Re: [telecom] Unlocking new cell phones to become illegal on Saturday

> An edict from the Library of Congress is about to make phone > unlocking illegal for the first time in 6 years. The decision, issued > in October, is part of a triennial process whereby the Librarian of > Congress hands out exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright > Act.

The cellular industry would like to set an example for all the other monopolies in the world: the industry craves total control over the choices it's customers need to make just because they use cell phones.

Next up: the automobile makers, who will forbid their customers from "unlocking" the digital outputs of their cars' diagnostic computers, so as to extract tribute from local mechanics, and Microsoft, which will forbid its customers from "unlocking" the proprietary formats it uses to extract tribute from third-party software vendors such as Mozilla.

The captains of industry crave a world where the machines we own and the expertise we depend on to run our lives are useless without software they control. Just wait until the combine harvesters are halted in mid-row, because their software licenses have expired mid-harvest, and when the airline manufacturers get to revoke the software license needed to run an airliner, in order to prevent it being sold to a third-world airline that they want to sell new planes to.

In short order, HMO's are going to have to ante up for a higher percentage of the gross receipts they generate by using proprietary software to create and store medical information, because the software vendors know it's too expensive to retrain doctors for other versions. Even if it weren't, the data will be locked in proprietary file formats that it's illegal to open without writing a check.

You heard it here first: a lock on cellphone software is just a drop of water on the tip of the iceberg.

Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)

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Bill Horne
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