Unlocking Phones in US is illegal now. Last year October 2012, the US Librarian of Congress did changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which prevented users from unlocking their phones. A 90-day exemption period was allowed to users to get their Phones unlocked which expired on this Saturday, 26th January.
Unlocking of Phone enables you to use it on multiple networks, an Unlocked Phone is good for travelers, they can use any carrier if they travel abroad and avoid huge bills. Software such as Ultrasn0w used to unlock iPhone will also become illegal now.
Brad Shear, DC-area attorney from Washington and blogger who is an expert on social media and technology law, says that unlocking phone may be punished with a civil suit and if violation was done for commercial gain then it will be taken as a criminal act. Fine may be of amount $2,500 and those who unlock phones for profit may have to pay up to $500,000.
In US two major cellphone carriers, Verizon and AT&T, Verizon sells unlocked phones whereas AT&T unlocks phone which is out of contract.
Unlocking phone is different from Jailbreak, Jailbreak of iPhone allows you to install third part applications.
If you want to make unlocking of phone legal then sign an online petition to the White House.
The petition says,
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
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.
It requires 100,000 signatures by 23rd February to pass the petition. Go ahead and sign to make phone unlock legal in US.