Unlocked Phones and the DMCA


There’s a lot of hub-bub around the whole unlocked phone issue and the DMCA in the States. I’ve broken it down for you here.

There’s a lot of confusion around unlocked phones right now. Recently, the Library of Congress Librarian, who has jurisdiction over expectations in the DMCA removed an exemption related to removing a carrier lock on a cell phone; but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here are a few important factoids around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA.

  • Put into effect 12-Oct-1998
  • Portions adopted by the EU in the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000. The Copyright Directive 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty in the EU.
  • Amends Title 17 Copyright Laws in the States and criminalizes the circumvention of DRM protecting copyrighted works.
  • It also criminalizes the act of circumventing of DRM or other controls regardless of  whether or not copyright is actually infringed.
  • Heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet[citation needed].

When you think of the DMCA, think MP3’s and digital music. That’s what legislators had in their heads when they wrote the law. The whole Napster fiasco had the RIAA spitting nails and they were a powerful enough lobby to get Congress to pull together modifications to copyright law that addressed pirating digital music Well, that and software, which is where the whole locked phone thing comes into play.


Previously in 2006 and again in 2010, the Librarian of Congress exempted the circumvention of methods around removing the carrier lock in a cell phone’s firmware.  This lock is nothing more than software preventing the use of that phone on a competing wireless network.  As of 27-Jan-2013, it is now illegal to unlock any cellphone purchased after that date without the expressed permission of the device manufacturer, the wireless carrier, or both.

Jailbreaking a device, or removing the lock preventing sandboxing of applications is still permitted.  So, you don’t have to worry about your rooted Android phone/tablet or jailbroken iDevice violating the law. You can still do that for now.

Come back next time and I’ll dive into some of the details around what you can and cannot do, and what many – myself included – recommend you do.

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Jailbreak your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to experience iOS as it should be: fully customizable, themeable, and with every tweak imaginable

Did you finally decided to free your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch ? Well, JailbreakMe seems to be the easiest way to do it.

Why do it? Let me give you 3 reasons of why you should Jailbreak your device:

1. To install 3rd party applications via Cydia, apps witch are great but for some reason, banned by AppStore:

  • NemusSync – to Sync iPhone calendar with Google Calendar
  • MxTube – to download and save YouTube video on iPhone
  • iPhoneModem – to use your iPhone as modem and give your laptop connection to Internet via iPhone

2. To experience iOS as it should be: fully customizable, themeable, and with every tweak imaginable. E.g. With SSH daemon you can connect to iPhone remotely and transfer any file to/from it.

3. To change the look and feel of your iPhone or iPad. What this means? Well, you can for example use Winterboard to apply theme on iPhone/iPad and make it look the way you want (e.g. change the icons).

Pretty cool, right? Ok, if you’re convinced, first thing first,  back up your iPhone/iPod/iPod Touch in iTunes – just in case something goes wrong. If you’re done with that, watch this simple YouTube video tutorial, it will show you how to do it… kids play!

Video tutorial description: The tutorial will show you how to jailbreak iOS 4.3.3 using Jailbreak Me 3.0 on an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch 3G (16GB and 32GB models only), iPod touch 4G, iPad 1 and the iPad 2. JailbreakMe 3.0 is an untethered jailbreak for iOS 4.3.3.

Image Source: iPhone Shine | All the credits goes to JailbreakMe team and YouTube user Duncan33303.

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