Technology and Business Law Blog

Can you unlock your iphone?

When all this news was released about unlocking the iPhone I thought wouldn’t there be a copyright law violation? and on then found out about the legal exception to the DMCA’s (U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act) anti-circumvention provision that allows individual mobile phone users to unlock their devices for use on other network.

Once the consumer has paid for the iPhone (a lot!) and bought it, they own it and have a right to do what they want with it, now if something went wrong with it then Apple will not cover the phone under it’s warranty. I agree with Michael Lewis, an IP lawyer who states “The exception allows circumvention of device controls “for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network,” according to language from the U.S. registrar of copyrights. So if a hacker unlocks the iPhone, then posts the unlocking code for free, he’s engaging in a legal activity and enabling others to engage in the same legal activity”.

Now that the step by step process to unlock the iPhone is published in the web and if any person can do it then how is Apple going to take legal action against each of those individuals? In fact it could be argued that Apple by exclusively tying it’s phone to AT&T is liable for antitrust violations.

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August 30, 2007 - Posted by | DMCA, iPhone

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