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Wow, for years I’ve always needed to buy GSM based cell phones from other countries to get the “unlocked” version so I can switch providers, but as of Monday users can legally unlock their phones. For example, you could use a Tmobile phone with Cingular, provided it’s a GSM phone.

A lot of other free-your-tech news too…

“Cell phone owners will be allowed to break software locks on their handsets in order to use them with competing carriers under new copyright rules announced Wednesday. Other copyright exemptions approved by the Library of Congress will let film professors copy snippets from DVDs for educational compilations and let blind people use special software to read copy-protected electronic books.

Billington also authorized the breaking of locks on electronic books so that blind people can use them with read-aloud software and similar aides.

He granted two exemptions dealing with computer obsolescence. For computer software and video games that require machines no longer available, copy-protection controls may be circumvented for archival purposes. Locks on computer programs also may be broken if they require dongles — small computer attachments — that are damaged and can’t be replaced.

The final exemption lets researchers test CD copy-protection technologies for security flaws or vulnerabilities. Researchers had cited Sony BMG Music Entertainment’s use of copy-protection systems that installed themselves on personal computers to limit copying. In doing so, critics say, Sony BMG exposed the computers to hacking, and the company has acknowledged problems with one of the technologies used on some 5.7 million CDs.” [via] – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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