After the dust has settled from the new development involved with a decade old DMCA law, we can take a closer look at what the ending of the unlock exemption means for everyone with a new or used cell phone. Upon it’s announcement people cried foul of the DMCA’s over broad definition of what is protected under copyright law. That any circumventing of factory installed software to get media is considered a breach of copyright. This is overly broad because you may just jailbreak a device to test your own programs, or unlock because you travel abroad often. But because you COULD use these processes to get to media that you typically wouldn’t, it is illegal under the DMCA. So why did this happen and how?
Unlocking your used cell phone may be illegal thanks to a strict anti-hacking law called DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) passed last year, with folks online pretty upset with it’s broad stroke of power. This didn’t really hit the public’s eye until recently though, with the closing of a short window of legality allowed by the librarian of Congress. Back in October it was decided that, under the DMCA, unlocking your phone was illegal. The Librarian of Congress allowed a three month window for people to unlock as many phones as they wanted… that window closed this past Saturday.