Americans can legally unlock their phones

Here comes good-bye to the fears of lawsuits when it comes to unlocking your cellphone.
The official online petition collecting 100,000 signs elicited response of White House to reinstate cellphone unlocking. President Obama will legalize customers' rights to modify the firmware, freeing them from restrictions put by most carriers on their phones. Whether the rule will continue to apply after 3 years will be decided by Librarian of Congress. LOC's Copyright Office reviews the rules as required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which means that this law is just temporary.
Until last year, phone unlocking was legal but in Oct 2012 Copyright Office's review suggested that there were ample alternatives to circumvention and that customers had a wide array of unlocked phone options available in the market. That's when LOC allowed customers a 3-month window to update their cells, finally revoking the rights in January.
The Senate and the House have cleared the way for President's signature by approving the bill. Petition representative Sina Khanifar of OpenSignal stated : "With such a strong signal from Congress, it's very unlikely that the Librarian will remove the unlocking exemption."
Taking issue with DMCA laws, Khanifer said: "The fact that public advocacy organizations have to make a fresh case every three years is a perfect example of why the underlying copyright law, Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, is in dire need of an update."


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