Unlocking iPhone to become Illegal after Jan 2013

According to a recent statement released by DMCA and the Library of Congress , unlocking of any iPhone purchased after the start of 2013 in the USA will be illegal. Phones bought before this time will be exempt from this ruling, but phones bought after this time will only be unlocked if the user gains express permission from the carrier.


In 2006 and 2010 the Library of Congress allowed users to unlock their phones whenever they wished. Now the rules have changed until 2015 when the ruling will be amended again. The Library of Congress gave two given reasons for this change in policy, number one being that despite the money paid for the physical phone the user does not own the software, but only has permission to use it in accordance with the End User License Agreement.

Number two was that the amount of unlocked phones on the market as tripled since three years ago and that as carriers have generous unlocking policies it should not be allowed for users to unlock their phones without the carriers permission.

A source quotes :

In addition the new exemptions only allow for phones you already have, as well as those purchased before January, to be unlocked. Phones purchased after January 2013 can only be unlocked with the carrier’s permission.

Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable a wireless telephone handset originally acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer no later than ninety days after the effective date of this exemption to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network, if the operator of the wireless communications network to which the handset is locked has failed to unlock it within a reasonable period of time following a request by the owner of the wireless telephone handset, and when circumvention is initiated by the owner, an individual consumer, who is also the owner of the copy of the computer program in such wireless telephone handset, solely in order to connect to a different wireless telecommunications network, and such access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.

iPhone unlocking (or phone unlocking in general) is completely unlimited in some places and any corner phone shop will do it on the spot for a small fee. Why does America think that it’s carriers should have more rights than those in other countries? What is you opinion? Are the policies set out by the providers generous enough that unlocking, although technically illegal, will still continue at an acceptable rate to the public? Or should this ban never have been imposed ?

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