Latest in Cellphones

Image credit:

​House passes bill that legalizes phone unlocking, with a frustrating caveat

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
February 26, 2014
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Still unsure where unlocking your mobile device falls under the eyes of the law? Legislation just passed through the US House of Representatives that might clear things up, but there's a catch. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition act would allow users to unlock devices for use on a new carrier after their subsidized contract expires -- but a late change to the bill tacked on an exclusion for "bulk unlocking." This last minute change spoils the legislation for companies that purchase, unlock and resell devices to consumers, and casts a shadow over a bill that could have helped free your mobile from the convoluted mire of US copyright law.

Proponents of the change argue that it won't prevent the bulk sale of locked or previous unlocked phones - and it passed with a strong majority - but the change was significant enough to dissuade several previously supportive representatives from voting for the bill. "There needs to be a market in unlocked phones," Democratic Representative Jared Polis said, describing the late change as a "poison pill" for consumer advocates. Hopefully, the bill will see more positive tweaks on the floor of the Senate.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Windows 10's Start menu is getting a visual refresh

Windows 10's Start menu is getting a visual refresh

View
Oppo put a 48MP camera and 5,000mAh battery into a budget phone

Oppo put a 48MP camera and 5,000mAh battery into a budget phone

View
Vizio's new 4K TVs start at $230

Vizio's new 4K TVs start at $230

View
The Morning After: OnePlus gets back to sub-$500 phones with the Nord

The Morning After: OnePlus gets back to sub-$500 phones with the Nord

View
'GTA V' brings transphobia to the next console generation

'GTA V' brings transphobia to the next console generation

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr