Monday Nov 27, 2006

Unlocking mobile phones ruled "Legal" by U.S. Copyright Office

Today, the copyright office ruled, what was obvious to just about all consumers, that it is legal to unlock your mobile phone. For years the mobile carriers have locked the phones to their network in a feeble effort to keep you from switching carriers. To combat this, a number of folks offered unlocking codes and programs on the Web so that you could buy a really cool phone in Europe and use it on your local network in the US. One particularly stupid implementation of this was Cingular locking out former AT&T phones from their network. When Cingular bought AT&T wireless, they refused to recognize AT&T phones. So my AT&T Treo 600 would not work on the Cingular network. So rather than buy a new Treo from Cingular, I spent $7 and downloaded an unlocking program that removed the lock and enabled me to make calls on the Cingular network simply by inserting my SIM card. I am just happy to know the US Government finally got around to agreeing w/ consumers on this.

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