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Print 30 comment(s) - last by lemonadesoda.. on Nov 27 at 9:42 PM

Starting Monday, feel free to unlock that cell phone and play some very old console games

With number portability already possible in the U.S., cell phone users are freely allowed to carry their numbers to whichever carrier they choose. Taking your handset with you to a new carrier, however, is a completely different story.

Many cell phone carriers “lock” their phones specifically to their network, meaning that any phone bought from one network cannot be freely used on another network using the same technology. Carriers often do this in an effort to prevent consumers from taking advantage of special subsidized phone pricing and then jumping to another service provider.

Today, the U.S. Copyright Office changed all that, and is legally allowing cell phone users to break the software locks that cell phone carriers place in their phones. However, carriers are still permitted to software lock their phones.

Also added to copyright exemptions today allow film professors copy sections from DVDs for educational compilations and let blind people use special software to read copy-protected electronic books, reports AP.

Computer programs and video game software that no longer have available the original machines required to run them on are also exempted, thus validating the use of select emulators. A bit of a monkey wrench in the emulator legality issue is that the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii all include some form of classic library emulation, possibly taking any game playable on current consoles, new or old, off the list of copyright exempted material.

"I am very encouraged by the fact that the Copyright Office is willing to recognize exemptions for archivists, cell phone recyclers and computer security experts," said Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with the civil-liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Frankly I'm surprised and pleased they were granted."

Not everything is beer and skittles with the new copyright laws, however, as certain exceptions were rejected by the Copyright Office. For example, the allowance for owners of a DVD movie to convert its content for use on a portable video player, such as an iPod, remains prohibited.

Before heading straight into copyright exception territory with reckless abandon, it must be noted that the new rules are effective starting November 27, and will expire in three years.



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QUESTION
By Spivonious on 11/25/2006 11:54:53 AM , Rating: 1
But you can still get and use an NES. They go for like $20 on eBay. Does "not available" mean no new units being made and sold?




RE: QUESTION
By Eldercat1 on 11/26/2006 11:48:24 AM , Rating: 5
"A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured ..."


it's not all fun and games about cell phones
By Andrevas on 11/25/2006 2:32:10 PM , Rating: 2
that's awesome that we can unlock them now, but the problem is that those who are not tech savvy are going to stir up some heat when they don't understand that they can't take, say a phone from Cingular, to Verizon because the phones are hardware engineered for different network types.




RE: it's not all fun and games about cell phones
By lufoxe on 11/27/2006 11:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
that's awesome that we can unlock them now, but the problem is that those who are not tech savvy are going to stir up some heat when they don't understand that they can't take, say a phone from Cingular, to Verizon because the phones are hardware engineered for different network types.

I was thinking the same exact thing. I sense lawsuits coming, pointless as they may be, but they will come.


By OrSin on 11/27/2006 2:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
And what are they going to sure for? You bring a phone that don't work and tell you it don't work. Now if your a complete fool and sing up for the service, then ask to get your phone activated then you get what you deserve.

Plus i pretty sure most phones will owrk iwht most networks after youg et them unlocked. I know i used both Sprint and ATT phones on Verizon after I got then unlocked.


ha
By Wwhat on 11/25/2006 9:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Great news for all people waiting on the knock on the door from the japanese NES police for emulating a NES and being sued for 100 million dollar ...

Still, all kidding aside I guess it had to be put in writing at some point.




RE: ha
By sscilli on 11/26/2006 1:35:45 AM , Rating: 2
This is good news, but it's not really that amazing given the fact that you still have to figure out how to unlock your phone, and emulators will again be illegal with the wii. I know it's not that hard to unlock a phone, but less tech savvy people who would benefit from this don't know how to do that anyway. I don't see the problem with converting video from DVD's you OWN to a portable device you OWN. It's insane that company's have the right to charge us twice for the same material in a different format. It is extremely easy to convert between formats, unless standards conversions are involved, and I can surely produce a better quality conversion than the one I'm forced to buy.


RE: ha
By Eldercat1 on 11/26/2006 11:47:29 AM , Rating: 2
Its the FORMAT thats important, not the game. Remember this is for backing up your purchased media. A rom of any cartridge based game is up for grabs now. The text of the law says "Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete... A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured ..."



Amazing!
By Aquila76 on 11/25/2006 7:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
This is a great ruling for a lot of folks, maybe especially the older generation or less tech savvy. It took my Mom a couple months to figure out all the bells and whistles on her cell phone. Now she can keep it and choose whatever provider she wants if they offer a lower price in our area.




RE: Amazing!
By skyyspam on 11/25/2006 10:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this will help strengthen competition in the cell phone market?

Can I dream?


Game emulator makes sense
By AnnihilatorX on 11/26/2006 8:07:34 AM , Rating: 2
I do think, if everybody is to leagally play with emulators, since you'd still require a legal game, the gaming industry would get a boost from more game sales.

For the future, for example, say if PS3 emulator is ever available, Sony would gain by not needing to sell PS3 units at a loss, while profitting from game sales.




RE: Game emulator makes sense
By dagamer34 on 11/27/2006 1:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, you're argument fails because Sony has other motives besides immediate monetary gains from selling consoles. It wants Blu-ray in people's homes and having a PS3 emulator kills that.

