Saturday, November 3, 2007

Unlocking your Apple iPhone is legal !

We see Apple letting no stone unturned to sack anyone who unlocks their iPhone for use with any other network than AT&T. A Belfast-based company that claimed it had developed software to circumvent the locks that prevent the iPhone from being used on networks other than AT&T's was threatened legal action by AT&T somewhere around the end of August.

But it actually comes out that 'unlocking your Apple iPhone' is perfectly legal. Under a 2006 exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, unlocking iPhone so that you can use it on another network is legal and valid but this exemption does not apply to software or software tool distributors. So the question that remains is whether a software tools distributor and softwares used for unlocking are illegal under the DMCA.

Tim Wu, a slate columnist, states

Unlocking Apple's superphone is legal, ethical, and just plain fun

I don't know what part of it is Fun exactly, but anyway.

DMCA,1998 made it illegal to break digital locks to get at copyrighted works. But last year, the librarian of Congress issued an exemption for unlocking for personal use:
As the librarian wrote, the locks "are used by wireless carriers to limit the ability of subscribers to switch to other carriers, a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with the interests protected by copyright."
Apple with AT&T may continue "killing-before-they-are-born" their competitors like many other giants, but the seekers will always find a way around. It is that way. Lets wait and see what comes out.

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