Unlocked iPhones highlight DMCA absurdities

chanporyAs of late 2006, cell phone unlocking became legal in the US, but don’t tell that to AT&T; the company has unleashed the lawhounds on UniquePhones, a Belfast-based company that claims to have developed a software-only method to unlock the iPhone.[…] Thanks to chanpory for providing this nice story on Digg (more than 778Diggs).

What other users say about this:

AlienEric: You guys can buy the unlocked iPhone online, free international delivery. The Apple’s iPhone is a piece of revolutionary mobile phone and years ahead of other PDAs and Smartphones. For iPhone pictures and iPhone videos and buy iPhone online, please visit http://www.iPhone-Singapore.com/?r=dae

ohyeahilovegirl: In need of an iPhone…. i got the software to unlock it all i need now is the Phone! Will pay $300-400 for a used iphone, prefer 8GB one

SirBotchness: keep on supporting AT&T by buying a 600 dollar phone.

chewyfruitloop: i didn’t know US law applied in northern ireland………

wouldn’t this be a civil case if they want to prosecute it, or would we end up with a similar situation to the dimitri skylov case with acrobat a few years ago?

Xtopherous: Does anyone have a copy of the contract that the iPhone people allegedly entered into (knowingly or not)?

jonr: his is soooo stupid. It’s like buying an iHammer and only allowed to use AT&T nails. Do marketers and lawyers even think before they make this stuff up?
Thank EU for banning silly things like this.

zippy757: As usual…facts don’t matter for the DIGGERS:

1- unlocking a cell is only legal until 2009, when the provision expires, at which time it will be illegal, if not renewed
2 – You can’t make profit from the activity…selling unlocking software, or selling your unlocked phone on ebay are illegal
3 – AT&T isn’t suing anyone. “NO COMMENT” means no comment…it doesn’t mean their suing anyone.
4 – AT&T has spent a GREAT DEAL OF MONEY promoting the iphone to the EXCLUSION of other phone providers… they want their ROI on those funds.
5 – When you bought the iphone, you entered into a CONTRACT. Have some ethics and balls and honor the damn thing. If you don’t want to, dont buy the iphone.
,

aliguana: unlocking may be legal, if you follow legal means to do it. thing is, if you’re using a software hack, you’re modifying the firmware, surely? How is that any more legal than modifying OSX to run on vanilla PCs? (both of which you shouldnt’ HAVE to do, ideally)

caponumen: The DMCA is irrelevant, you iPhone “people” have entered into a binding contract of exclusivity.
That being the case AT&T has every right to block you and anyone else from such activities.
You knew this going in, quit being spoiled brats and honor your agreement, preferably in silence.

jabberwolf: First if bound byou sign a contract with ATT you are bound LEGALLY by that contract of hardware use.
Lets just say its the same thing as using OSX only for MAC.

But on the the practical side, why bother with the iphone on a new service, when it can still only use a slower network connection.

Get a REAL SMART PHONE not an iDiotPhone!

Mizzike: If you didn’t know, the only reason AT&T has an exclusive contract with Apple is because AT&T is the only network that said they’d invest in the R&D to create the visual voicemail backend. No other carrier would support Apple in its little endeavor. So, AT&T decides to spends lots of dollars on creating this visual voicemail backend in exchance for Apple’s commitment to an exclusive 2-year agreement.

Interesting story, since it’s totally LEGAL to unlock the iPhone. The main difference, it seems, is that the iPhone is devoid of the visual voicemail feature when used with other carriers such as T-Mo.

Gee1004: Steve Jobs is a moron

Palaceguard: What is so fucking special about this stupid iPhone that people have to argue and cry about. Apple came out with this device with their stupid rules and regulations. They want it locked to ATT. Nobody is getting profits except Apple. ATT chose to be their exclusive carrier. That’s the ballgame and who fucking cares. You want one, go to the Apple or ATT store and buy one.

s1mph0ny: For those too lazy to read the links…
“When we spoke to AT&T on Friday to get comment for the iPhoneSimFree.com story, not one, but two spokespeople told us that the company had no comment. “No comment,” in this case, apparently meant that they were lawyering up.”

“The purpose of the software lock appears to be limited to restricting the owner’s use of the mobile handset to support a business model, rather than to protect access to a copyrighted work itself.”

So yes, AT&T is suing them, and they will lose.

Wilddigi: Apple should have stayed in the Mac & iPod business instead of pulling this iPhone crap

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