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?
The world population is just over 7 billion people, a number I can’t even begin to visualize. Last year the Telecommunication Union said there were just over 5 billion subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2010. This year they claim that at the end of 2011, there were just over 6 billion… Which means by the end of this year, there may be as many subscriptions as there are people on the planet. Does that mean everyone in the world will have a cell phone? Of course not, but the number is impressive nonetheless.
It’s probably a touchy subject for some. On one hand when people are in need it is not unheard of for a society to help them get on their feet. On the other hand some think they need to drag themselves out of their rut and find their own way. Whatever side you’re on, welfare is a part of all industrialized nations lives, but how far is too far? Where is the line drawn? Some states, like Texas, are giving out used cellphones to the needy who apply and are accepted into the program. Should other states follow suit more proactively?