View Poll Results: Did you know unlocking your BlackBerry was illegal?

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  • Yes I knew, didn't make a difference though!

    4 44.44%
  • No I wasn't aware, good to know it's legal now!

    5 55.56%
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  1. #1
    ShimmyShine's Avatar
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    FCC Deems Cell Phone Unlocking Legal!


    As Ron Burgundy would say "This is what's happening in your world, tonight." Recently the FCC has made the unlocking of phones to use on networks that are unintended, legal. I'm willing to bet a majority of the people out there who bought or sold unlocked BlackBerry's had no clue that what they were doing was technically against the law. It was a debate over the security of devices on other networks as well as copyright laws by manipulating the OS to use those devices on other networks that made it a decision in the first place. The FCC ultimately decided that it wasn't a copyright infringement to unlock or jailbreak your phone.

    I would like to point out however, that just because the FCC made it legal to use unlocked phones on different networks, it doesn't mean that phone companies have to respect this decision. It is still under their rights to disallow unlocked phones on their network. But lets just say Verizon or AT&T changed their policies and opened their doors to allow those phones that are unlocked on their networks; I have a feeling this would end up creating a falling domino effect with other networks. This would happen simply because it will be popular amongst that one network who allowed unlocked phones.

    So, I've setup a poll out of curiosity as to how many of you actually knew that unlocking your phones was illegal. I'll be honest, I've sold numerous phones on eBay that were unlocked and I never had a clue that what I was doing illegal; I actually don't even think that eBay knows it was illegal either because there was a category made specifically for unlocked phones. This just goes to show though, that the FCC nor any cell phone provider ever made an example out of someone who used an unlocked phone or threw a fit over the fact that people do it, aside from Steve Jobs (Apple) - Go figure.




  2. #2
    Bugly's Avatar
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    My take on this is; If you buy a product, you own it. Period. I don't really care what the manufacturer thinks at that point. If you modify it, the warranty can be voided, other than that, there should be no complaint from the manufacturer if you decide to do with your property what you want to.
    As far as OSs are concerned, show me empirical proof that changing the SOFTware will damage the HARDware.
    This all boils down to control issues. Manufacturers all believe their product is perfect the way it is, and modifying it will make it less perfect. If they can control their customers by threatening them with "penalties" or "shutting them down" all they are doing is proving my point.

  3. #3
    ShimmyShine's Avatar
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    Bugly! I wasn't going to hop into this conversation, however I haven't spoke with you in forever!

    Anyhow, I 100% agree.. A great example (rather off topic though) is xBox or PS3/PSP. If you read some of those forums, they are constantly at wars with each other - SONY vs. Hackers or Microsoft vs. Hackers.. I think its amusing that 1 hacker can stand up against SONY or Microsoft..



  4. #4
    Bugly's Avatar
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    Indeed! It really boils down to property ownership. If you really want to modify something, you should (and do) have the right to do so. If you break it, they make more. That's the risk you take. If they don't like it, that's tough, they'll sell more units if there are more "extras" available.
    As far as BlackBerry or IPhone are concerned, there is a lot of room for improvement on both platforms and if there is no open source, Droid will dominate the market and soon there will be no support at all, due to market share loss and failure of the companies.

  5. #5
    AstroFreddy is offline BlackBerryOS Friend Follow AstroFreddy On Twitter
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    You two should check out the writings of Lawrence Lessig. His book "Free Culture" and "Remix" have a lot to do with what you're talking about.

    Two of my favorite books ever.



  6. #6
    Bugly's Avatar
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    I'm just imparting my opinion, but it does go against all the tenets of what our founding fathers set this country up for. It wasn't for big corporations to take advantage of their customers, rather, Madison and Jefferson both despised corporations so much, they originally wanted to make provisions that their power was to be limited from day one. Obviously, the message fell on deaf ears.

  7. #7
    AstroFreddy is offline BlackBerryOS Friend Follow AstroFreddy On Twitter
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    I doubt it has less to do with the original intent of the founding fathers. They knew copyright was important. What has happened was that more and more, we are seeing new digital technologies being treated way different than analogue technologies.

    For example, you buy a book: you can tear it apart, give it to a friend, take a photocopy, donate to a library etc.
    You buy a book for your Kindle: Not so much.

  8. #8
    Bugly's Avatar
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    My thought on that particular issue is that if you don't want someone to take it apart, don't sell it to anyone. There is a basic human need to change one's surroundings. This also applies to anything you create or anything you buy. Placing restrictions on something only increases the perceived need to change it to make it your own. I applaud the Supreme Court for finally recognizing that fact. It is high time the corporate world gets a taste of its own medicine by being told they are not, in fact Gods, but servants of their customers.

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