by Brent Dirks
July 25, 2014
Following the lead of the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives has today approved a bill that makes cell phone unlocking legal once again. President Obama is expected to sign the bill, making it law. Interestingly, especially in the politically charged environment, the bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. One of the sponsors of the Senate bill, Patrick Leahy from Vermont, explains more about the legislation in a release from his office:
The legislation approved by the House Friday, which the Senate unanimously approved last week, reinstates a 2010 rulemaking by the Librarian of Congress so that consumers can transfer, or “unlock,” their cell phones without running afoul of copyright laws. It also directs the Librarian of Congress to consider whether other wireless devices, like tablets, should be eligible for unlocking.Carriers have always been allowed to unlock handsets, but the practice was banned for consumers and other third parties in 2013 because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. After the rule went into effect, more than 100,000 consumers filed a petition asking Congress to change the law. For other news today, see: Bose files suit against Apple-owned Beats over noise-canceling headphone patents, Apple is on the hook after scammer pays for purchases using a canceled credit card, and A look at some of the changes coming with Apple's iTunes 12.