The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a U.S copyright law that prohibits circumventing anti-piracy measures that are built into commercial software. Many cell phone manufacturers and service providers build software locks to protect their business models instead of copyrighted material.
Often users come up with ways to connect to a new service provider or run the software of their choice. But the threat of litigation under the DMCA has made them adopt the options provided by the manufacturer without further questions.
Consumers need a DMCA exemption in cases where the DMCA aids the cell phone manufacturers reduce business competition and consumer choice. Every 3 years, the U.S. Copyright Office convenes a rulemaking to consider granting exemptions to the DMCAs ban to ease the consumer harm. EFF has already filed exemption requests with the Copyright Office addressing the issues in which public is also allowed to participate in the rulemaking proceeding.
You can sign the EFFs Petition to the Copyright Office and share your stories about cell phone frustrations before the February 2 deadline.
Image Courtesy: EFF