Cell Phone Unlocking

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Rep. Eshoo is an original cosponsor of H.R. 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, which would allow consumers to legally unlock their cell phones, tablets, and other mobile communications devices. A vibrant mobile marketplace starts by putting consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing the mobile device and service that best suits them. H.R. 1892 is a permanent solution that promotes competition and consumer choice.

In October 2012, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress issued a final rule that closes the exemption in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that had previously made legal the practice of unlocking a mobile device. In reaching its decision, the Librarian of Congress concluded that “in light of carriers’ current unlocking policies and the ready availability of new unlocked phones in the marketplace, the record did not support an exemption for newly purchased phones.”

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