If you’re curious as to why there is such an uproar about the Stop Online Piracy Act and its companion in the Senate, the PROTECT IP Act, read Mat Howie’s post at MetaFilter, in which he describes a situation where he was targeted by a mistaken takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and nearly lost his site completely (which comes up very rosy in comparison with SOPA and PIPA).
The DMCA is imperfect law. SOPA and PIPA are downright dangerous and unnecessarily broad. Jam your representative’s and Senators’ phone lines today!
So the Copyright Office managed to give us cell phone junkies an early Christmas present yesterday, by officially giving consumers the legal right to unlock their cell phones so that they can take them to another carrier. I wonder what this will do to cell phone prices now that the companies have no real legal recourse to keeping someone from jumping ship with the phone they sold at the extremely low price.
Despite this ruling, the really stupid portions of the DMCA (region codes, “illegal” backups, etc.) are still around. Take a look at this bill, the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act of 2005. Good stuff inside — it makes the DMCA a little less draconian. Let’s hope we can bump the year up a couple notches and convince our representatives to give this a fair shot in the new Congress. :)