Public Knowledge Asks Congress for a Permanent Fix to Cell Phone Unlocking

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Today, Public Knowledge sent a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees requesting an exemption in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that would allow people to unlock their cell phones. The letter, signed by a slew of organizations, academics, online communities, startup companies, and cell phone unlocking petition author Sina Khanifar, details that it is imperative that copyright law keeps up with the pace of technological change. 

The range of interests held by these organizations, individuals, and startup companies shows the wide appeal to an exemption for this change. As a consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge has always felt that changes to copyright law are long overdue and this exemption in the DMCA would be a step in the right direction. For more information about Public Knowledge's specific proposals for copyright reform look at our Internet Blueprint. 

The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs:

"It is important for Congress to remember that people are waiting on them to solve this problem once and for all. We've seen that Congress wants to ensure that consumers can unlock their phones, but consumers, entrepreneurs, academics, and public interest organizations all agree that we need lasting solutions to make sure that people can use their wireless devices without fearing copyright laws.

"A minor change to the law is all it would take to end this controversy for good. Beyond that, though, this situation shows there are deeper problems with the anticircumvention provisions of the DMCA, and the time is ripe for hearings investigating the harms that come from this law."

The letter written to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees can be found here.

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