It’s Now Illegal to Unlock Your Phone; What Does This Mean?

iPhone 5All the salacious headlines are (mostly) true — as of Saturday, you can’t unlock a carrier-subsidized smartphone on your own before the contract associated with it runs out without technically running afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Granted, I’d wager that the number of people who faithfully stick to their multi-year wireless contracts far exceeds the number of people who would unlock their phones and bail, but this is still a damned lousy turn of events for all you proponents of phone freedom out there (myself included). But how did this actually happen? To more clearly understand the change that went into effect, we have to flash back to the heady days of 2010. In late July of that year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced on its blog that it had won three big exemptions to the DMCA.

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Author:

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, Shelly Palmer Digital Living Daily, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards).