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Today, the White House responded to an online petition that asked that cell phone unlocking be declared legal. Currently, consumers who modify their phone to use them with a new phone company could face liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). Recently, the Library of Congress recently refused to extend a exemption to the DMCA for cell phone unlocking, prompting a widespread public outcry.
The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, VP of Legal Affairs at Public Knowledge:
"In today's phone unlocking response, the White House took a strong stance in favor of consumers, competition and innovation. We're very glad that the administration recognizes the significant problems created when copyright laws tread upon the rights of consumers to use the products they have bought and owned. These problems will continue, however, so long as the law is written in such a way that laws intended to protect artists can be abused to stifle competition--not just in cell phones, but also in a wide variety of other products and services.
"Public Knowledge has long sought changes to the DMCA that would prevent not just this problem, but many other abuses. We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to put these changes in place.