Cellphone unlocking made legal once again

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: August 1, 2014

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And just like that, the illegal phone unlocking saga has come to an end, at least for now.

The White House has announced that President Obama will sign the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law today. As its name suggests, the law will allow consumers to unlock their cellphones for use on other networks. Additionally, consumers can get help with the unlock process if they need it.

Cellphone unlocking was made illegal in early 2013 when an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allowed unlocked ended up expiring. A petition was created to restore the exemption, and after gaining support from the White House and other parts of the U.S. government, that’s exactly what has happened.

Of course, it’s worth noting that since today’s actions are restoring the DMCA exemption, it’s possible that this whole issue could arise again if the exemption is allowed to lapse again. The U.S. Copyright Office meets once every three years to determine what exemptions, if any, should be allowed in the DMCA. The next meeting will take place in 2015.

Via The White House