Our long national nightmare is over. We can finally legally unlock our smartphones in the United States.

Today, President Obama will sign the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (that’s a mouthful) into law. It’s not that big of a surprise, Obama indicated earlier that he would sign the bill. The bill reinstates an exemption in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would ban unlocking a phone because it disables copy protection.

The bill began as digital petition on the We the People site. See, the system works.

Of course there are limits. A post about the bill passing reminds you that you should be out of your contract before unlocking:

As long as their phone is compatible and they have complied with their contracts, consumers will now be able to enjoy the freedom of taking their mobile service — and a phone they already own — to the carrier that best fits their needs.

The FCC has been working with carriers to make unlocking your phones a potentially less painful experience. So give your carrier a call and get that out-of contract phone unlocked.

➤ Answering the Public’s Call [The White House]