Petition Created to Make Unlocked Cell Phones Legal Again
As the EFF Explains the Rule Changes Aren't as Bad As Stated
As we noted last week
, unlocking your phone is technically now illegal due to modified exemptions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The EFF has offered a post
exploring the good and bad of this; the good being that the law remains murky, individuals are unlikely to be sued, and users can technically still jailbreak their devices legally. The bad is that if there are lawsuits they'll be targeting businesses:
While we don’t expect mass lawsuits anytime soon, the threat still looms. More likely, wireless carriers, or even federal prosecutors, will be emboldened to sue not individuals, but rather businesses that unlock and resell phones. If a court rules in favor of the carriers, penalties can be stiff - up to $2,500 per unlocked phone in a civil suit, and $500,000 or five years in prison in a criminal case where the unlocking is done for "commercial advantage." And this could happen even for phones that are no longer under contract. So we're really not free to do as we want with devices that we own.
The EFF goes on to note the DMCA is still incredibly awful, crippling aftermarkets, interfering with legitimate research, and hindering creativity and innovation. Sina Khanifar, who has had run ins with Motorola
for previously running an aftermarket unlocking service in the past writes us to note that there's a petition on the White House website
pushing to make unlocking of cell phones absolutely legal -- permanently.
The petition has roughly 30,000 of its 70,000 signature goal, so perhaps some of you can lend a hand.
said by AnonFTW :It use to be only 25,000 was needed. I guess they raised it because of certain petitions that they didn't like were getting past the 25,000 mark. Nice huh?
The Petition needs 100,000 signatures to be addressed. The 70k noted are just the number needed by a certain date to remain on track for the 100,000 required.
I signed it.
said by NOVA_UAV_Guy:Ah yes, because having a rounding error number of people in the country with a moronic idea should be able to waste the time of the federal government?
I can think of a whole host of petitions that the White House didn't like that wound up crossing the threshold on there too.
A few of the petitions for allowing specific states to leave the union come to mind for this. I think that a few of them actually crossed the old threshold, which is probably what prompted the higher numbers for everyone. Obama and his cronies, just like Bush II, doesn't really appreciate it when the people come together to voice their opinions.
Care to guess what a counter petition from just the rest of the people in those states would have garnered?
| |said by ArrayList:Why don't you start a petition for "give up liberty for security" then. See how many support it.
well it's not that they didn't like them. they were pointless and stupid petitions. The death star one is the best example.
Re: Software rights Along the same lines, I would think then couldn't Microsoft go after all those 3rd party app developers like Start 8 that put functionally back into Windows 8 that Microsoft removed?
If you say its illegal to "unlock" your phone, would it also be "illegal" to modify Windows 8 to give you the start menu back?
Another example: You buy a desktop from Dell with Windows 8 on it. Once you get it home, you format the drive, and install Linux because you do not like Windows 8. Is Dell going to hunt you down and throw you in jail, because you choose to install another OS? I don't think so.
Regardless if the hardware is a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. You as a consumer have paid for said device. Its your hardware, and you should be allowed to install or modify the software on it however you see fit.
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said by cdru:That would be about the only way he could do it. I suppose if he believes that he has the authority to ban assault rifles with an executive order, he would also likely believe he has the authority to do something here.
Besides, even if the President agreed with the petition and wanted to effect change, there is little he could do aside from executive order for the DOJ not to prosecute.