The issue of unlocking a smartphone that has been purchased under a hefty carrier discount, has shifted from a ‘moral’ or ‘ethical’ question to a legal one.
Right when you thought it wasn’t a sin to jailbreak your phone, it is.
Back in January it became illegal “to unlock a new smartphone without the permission of the carrier that locked it in the first place.” This can be followed back to October, when the Library of Congress, who handles the rules regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, says this:
“…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.”
Honestly, this is only fair.
Do you disagree?
But What If I Want to Unlock/Jailbreak My Phone?
Not to worry. If you purchase a used phone or purchase a phone without a contract, you’re golden. Hack and unlock to your hearts desire. If you think this law is silly and should be ignored, think again.
There are two things to consider:
- You’re breaking the law.
- You’re carrier can come after you.
Sure, carrier’s could have sent nasty letters before, the only difference now is they can throw-in Federal regulations.
Moreover, as a Christian, we shouldn’t be breaking law. Am I right?
As for being”fair,” these phones are being offered at a discount under the carriers terms. If unlocking the phone goes against their terms, you shouldn’t get the phone at a reduced rate. If you want the deal, it’s up to you to keep your end of the bargain.