Pay Another $35.00 Fee To Your Cell Phone Carrier Because Starting Today It Is Illegal To Unlock Your Phone When You Switch
Why now? Starting today, the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress are no longer allowing phone unlocking as an exemption under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
When it was legal, people may have unlocked their phone to resell it when they upgraded to a newer model or to use it with an overseas carrier and take advantage of local rates when they traveled abroad.
If your phone has already been unlocked, you are grandfathered in and won't face any legal issues. But what could happen if you unlocked your phone now that it's illegal?
"Violations of the DMCA [unlocking your phone] may be punished with a civil suit or, if the violation was done for commercial gain, it may be prosecuted as a criminal act," Brad Shear, a Washington, D.C.-area attorney and blogger who is an expert on social media and technology law, told ABC News. "A carrier may sue for actual damages or for statutory damages." For an individual or civil offense could be as much as a $2,500 fine. As for those planning to profit off of the act or a criminal offense -- such as a cellphone reseller -- the fine could be as high as $500,000 and include prison time.
Don't you wish you knew just how much telephone stock the government employees OWN ?