FCC Deems Cell Phone Unlocking Legal!

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

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Thread: FCC Deems Cell Phone Unlocking Legal!

  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.



    "Shimmy, I love it when you talk nerdy to me!" - Natemz


  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.
    Have you ever wondered why things intended to make our lives simpler keep getting more complicated to use?

  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..
    "Shimmy, I love it when you talk nerdy to me!" - Natemz

  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.
    Have you ever wondered why things intended to make our lives simpler keep getting more complicated to use?

  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.
    Have you ever wondered why things intended to make our lives simpler keep getting more complicated to use?

  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.
    Have you ever wondered why things intended to make our lives simpler keep getting more complicated to use?

  9. #9
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    1. Unlocking a phone was never illegal, breaking the software encryption to allow unlocking was. This is what made it illegal to unlock an iPhone. You had to jailbreak it before you could unlock it. Jailbreaking an iPhone broke through Apples security encryptions to access the software to affect an unlock. Since RIM never included a software encryption barrier to unlocking, nobody ever broke the law to unlock their berrys. However, creating, using, or possessing software to unlock the iPhone is still violating copyright law, even though having an unlocked iPhone is legal. Like anyone with a brain would care if it were illegal.

    2. The founding fathers were all wealthy businessmen or well off farmers, they knew the damage that copyright and corporate power could do to our union. They made specific laws to keep corporate greed out of the government. And, because they were wealthy, they also made laws that would protect corporations, giving them a level playing field. Patents were meant to expire fast, to give corporations a chance to profit from them at first, then so that any one may profit afterwords. Copyright was meant to function the same way. Corporate America has grown so greedy that it will feed on itself until it collapses, eating its own arm because its hungry, and drinking its own blood because its thirsty, so to speak. Case in point, patent trolls and patent holding companys. They make no products, yet they hold the power to profit from companys that do the physical work.
    Last edited by BBSuperAbuser; 08-01-2010 at 02:49 AM.

  10. #10
    Bugly's Avatar
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    I think we're on the same page, my friend. The corporate world IS, indeed the worst part of a capitalist system, as it promotes greed and feeds off the weak (so to speak). There is, however, a way to kill this monster.... STOP FEEDING IT!
    I'm getting a wee bit weary of those who always seem to quote the old adage; "You can't fight city hall". Well, where do you think that little bit of "wisdom" came from? Right! City hall said it first, and everybody believed it.
    I've been bucking the system for many years now and have found there are many "laws" on the books that "we the people" have been following without question, that don't even apply to us. Ever heard someone say "don't remove the tags from the mattress, you could go to jail?" B.S. that tag is perfectly legal to remove if you are the customer, not if you're the seller. The list goes on and on, so if you have some spare time, please read some laws and see if you really have to follow them.
    Have you ever wondered why things intended to make our lives simpler keep getting more complicated to use?

  11. #11
    BBSuperAbuser's Avatar
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    I think Benjamin Franklin said it best, "Those who will give up essential liberties for security, deserve neither security, nor liberty." Sound a little prophetic?

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    100% if you own it you should be able to do what you want with it! I love this!!!! My first BB was a Storm 1 I purchased off of Ebay and I activated it on Alltel before VZW took over. I had no clue what I was doing, I just wanted the Storm!!!!! I bricked it within the first week and couldn't bear to let the hubby know I thought I flushed $175.00. I found BBOS and the rest is history to wanting the latest and greatest OS!
    Crickee

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    emiratesus is offline Banned
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    Unlocking phones becomes legal . . In my view, Unlocking is not a criminal action . If anyone wants to travel to other countries than US, they want to use it with that particular country's local network . All the network provider restricts their phone to use with various countries. Then, how can they use other carrier without unlocking their handsets. Its not illegal . It is one of the essential requirement for mobile users . Unlocking can be done by respective carrier or by any of the online providers .Some of the online vendors provides unlocking instructions to unlock phones .

    Source : http://www.blackberryosunlock.com/

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