An unlocked iPhone or an android smartphone will no longer be illegal in the United States since Congress passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which allows unlocked cell phones to be sold in the American market.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, even before this bill passes into law, it’s still possible to find an unlocked iPhone 5c on eBay for relatively cheap.
In late 2012, American cell phone users were outraged to hear that unlocked cell phones were suddenly illegal based upon a ruling by the Library of Congress, which claimed that copyright laws could be strictly enforced in the smartphone market. This new bill will repeal this rule and “re-establish an exemption to a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act” that prohibited unlocked cell phones. The Librarian of Congress will also be required to review whether the new exemption should be applied to tablets and other smart devices.
The law was prompted by a petition of over 100,000 signatures, a movement large enough that even mobile providers eventually agreed to make unlocking easier. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act was approved by the House of Representatives with a vote of 295 to 114, while the Senate version of the bill was approved 10 days ago.
The bill will be signed into law by President Obama, who says Congress took “another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cellphone carrier that meets their needs and their budget.” Laura Moy, staff attorney at advocacy group Public Knowledge, also applauded the new law since it’s claimed that unlocked cell phone will boost competition in the wireless market and “improve the availability of free and low-cost secondhand phones for consumers who cannot afford to purchase new devices… [I]t will keep millions of devices out of landfills.”
Why do you think there was opposition to allowing unlocked iPhone and android smartphones?