Entries Matching: Handset Exclusivity

Will the White House Explain why Copyright Laws are Privileging Cell Phone Companies?


So 100,000 of you (and counting) are as puzzled as we are as to why copyright laws such as the DMCA should prevent people from keeping their existing phones when they switch phone companies. By hitting that threshold of signatures several days before the 30-day deadline, the petition should generate a response from the White House.

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Some Skepticism Is In Order for Verizon’s Offers

When Verizon Wireless decided it would be amenable to changing the ground rules by which it lets other cellphone companies serve their customers who travel through Verizon (called “roaming”), notice how it made the announcement.

And when Verizon decided to loosen its grip ever so slightly on the exclusive deals it has with cellular phone manufacturers, notice how that announcement was made.

Both were done in letters to Capitol Hill, to influential members of Congress. The first was done on Friday, July 17. It purported to set out a new policy for “allowing” really small cellular carriers to have access to some fancy mobile phones to sell to their customers six months after those phones are introduced by Verizon. In this case, the letter went to Rep.

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Public Knowledge Finds Verizon Cellphone Gesture Inadequate

The following statement is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge:

“Earlier today, Verizon announced a policy of ending exclusive handset arrangements for wireless carriers with fewer than 500,000 customers after a period of six months.

“Verizon’s gesture should be seen for what it is – an inadequate attempt to influence legislation and regulation. It should not be up to Verizon to decide the terms and conditions under which consumers can have the benefit of wireless handset competition.

“Corporate charity as momentum builds for a policy that one company does not like is no substitute for legislation or regulation that treats all carriers, of whatever size, alike, and all consumers, of whatever size carrier, alike.

“Obviously Verizon’s gesture applies only to it, and to no other carriers. That situation is unacceptable.

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