Besides, when a PS3 emulator comes out that is anywhere near worth playing, Sony might actually have started making money off of its console. It took 6 years to get decent emulation out of the PS2, and I don't think the PS3 will be any easier.


here it is from the horse's mouth
By xbbdc on 11/27/2006 12:31:43 AM , Rating: 3
http://www.copyright.gov/1201/

2. Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.




By Makaveli on 11/24/2006 7:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
I think its he is too stupid.




Great
By Live on 11/24/2006 7:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
Best news I have read today.




ROM vs Modified
By Aikouka on 11/25/2006 2:29:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think old games from the Super Nintendo era (for example) might not count even if they are on the Wii. It all depends on if they use the actual ROM versus a modified version like the XBOX 360 uses to work with Live Arcade. Just my idea, but this could be a nice change :D.




Useful links
By crystal clear on 11/25/2006 4:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
"Before heading straight into copyright exception territory with reckless abandon, it must be noted that the new rules are effective starting November 27, and will expire in three years"

Read the below for more information on this-

Essential links-
"Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works"
http://www.copyright.gov/1201/index.html

against the old-
Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works
http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2003/index.html





By Eldercat1 on 11/26/2006 12:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
Its the FORMAT thats important, not the game. Remember this is for backing up your purchased media. A ROM of any cartridge based game is up for grabs now.

The text of the law says "Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete... A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured ..."

So it doesn't matter if the GAME is present on the new systems, you can still make a copy of any FORMAT (ie cartridge) that is no longer made. Sadly game boy ROMS are still illegal, as the SP plays all game boy carts. All Playstation games are still blocked as they are still manufacturing PS2s that play all the PSone CDs(and if they fix the compatibility of PSone games on the PS3) etc.




eh
By AppaYipYip on 11/24/06, Rating: -1
RE: eh
By MrDiSante on 11/24/2006 7:03:08 PM , Rating: 5
Way to read the article. It's just a list of things you're allowed to do, not meaning that you have to play the games on your cell phone. I really wish people would read the article before commenting with silly comments like the above.


RE: eh
By ninjit on 11/24/2006 7:06:19 PM , Rating: 5
Is this a joke, or are you just too stupid to read the article properly?


RE: eh
By bbomb on 11/24/2006 7:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
They said you can now unlock your phone meaning that you can use your phone on any carrier whether they like it or not.

The games thing is for stuff like the NES which until now you could only play it legally using the NES but now can use an emulator. But like they said in the article, the Wii has an emulator but its not the original machine so is it still legal?


RE: eh
By pmercier18 on 11/24/2006 10:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
Sure you can now unlock your phone, but cell phones still wont work on other carriers networks. T-Mobile and Cingular use GSM(but different bands), Sprint and Verizon use CDMA(again, different bands). Most GSM phone can only go on cretin bands, which will not work on other carriers anyway.


RE: eh
By Bluestealth on 11/24/2006 11:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure what he is saying is wrong, most GSM phones are either tri or quad band and can be used on many different networks. I could be wrong, but I have the feeling that I am not. It simply doesn't make sense if you really think of it from a manufacturing, business, or technological standpoint. Who would want a phone that couldn't roam on other networks? Or make entire product lines that aren't just flashed and branded but constructed vastly differently.


RE: eh
By InternetGeek on 11/25/2006 6:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
What you both say is partly true.

Phones are tri or quad so they can connect to a different GSM Network. What carriers do is lock the phones to their network. Technically the carrier's is still a GSM network, but your phone won't recognize another GSM network because it's locked. It's much easier to understand if you understand how IP masking works.



RE: eh
By MDme on 11/25/2006 1:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
the multi-band phones (tri and quad-band) phones can be used on both cingular and t-mobile networks once they are unlocked. While Cingular and T-mobile use different bands (in the US the bands are 850/1900 and for the rest of the world it's 900/1800), any phone capable of these frequencies can use any network as long as it's UNLOCKED. The locks that these phone companies place prevent the phone's sim reader from recognizing the other carrier's sim card but the phone itself can "see" the network. To prove it, set your network selection to manual and you will see cingular detectable on the t-mobile phones and vice versa. however until you sign up with the new carrier, your phone won't be able to connect to their network directly. also, another proof, is when you "roam" in the US, you actually use the competitors networks in areas where your provider doesn't have coverage.


RE: eh
By Schrag4 on 11/27/2006 11:11:49 AM , Rating: 2
bbomb wrote:
"The games thing is for stuff like the NES which until now you could only play it legally using the NES but now can use an emulator. But like they said in the article, the Wii has an emulator but its not the original machine so is it still legal?"

...
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Nintendo is probably not going to sue Nintendo for having a NES emulator on the Wii.


RE: eh
By fijillian on 11/24/2006 9:41:05 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL! What an idiot...enough said...


RE: eh
By ElectricMayhem on 11/25/2006 7:50:51 AM , Rating: 5
Dailytech should remove the "-1" score restrictiom, so that we can watch this guy get scored to -99 or worse. Post you -1 score here so we can add it up by hand


RE: eh
By lemonadesoda on 11/27/2006 9:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
-1


"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay














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