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Old 01-29-2013, 06:44 AM   #16
kennyc
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Originally Posted by LazyScot View Post
If you own the phone, I assume it isn't locked. (As mentioned above, though your deal may state that the phone company owns the phone, which is fair enough as you probably didn't pay for it outright and if you don't like them having the right to lock it you should have got another deal.) But if you put your phone (purchased outright by yourself) on a contract that (deliberately or accidentally) locks the phone, then surely you have the right to unlock it (and fine the phone company $500,000 for mis-using your "computer")....
I'm feeling a class-action lawsuit building...
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:07 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dopedangel View Post
I thought laws were there to protect people but in the US corporations are people so I guess the laws are for them. Over here it has been illegal for a carrier to lock phones for many years. Its your phone you paid for it carriers should not have a say in what you do with it.
Didn't you see the Citizens United decision? Corporations now have more rights and privileges than living citizens. The law has to protect them from us, because we might otherwise be at the door with torches and pitchforks trying to assert our Natural Rights.

And to quote some of our more dogmatic radio jockeys, "Why should we do anything like the rest of the world? They're a bunch of (bleep)ing Socialists/Communists! We're Capitalists and that means we always do everything better!"
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:21 AM   #18
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I have a question regarding this logic (it's a fragment of what was quoted in the OP):
Quote:
However, given copyright laws broad interpretation by the courts, it could be argued that merely unlocking your own smartphone takes a device of one value and converts it into a device of double that value (the resale market for unlocked phones is significantly higher) and therefore unlocking is inherently providing a commercial advantage or a private financial gain - even if the gain hasn't been realized.
If an artist would scratch their name on a smartphone wouldn't that increase the commercial value of the device?
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:23 AM   #19
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The Corporation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y888wVY5hzw

Worth watching.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:28 AM   #20
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The solution is simple. Do not purchase devices or services that do not explicitly exempt you from these conditions. If enough consumers boycott Big IP, they will mend their ways.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:20 AM   #21
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I can understand the logic of making it illegal to purchase a heavily-subsidised SIM-locked phone, and then unlock it, so you can use it on a different network. That's basically fraud, when it comes down to it. I don't know if things are different in the US, but in the UK mobile phone market, very often expensive phones are heavily subsidised by the carrier.

But certainly it's wrong to prevent unlocking in cases where the phone is not subsidised. But then the question arises: how does the company carrying out the unlocking know whether or not the customer has the right to ask for it to be unlocked or not?
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I can understand the logic of making it illegal to purchase a heavily-subsidised SIM-locked phone, and then unlock it, so you can use it on a different network. That's basically fraud, when it comes down to it. I don't know if things are different in the US, but in the UK mobile phone market, very often expensive phones are heavily subsidised by the carrier.

But certainly it's wrong to prevent unlocking in cases where the phone is not subsidised. But then the question arises: how does the company carrying out the unlocking know whether or not the customer has the right to ask for it to be unlocked or not?
That's easily solved though, you enforce minimum contract terms.

Buy a subsidised phone in the UK and you're hit with a 18 month contract that ensures they get back the subsidy. At the end of that term there's often a cheaper plan you can move to unless you accept a free upgrade, which is really just a new 18 month contract with a new subsidised phone. Want to cancel the contract after 6 months? You've to pay out the remaining 12 months there and then.

It shouldn't matter one bit whether you cancel and pay the remainder and get the phone unlocked then move to a new provider OR you unlock yourself, move to a new provider AND continue to pay the remaining 12 months of your old contract in addition to the new one.

Now if providers are offering contracts without a minimum term and also selling subsidised hardware, then that's their own fault really. If the law in the US doesn't allow a minimum contract term to claw back a subsidy, then that is what should be made into law, not making it illegal to unlock.

Maybe there's more to the issue than I'm seeing? I just don't see the logic in making it illegal to unlock a device you own to use with different carriers or even to do more with it than the device originally allowed.

Last edited by JoeD; 01-29-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I can understand the logic of making it illegal to purchase a heavily-subsidised SIM-locked phone, and then unlock it, so you can use it on a different network. That's basically fraud, when it comes down to it.
Perhaps companies should only offer subsidised phones with a lengthy contract with substantial penalty clauses for early termination. Simple contract law can cover this situation perfectly well, without tying phones to a single network when there are no technical limitations.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #24
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The contracts and termination fees are how most of them have worked for years already.

My last several phones (at&t and verizon) had two year contract minimums with early termination fees.

Last edited by kennyc; 01-29-2013 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Perhaps companies should only offer subsidised phones with a lengthy contract with substantial penalty clauses for early termination. Simple contract law can cover this situation perfectly well, without tying phones to a single network when there are no technical limitations.
That would certainly solve the problem, I agree.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:00 PM   #26
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Perhaps companies should only offer subsidised phones with a lengthy contract with substantial penalty clauses for early termination. Simple contract law can cover this situation perfectly well, without tying phones to a single network when there are no technical limitations.
Ah but then what is to stop the company from saying that the user owes those early termination fees in a case where the phone that they had when they took out the contract breaks and the user has to get a new one? Or where some aspect of the service has been misrepresented by an agent of the company and the user finds him/herself spending more than they were told for a service that doesn't work as advertized, and the user decides to switch to a different service provider who is less costly?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:19 PM   #27
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In the UK you can get pay as you go phones tied to different carriers at different prices, so there is no contract to lock you in to, half a million seems a bit steep for unlocking it to change carrier though
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:56 PM   #28
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In the UK you can get pay as you go phones tied to different carriers at different prices, so there is no contract to lock you in to, half a million seems a bit steep for unlocking it to change carrier though
Isn't illegal file sharing something like half a million per download? Either way, they aren't supposed to be reasonable numbers. They're supposed to scare people away from doing what's physically possible, to benefit the company's bottom line.

By the way, anyone ever notice an "irreparable damage if you violate this EULA" clause? Same thing. They want to leave people open for unlimited civil and criminal damages.

Last edited by teh603; 01-29-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:28 PM   #29
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Ah but then what is to stop the company from saying that the user owes those early termination fees in a case where the phone that they had when they took out the contract breaks and the user has to get a new one? Or where some aspect of the service has been misrepresented by an agent of the company and the user finds him/herself spending more than they were told for a service that doesn't work as advertized, and the user decides to switch to a different service provider who is less costly?
The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:32 PM   #30
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I doubt that applies in the U.S.
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