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Genachowski to investigate smartphone unlock ban

Smartphone fans around the country have been in an uproar ever since a ban was placed on a user's ability to unlock their own mobile phone on January 26. Apparently, the ban didn't put limits on carriers being able to unlock their devices, but individuals cracking their phone to operate on other networks was forbidden.

The FCC has now promised to investigate whether the ban is harmful to market competitiveness. The FCC also plans to see if the executive branch has the authority to change the law.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told TechCrunch, "[The] ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns."

Prior to the ban going into effect, customers were allowed to unlock their smartphones, allowing users to switch carriers and keep the device they had already purchased. Smartphones were exempted from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has a provision placing a ban on the circumvention of copy protection schemes.
Now, smartphone owners who use unauthorized methods to unlock their devices open themselves up to potential legal penalty.

Genachowski said, "It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones."

Source: TechCrunch

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RE: Duh.
By EricMartello on 3/1/2013 5:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
The cycle would have to be broken outside of that vicious, from the judiciary, or maybe somehow from the executive. Because congresscritters aren't going to vote themselves out of payola.

People would need to make a lot of noise about this and really pressure their elected representatives to do something. At the end of the day, lobbyists tend to press for legislature that allows them to make more money so the laws are not directly affecting peoples' lives.

Nobody spends millions to lobby for a law that would make it illegal for women to drive, even though you could, because there would be no return on that money spent (aside from fewer collisions; but then big insurance would be opposing this). Industry groups do spend a lot of money to buy laws that require "licensing" for industries that really shouldn't have that burden.

Hair stylists, for instance, need to be licensed because handling a pair of scissors or hair clipper is something only a trained professional should be able to do.

Dieticians also need to be licensed even though the underlying "diet industry" is largely based on a combination of snake oil and pseudo-science.

These are the kinds of laws that lobbyists typically pay for because it lets them control their market, manage profits and keep new startups from getting a slice of the pie. Large corporations lobby for similar reasons and have a full-time staff devoted to this.

RE: Duh.
By Jeffk464 on 3/1/2013 8:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
sounds about right

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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