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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    GrimCW says:

    Should mention other devices too.

    Its BS to "lease" these items to the users and then sue them for trying to take control of a device they paid excessive prices for in the first place. Then not even offer a buy back or something for those that no longer want to use them.

    Piracy is NOT that big a damned issue as they claim. Yes it is one, but personally i like homebrew for simple cross platforming (Return to Zork on my Wii? hell yeah! Sam'n'Max on my PSP? fuck yeah!!) But can't say I condone, nor care for piracy. And i know i'm not the only one.

    Hell i Know plenty of people, like me, that only have their Iphones jail broken for the UI enhancements. The default UI on the IPhone is garbage and outright aggravating at times needing nearly as much redirection just to do one thing as DoS had (exageration intended)

    I mean, whats the point of having a background image if it gets buried under icons? why can't i position my icons AROUND the edges of the screen? Gridlock (an item bought from Cydia) can do it, so why hasn't apple done this? Or the folders, why limited space?! Why can't i house ALL of my games in one folder, Media apps in another, and Utilities in the third without needing multiple folders between each set? Even the tool bar at the bottom is stupidly limited :/

    One good point to piracy being less an issue is how that InstallOus Program died due to "lack of interest".   When the one known item meant for piracy dies for that reason, it can't be that big a problem. I'm sure torrents and such work too, but when the ease of use direct download method goes bye bye… its a bit of a hint IMO.

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