White House Petition Calls for Reversal of Phone Unlocking Exception Removal from DMCA

A new petition on Whitehouse.gov asks the White House to direct the Librarian of Congress to rescind the October 2012 decision that removed unlocking mobile phones (commonly referred to as jailbreaking) as exceptions to the DMCA. The petition already has 80,838 of the 100,000 it needs to get some attention from the Administration. It needs 19,162 more signatures as of this writing.

If the White House cannot compel the Librarian of Congress to change that decision, then the petition calls for the Administration to champion a bill that makes unlocking phones permanently legal. You can find the petition here. We have included the text of the petition below:

Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal.

The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA.

As of January 26, consumers will no longer be able unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired.

Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full.

The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked.

We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.

Created: Jan 24, 2013

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