Unlocking Smartphones for Other Carriers Now Illegal in US

Starting today, unlocking a smartphone to use it with another carrier is illegal in the United States unless you have already purchased that locked phone.

The new rules, which restrict the rights of the device owner to use the technology as they see fit, comes after the Librarian of Congress reinterpreted the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act last October. Unlocking phones for other carriers used to be allowed in 2010, as the LOC reviews the rules every three years.

Meanwhile, jail-breaking devices–or allowing the installation of third-party apps–will remain legal, except on tablets. Also, installing Cydia on an iPad (but not an iPhone) will constitute a breach of the DMCA. Android users rarely have to circumvent blocks to install apps, but they also have to avoid unlocking smartphones.

The LOC is also asking US courts to decide on where to draw the line between a big phone and a small tablet. You see, American laws do not acknowledge phablets.

The subsidy lock would give carriers enough time to recover the costs they pay when the contract is signed. A locked phone is usually free or sold cheaply and the monthly bills make up for it.

Those who are not in favor of the new rules can opt to purchase unlocked handsets instead, but that means you will have to pay full price for the device.

Source: The Register

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