Latest in Mobile

Image credit:

Tracfone whines that the DMCA ruined its business model

Darren Murph

Leave it to a prepaid provider to make the most noise about the recent DMCA ruling that allowed users to legally unlock their cellphones and hop to another provider (for the next three years, at least), as Tracfone is now up in arms about how the decision will affect (read: destroy) its previously-lucrative business model. While even Wal-Mart cracked the whip on prepaid phone purchases, and the grey market of unlocked mobiles is no real secret to anyone, the firm is declaring that it "will undermine its business because people will simply buy its cheap, no-frills handsets, unlock them, and take them to another provider." Of course, activation charges and ETFs are likely to keep folks from going too crazy with all this newfangled freedom, but it's fairly easy to see where Tracfone's coming from. If users don't rely on their prepaid minutes, there's little income making its way to the company to subsidize the rock-bottom phone prices, leaving the company grasping for dollars. Regardless, it's not exactly the DMCA's responsibility to keep Tracfone in (or out) of business, so we imagine its good ole terms and conditions will be reading a bit differently in the coming months to combat the recent ruling (and spoil our fun).

[Via TechDirt]

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr