Around a week ago, unlocking your iPhone or any cellphone became illegal in the US. So what do the people do about it? They create a petition which so far has garnered an impressive 47,935 signatures (via iDownloadBlog). The goal is 100,000 by February 2013, in which case the White House would have to respond.
The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA.
As of January 26, consumers will no longer be able unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired.
Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full.
The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked.
We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.
If you live in the US, you can sign the petition here. I highly recommend you do so, as otherwise you’ll have to send your phone to Europe to get it unlocked legally.