Yesterday, the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) - that 18-year digital-freedom superhero - filed a pair of petitions with the United States Copyright Office, seeking to protect mobile-phone jailbreakers, unlockers, and digital-media masher-uppers from the slings and arrows of outrageous lawsuits. According to a statement by …
To be fair...
If you buy a mobile phone, or any other kind of product, you agree to the conditions /contract that it came with.
If you buy software, you could easily duplicate and distribute copies (free or for a fee), but the agreement forbids that.
If you buy a mobile on a plan then you have agreed to take on the plan as part of the bargain.
This is no different to any other transaction that you might choose to enter into.
Don't like the conditions and limitations? Then don't buy the product! Just because electronics, software and internet are invovled changes nothing.
Perhaps the EFF will help me buy a house for 20% down but make no repayments because I don't like "the plan".
You points are all well and good, but what happens after the contract is finished. A locked phone restricts you to going back to the same supplier again....
Also if I was ever stupid enough to buy an iphone I would want teh ability to install what ever i wanted.
The EFF are not helping you avoid you repayments. They do allow you to repaint your house without buying lender approved paint, and to use electricity, gas and phone services from suppliers other than those that the lenders insist you use.
If you've paid for the handset then it's legally your property. Would you be happy if your OS was locked to use a particular ISP or similar? No you wouldn't, you'd go ape and complain.
"If you buy software, you could easily duplicate and distribute copies (free or for a fee), but the agreement forbids that."
No copyright forbids that, you don't need a stinking EULA for that. The licence is more about "you can't do anything and there is no warranty".
"If you buy a mobile on a plan then you have agreed to take on the plan as part of the bargain."
Yes you have a contract, if you break it you have to pay a penalty. That has nothing to do with locked phones, that is all about blocking features they don't want to you to have (like blocking USB so you have to send photos to your self over the phone network at a fee) or to make it harder to switch companies after you finish the contract. My contract is paid off, I own my phone and if I want to take it with me to a different provider or buy a pay as you go sim when I'm travelling I consider that my right.
agreeing to the conditions that come with it?
"If you buy a mobile phone, or any other kind of product, you agree to the conditions /contract that it came with.
If you buy software, you could easily duplicate and distribute copies (free or for a fee), but the agreement forbids that."
Except that we all know that a lot of the time companies use terms in their contracts and EULAs which will never stand up in a court of law. Maybe it's different in the States, but here our consumer rights take precedence over any rubbish a company hopes might frighten cutomers into doing things their way and their way only.
The Plan is only a part of the contract and the payment side of the contract, ie: the consideration, is another. As long as the user honours those parts of the contract which are important legally on their side (the consideration) then I see few reasons for objection which'd actually hold up.
Your house analogy is just irrelevant when we're talking about people buying a product and paying for it as agreed, but deciding to use it in a different way.
If you buy it, it's yours to do with what you want. Company control stops once they've got my hard earned readies.
You clearly didn't read the article... making it legal for people to add or change software on their mobile (which they own not license), doesn't get people out of paying for their plan contracts.
Personally I agree with the EFF, once you pay for a device, it is ours and you should be able to do anything you like to it, without legal interference from the manufacturer (who frequently we do not have any direct relationship with), or the telco (who as a service provider has no IP interest in the device itself)
Live free or die
Its every consumers right, to control the devices in their possession and use them as they see fit. NOT as cell phone or computer mfg. see is most beneficial to THEIR illicit motives. I don't understand why this isn't as plain to some people as your own right to freedom, pursuit of happiness and THE RIGHT TO DISCHARGE CO2!
If the major suppliers of hardware and connectivity spent less time and effort DISABLING features and technology to control the customers and spent that effort on bringing forth new and compelling uses for their products and services, we wouldn't be wasting some much effort on trying to jailbreak a crap phone anyway!
P.S. Love the Reg.. keep up the good work. Thanks.
How about buying a house ...
How about buying a house but only being able to buy furniture approved by the manufacturer ... maybe a car with an electronic lock that will open after receiving a signal from an approved gas pump.