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Old 01-29-2013, 03:35 PM   #46
wodin
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In some cases it's less expensive to buy a subsidized phone on contract then break the contract and pay the ETF than it is to buy an unlocked phone at full price.

AT&T will unlock a phone once the contract is fulfilled, or sometimes after six months if you tell them you’re moving to an area with no service or are traveling abroad.

On the other hand, CDMA phones (Verizon and Sprint) do not have SIM cards, and they rely on databases of Electronic Serial Numbers (ESN) to determine if the phone is one of theirs. They will refuse to activate it if it’s not one of theirs or if it has been reported lost or stolen.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:43 PM   #47
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The question is; whose pocket is said librarian in?
In this case, Congress', who delegated this particular job to them.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:13 PM   #48
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The Corporation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y888wVY5hzw

Worth watching.

This was the most depressing film I've ever seen. How can a government sell the rights to rain water? How can corporations own DNA?
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:00 PM   #49
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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.
This is currently what the companies do in the US. Carriers charge an early termination fee ($350 for sprint) that decreases as you get closer to contract expiration.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:01 PM   #50
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Yes, I said that about 20 posts or so back.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:41 PM   #51
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Over here carriers often bundle the cost of the (locked) phone into the cost of the service contract.

Not saying that's right or wrong -- just the way it is.
Problem is, even in your statement you say "often", which doesn't mean always. T-mobile, and a few other carriers, allow you to buy the phone outright, no subsidy. Also, subsidies are designed to where you've paid off the difference in the phone (plus interest) by the time the contract is up. If you have a phone that is entirely paid for, either after contract expired or because you paid for out right, why should you not be allowed to unlock it? My last phone, I paid for out right. I ended up using it on another network, unlocked, because the network it was originally intended for was not available where I ended up living. Should the phone then be nothing but a paperweight, or should I be allowed to unlock it and use it elsewhere?
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:08 AM   #52
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In France, the phone company that sells you a phone with a contract is legally OBLIGED to unlock the phone for you after six months. Free. You just have to write to them and they unlock it over the air. Usually they try to get you into their shop for unlocking, so you have to say, no, can't or won't do that. Voilà, unlocked phone.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:55 AM   #53
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My telco in Australia sounds the same sort of deal as France.

Buy a product and sign a lock in contract, and whilst you still need to buy out the contract should you change providers, you can get the phone unlocked at say the 6 month time frame. Could differ, but 6 months is pretty normal.

Same deal with wifi/mifi devices.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:26 AM   #54
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If an artist would scratch their name on a smartphone wouldn't that increase the commercial value of the device?
Picasso was notorious for paying for things by check because he knew that many people would not cash the check with his signature on it. And he was right.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:35 AM   #55
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What is the legal punishment for stealing (instead of unlocking) a smartphone?
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:38 AM   #56
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Bingo. There is sufficient competition that you can find the deal you want, including no contract. Of course, you'll end up paying full price for the phone, but that's what an unlocked, no contract phone is worth, after all.
I have had no contract phones that I paid for outright that were locked to a carrier. I have also been accused of having an illegally unlocked phone, even though I bought a phone that was never locked to a carrier. Me thinks that "sufficient competition" claim is a tad too optimistic in the current marketplace because the industry is still getting away with whatever it can.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:59 AM   #57
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Picasso was notorious for paying for things by check because he knew that many people would not cash the check with his signature on it. And he was right.
Smart man.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:05 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by wodin View Post
It is not being enacted, the LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS is interpreting existing copyright legislation to mean “AMERICANS SHALL NOT UNLOCK THEIR OWN SMARTPHONES.”

The question is; whose pocket is said librarian in?

Don't you just love regulators?
Probably no one. As I see it, the problem is that the Library of Congress is exempt from the laws it influences. So, they take by eminent domain 30+ million documents and share them at will with no consequence. Public libraries are similarly exempted -- as are schools. Remove these exemptions, and fair use would be more reasonable.

In the mean time, don't patronize the bad guys.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:30 AM   #59
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What is the legal punishment for stealing (instead of unlocking) a smartphone?
Wait a second, I know this one. Its less than the punishment for unlocking, right?
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:41 AM   #60
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Wait a second, I know this one. Its less than the punishment for unlocking, right?
I don't know, actually. But if it is, then a rational individual without internal moral restraints would prefer to steal a smartphone, instead of buying and unlocking one.

The magnitude of the punishment is simply astonishing - if you unlock your phone, I don't see how you can cause damages amounting to more than $1000. And then you face $1 million in fines and up to 5 years in jail (which is a foregone income of at least $50 000, even if you are a low-skilled, low-paid worker). Even if we assume that this should be made illegal and is resolved through criminal, instead of civil law, where is the principle that punishment should fit the crime?
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