What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Will the White House make unlocking your cellphone easier?

Molly Wood Mar 5, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Will the White House make unlocking your cellphone easier?

Molly Wood Mar 5, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Copyright authorities in Washington have recently started to take a dim view of people who want to switch their cellphone from one carrier to another — a practice called “unlocking”.

But now, unlockers are getting some support from the White House.

“It was kind of a big surprise,” says Molly Wood, executive editor at CNET. “White House senior advisor R. David Edelman blogged about the fact that the White House agrees that people should be able to unlock cellphones without running afoul of copyright law.” 

Experts say the guardians of copyright at the Library of Congress see unlocking a phone as a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which typically governs pirated software.

But this debate does not call into question contracts with mobile phone companies. Early termination penalties would still apply for anyone who wants to severe ties with their service provider.

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.