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Cellphone unlocking legislation clears U.S. House, heads to Obama

26
Jul
2014

By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Friday to give mobile-phone users the right to ‘unlock’ their devices and use them on competitors’ wireless networks, something that is now technically illegal. The legislation cleared the Senate last week and now only requires President Barack Obama’s signature to become law. The lawmaking follows a 2012 ruling by the Library of Congress, the minder of U.S. copyright law, that effectively made phone unlocking illegal, even after the consumer completed the contract with its wireless carrier. U.S. wireless carriers often tether, or “lock,” smartphones to their networks to encourage consumers to renew mobile contracts.

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