30,000 Signatures Needed in 8 Days for Government Response to Unlocking Petition
There is only 8 days left to accumulate the additional 30,000 petition signatures required for an official response from Washington on making cell phone unlocking legal.
The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA. As of January 26, consumers will no longer be able unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired. Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full. The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked. We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.
Sina Khanifar, the person who started the petition, says "With the unlocking exemption removed, it’s only a matter of time before entrepreneurs and consumers are once again bullied by carriers and manufacturers seeking to protect their profits by constraining consumer choice. Next time around, a Verizon, AT&T, or Apple will likely take the case to court, and it’s possible that someone will end up in jail."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently said "It's absurd that this small group of copyright lawyers and librarians is tasked with making decisions about the future of electronics markets." We strongly urge that you sign the petition as soon as possible to ensure that Washington addresses this issue.