Did you know the Library of Congress establishes federal copyright penalties for unlocking a cell phone? Some wireless carriers already allow customers to unlock their cell phone after their contract has been fulfilled, but some cell phone carriers don't allow you to unlock a cell phone. Wireless carriers can collect statutory civil damages of between $200 and $2,500 per violation and criminal penalties of up to $500,000, five years in prison or both for the first offense.
There is a petition at the White House website with the headline, "It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking". The overall view is that "Consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties". However, R. David Edelman, the Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation & Privacy at the White House has also said that consumers should still honor their service agreements.
Interested in learning more? Please look at the Library of Congress' response to the
White House' initiative and our website about Law[s] on Copyright.
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