Unlocking or Jailbreaking is finally LEGAL!

July 26, 2010

The FCC has made the controversial practice of “jailbreaking” or unlocking your phone —  legal.

Unlocking — the practice of  freeing the phone so it can be used on another network — has technically been illegal for years. However, no one has been sued or prosecuted for the practice.

Apple fought hard against the legalization, arguing that jailbreaking/unlocking was a form of copyright violation. The FCC disagreed, saying that unlocking merely enhanced the inter-operability of the phone, and was thus legitimate under fair-use rules.

The upshot is that now anyone can jailbreak or unlock any cell phone without fear of legal penalties, whether you want to install unsupported applications or switch to another cellular carrier. Cell phone companies are of course still free to make it difficult for you to do this — and your warranty will probably still be voided if you do — but at least you won’t be fined or imprisoned if you unlock a handset.

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