it is illegal to crack them since that is considered off-limits to the user so that is considered hacking.

Back when I was in 9th grade, me and several classmates had gotten into trouble after a teacher had given us passwords and the school district installed software on computers but left the passwords as the default (which were easily obtainable) and we got into a boatload of trouble. The school system was partly to blame as they left passwords as default and the teacher (who was no longer employed by the district) gave us the passwords. We were young and this was around 1998. Some of the software involved was called LAN commander, Screen to Screen, and On Guard (all products by a company called Power On software) and this was on the Macs. While I learned my lesson, one of the other kids (who I no longer knew since I changed schools my 10th grade year) ended up killing a pizza guy and is doing life in the Iowa DOC. I was in a behavior disorder class when the computer incident occurred. I was completely out of BD class by 11th grade and I graduated on time with honors in 2002.

I learned my lesson from the computer incident back in 1998, which is why I don't access any part of a computer system or software that I am not supposed to access.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to JakCrow
said by JakCrow:

Unlocking a phone isn't about software ownership. It's about hardware. You own your phone, and it's provider lock has nothing to do with what software it's running.

Once the hardware subsidy is paid off (typically the same term as the contract) - you DO truly own the phone, and can do as you please... I don't know a single carrier that won't unlock a phone after the contract has expired.

If you want that freedom from day one, then buy an ulocked phone at the retail price, not the heavily discounted, subsidized contract one.


jtl999
CEO of Actiontec Dev Team

join:2012-11-24
In the GVRD
kudos:4
reply to IowaCowboy
The computers were the schools property.

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy
The difference is that the computers where property of the city. The phone, your desktop, your game consoles are your property.

I see DVDs and Blu Rays as mine too, If I want to rip them to a media center PC for personal use with no intents to ever send that data over the internet, I will because that is my choice to do so not the choice of some content owner in Hollywood to tell me I should also buy a separate DRM and platform locked digital version.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports