It makes no sense for the act of unlocking a phone to be criminal. The carrier gets their pound of flesh one way or the other. If I want to change carriers after the contract has expired, it should be my right. They have a chance to win my business, but not at the prices they charge.
Competely disagree. The party in contract is still legally bound to either (1) pay 2 years of service fees or (2) pay the ( generally overpriced) cancellation fee. These options cover the provider financially. Meaning, they see NO ADDITIONAL money from the customer regardless if they unlock or even sell their new phone.
Excellent point on the subsidized phone. But that wouldn't come under copyright infringement, as far as I can figure.
It would make more sense to write a law preventing the unlocking of phones until or unless the user owns the phone outright.
There are two issues. The phone device itself and the service provided to make the phone useful. By combining the two issues under a sales package, the service providers are trying to force the consumer to use only their service. Making the phone a separate device so that the owner can select which service to use falls into a fair use idea, which the US has long supported, so it is no surprise that the white house supports the idea.
The service providers are just trying to make you think you are being bad when you try to switch your device to another carrier. The technology supports either, so I do not think the service providers have a solid position here.
Just my opinion.
There is a certain reasonableness to the concept of legal restrictions on users' rights with respect to subsidized cell phones -- the consumer doesn't yet fully own the phone in that case.
But with phones retained beyond the 2-year subsidy period, or purchased at retail with no service contract and no subsidy, the consumer then owns the phone in every respect and should be free to do whatever he/she wants with it -- change the software, change the hardware, drop it in a bucket of water, set it on fire or whatever -- just as with any other electronic product that has been purchased free and clear.
I can't begin to understand what copyright infringement could be taking place here. What has been allowed to go on, instead, has been overt collusion between equipment manufacturers and the service providers.
Let's say you buy an interesting bottle of Caberenet Sauvignon. After you're done with the content, you decide to pour water into that same bottle. Would you expect the feds to lock you up and fine you thousands of dollars? In a civilized country? Come now.