If you are aware, from February onwards cell phone unlocking has become illegal in US. This move comes as a result of the expiration of the 90 day transition period given to users after the change in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which made the process of unlocking your phone illegal. This would mean that users who wish to unlock their phones will have to contact and pay their carriers for unlocking their phones. The penalty for unlocking your phone may vary from $200 to $2500 per individual. In case of unlocking resulting into a criminal offence, violators can be fined for up to $500000 or can be imprisoned up to 5 years or both for the first offence and double the value for subsequent offence.
However, in light of this unfair amendment, ‘We the People ‘had launched a campaign to oppose this move back in January. The campaign urged the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision and failing that, a champion bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.
Finally, the petition started in January has realized its goal of 100,000 signatories that too, 2 days before the deadline. The petition was made on the fact that unlocked phones tend to have more resale value than locked ones. If you wish to sell a locked phone, you will get much less response from the buyers. And although many manufacturers are selling unlocked phones at present, there are a large number of locked phones still available in the market. The freedom to unlock them would give the buyers flexibility to sell them in the future.
As the petition has already reached its threshold, ‘We the People’ expect the White House to respond in a timely fashion. The response by the White House would depend upon the volume of petitions and the subject matter of the petition.