Smartphone Unlocking Law Changes Saturday

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Big news is turning heads in the mobile industry. Come Saturday, it will be illegal to unlock new smartphones without the permission of a carrier, according to a Friday report from CNET.com.

The decision follows a ruling in late October administered under the supervision of the Library of Congress – therefore affecting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“…with respect to new wireless handsets, there are ample alternatives to circumvention. That is, the marketplace has evolved such that there is now a wide array of unlocked phone options available to consumers. While it is true that not every wireless device is available unlocked, and wireless carriers’ unlocking polices are not free from all restrictions, the record clearly demonstrates that there is a wide range of alternatives from which consumers may choose in order to obtain an unlocked wireless phone,” reads a portion of the law, according to CNET’s news story.

Unlocking mobile devices differs from jailbreaking. The open source aspect it allows provides users with the ability to make the smartphone work with a carrier of their choice. Some companies do, however, already offer devices unlocked. Tech giant Apple currently provides one such of those via its iPhone.

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