Unlocking your phone is a felony in the USA

If you want to unlock a phone, better do it in Taiwan rather than “the land of the free”:

Pretty bizarre, especially since copyright law (IMO) has nothing to do with it whatsoever. It’s a breach of contract and should be dealt with as such.

^This

… and the land of the FREEEEEE…

… and the home … of … the … braaaavvveeee…

Oh wait, I think China may have similar lyric in their national anthem.

I can only say: what were they smoking? probably wasn’t legal.

Is it illegal to physically modify your phone? Is it illegal to paint it, or to smash it with a sledgehammer? If it isn’t, it shouldn’t be illegal to unlock, jailbreak or root it. Since you bought it, the phone is yours. Even if the company is requiring you to have a contract with them for a certain amount of time, the phone is yours. You’re not renting it. You are the owner. Since it’s yours, you should be able to do what you want with it.

So now if you unlock your own phone you could end up with legal problems, and if you genetically modify a crop that by chance ends up being harmful to others it’s impossible to end up with legal problems. I give up. That country is getting more retarded and sketchy by the day :thumbsdown:

Complain what you will about Taiwan, at least the government here don’t put you in jail for unlocking a phone…

Um … yes and no. You were sold the phone at a discounted price on the condition that you use the vendor’s services, usually for a certain length of time. The concept is similar to a hire-purchase agreement for a car - you wouldn’t argue that just because you’ve paid a big chunk of the cost of the car up-front, the car is yours free and clear. The usage contract is there to ensure that the vendor gets their money back on a below-cost sale.

There’s no need to make jailbreaking your phone illegal (in fact, it doesn’t make sense to do so) but as soon as you use that phone to connect to an alternative service, you’re in breach of contract. Since there’s no point in jailbreaking a phone unless you intend to do precisely that, the legal guys have got all confused and assumed it’s one and the same thing. OTOH I’ve never had an expensive phone with strings attached - I’m assuming that, after some certain period, the contract ends and the phone is yours to do with as you wish. Or is that not the case?

That shouldn’t matter, either. Can you not jailbreak a phone, use it with another provider, but still pay your original contract out? If I sign a contract with ATT, unlock my phone and use it with Sprint, I’m not breacing a contract until I stop paying my bills from ATT. Right? Or am I missing something?

Makes sense. But I bet in practice nobody does that. OTOH because that possibility exists, it’s obviously wrong-headed to make unlocking per se a offence. I’ve also heard some people do this because the locks place restrictions on what software/apps they can run, which (if I understand correctly) seems unfair and pointless.

That’s right. Many people may not pay out that original contract, but it could well be cheaper to pay it PLUS the fees from a competitor if the competitor’s fees are low enough. In that case, it would make sense to do that, and still keep paying on the first contract in order not to ruin your credit. Of course, the providers sell you x amount of service for x price and then expect to charge more for more usage. If you pay only the minimum contract fees because you’re really using an competitor’s services, then they still lose what they were planning on making off you.

Signing a contract that is a risk to credit if not honored is one thing, but to have it linked to a law that could result in criminal charges is ridiculous. How far is protecting corporate profits going to get? It seems copyright laws and patents could reach the point where it’s impossible to avoid committing a crime.

Um … yes and no. You were sold the phone at a discounted price on the condition that you use the vendor’s services, usually for a certain length of time. The concept is similar to a hire-purchase agreement for a car - you wouldn’t argue that just because you’ve paid a big chunk of the cost of the car up-front, the car is yours free and clear. The usage contract is there to ensure that the vendor gets their money back on a below-cost sale.

There’s no need to make jailbreaking your phone illegal (in fact, it doesn’t make sense to do so) but as soon as you use that phone to connect to an alternative service, you’re in breach of contract. Since there’s no point in jailbreaking a phone unless you intend to do precisely that, the legal guys have got all confused and assumed it’s one and the same thing. OTOH I’ve never had an expensive phone with strings attached - I’m assuming that, after some certain period, the contract ends and the phone is yours to do with as you wish. Or is that not the case?[/quote]

Yes, but let me make my point with an example: Let’s say that you are going abroad for a weekend. Or in a business trip for a whole week. Or month. You want to keep your contract with your phone company, so you will be paying the necessary amount to keep your phone number (so you don’t break your contract). Once in your destination country, your best option would be getting a prepaid SIM card and put it on your phone, to benefit from all your contacts and information. Or you can pay roaming, of course, which may not be a big deal if it’s your company phone, but for a personal phone is terrible. The alternative, if you can’t unlock your phone, is to buy a disposable phone on destination (so you wouldn’t be using the roaming anyways).

Regarding the jailbreak, if you have an iPhone/iPad, you may want to unlock it so you can install software that isn’t in iTunes. Remember that, even if you bought a SIM-unlocked phone in an Apple store for full price, Apple doesn’t let you install whatever you want in your phone/tablet. Making that a felony is the same as if you wanted to fill your hire-purchase car with a different gasoline that the one they use, or if you wanted to listen to some radio stations other than the ones they made ready available for you. That’s nonsense.

[quote=“Blaquesmith”]
Regarding the jailbreak, if you have an iPhone/iPad, you may want to unlock it so you can install software that isn’t in iTunes. Remember that, even if you bought a SIM-unlocked phone in an Apple store for full price, Apple doesn’t let you install whatever you want in your phone/tablet.[/quote]

Is this true? Because that’s plain bullshit… it’s technical, and legally yours to do as you please with it… unless they are working on a “lent OS”

[quote=“Pein_11”][quote=“Blaquesmith”]
Regarding the jailbreak, if you have an iPhone/iPad, you may want to unlock it so you can install software that isn’t in iTunes. Remember that, even if you bought a SIM-unlocked phone in an Apple store for full price, Apple doesn’t let you install whatever you want in your phone/tablet.[/quote]

Is this true? Because that’s plain bullshit… it’s technical, and legally yours to do as you please with it… unless they are working on a “lent OS”[/quote]

Of course it’s true. you can only install apps that come from their app store. 3rd-party apps are reviewed and approved (or rejected) according to Apple’s vision of what should run on the iPhone/iPad. Do you have an old NES and want to install MAME in your phone to play those games of old? You want to be the coolest guy on town, playing Monkey Island on your iPad while you’re commuting to the office? You’re out of luck, Apple doesn’t approve of emulation. You want to install a torrent client on your phone? Nope!

Not that the hardware can’t do that. But you have a choice. If you do a jailbreak, you can install Cydia and browse non-curated apps. Of course, you have to be careful, because there’s malware out there, and that’s what Apple tells you to scare you into doing what THEY want with YOUR phone. But if you install well-known software (like MAME, ScummVM or Transmission), you should be all right.

that’s because the DCMA is messed up.

Also, tamperin with mailboxes is a felony offense.

that’s because the DCMA is messed up.[/quote]

Amen. It’s a criminal offense to hack your DVD player so it plays multi-regions. It’s also a criminal offense to hack your Xbox so that it can do more than play Microsoft’s games.

You might have been so naive to have thought that you own the DVD player or Xbox that you bought. Wrong. According to the DMCA, it owns you.

cheers,
DB

In Soviet Russia, DVD Players buys YOU!!!

Too bad you have to substitute “Soviet Russia” with that country that believes it knows so much about freedom to be ready to export it to other parts of the world.