The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA (Digital Media Copyright Act).
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.
There’s a brief article written on CNN.com about the issue here: Unlocking Illegal on CNN
The penalties for violating this ruling can be extremely steep at $500,000USD for your first offense and $1MM for your 2nd violation.
Every wholesaler, reseller, dealer, etc with a store front or online front selling unlock codes should have some type of disclaimer to protect themselves from scrutiny if you continue to provide unlock services to your customers such as: “Due to the recent legislation passed by the Library of Congress for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), we are forbidden to unlock devices that were manufactured on January 26th, 2013 and later. We will not be held liable for unknowingly unlocking a device that was made from this date onwards.”
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.
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.
You can view the petition here:
To sign the petition you do need to sign up for a free account (it’s very quick and easy) and then you can sign the petition. Help reverse the trend of big business blocking out consumerism!