“Jailbreaking” No Longer Legal

January 26, 2013, was the deadline for legally unlocking your cellphone without the permission of the carrier.  Although “jailbreaking” or unlocking cell phones was outlawed by the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, there has been a temporary exemption that allowed users to unlock phones owned or purchased prior to January 26, 2013.  Now failure to request permission from the carrier is a violation of federal copyright law.  But, all is not lost, under certain circumstances carriers will unlock phones.  For instance, AT&T has posted its own “Device Unlock Portal”.  So, if you want to unlock your phone, check with the carrier first to avoid voiding your contract and violating the DMCA.

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