Copyright Office Reviewing Handset Unlocking Rules


The Copyright Office has released a Notice of Inquiry seeking petitions proposing exemptions to the classes of copyrighted works the Librarian of Congress should exempt from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. Parties that want to expand the current list of exemptions, or ensure that the Librarian continues with current exemptions, should file a petition with the Copyright Office.  All current exemptions are up for review, including the unlocking of wireless telephone handsets so they can be used on another carrier’s network. Parties must petition the Librarian for unlocking to continue for wireless telephone handsets.  Parties must also petition the Librarian for unlocking to be allowed on other wireless devices such as tablets, which are not currently exempt.  A separate petition must be filed for each exemption/device.  Petitions must be filed with the Copyright Office by November 3, 2014.

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