Report: White house may legalize phone unlocking

All Mobile phone users should be permitted to change their thingies to any mobile network, the White House stated on Monday in reply to an online appeal against the fresh prohibition of the practice.

More than 100,000 users signed the petition protesting against the prohibition on changing network initiated by the Library of Congress, which began in January. At issue is whether mobile phone users, who receive fresh thingies at a heavily subsidized cost in return for agreeing to long term agreements, must be able to carry their phones with them when they switch networks.

Several in the industry allege that mobile phones must be locked or prevented from travelling freely across service providers because of the huge subsidies that networks offer, effectively placing the phones in the hands of more users.

The petition said that stopping unlocking lessens user choice & resale value of smartphones, which could be priced hundreds of dollars minus subsidies from networks such as AT&T Inc , Verizon Wireless and Sprint.
The Library of Congress, which is behind placing rules & deciding on exceptions associated to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, stated on Monday the issue would profit from more debate & that its intent was not to displace public policy discussion.

The Library of Congress was involved late in 2012 in a rule making session done by the Register of Copyrights, which directs the group. Unidentified members in the rule making procedure, a technical, legal happening that permits members of the public to ask for exemptions to the copyright act, lifted the subject then.

The Library of Congress then decided that mobile phones must no longer be excused from the related part of copyright law, activating the January prohibition on unlocking.

Report: White house may legalize phone unlocking
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