This article was published on August 1, 2014

You can now legally unlock your phone in the United States


You can now legally unlock your phone in the United States
Roberto Baldwin
Story by

Roberto Baldwin

Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015. Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015.

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]