Originally posted on VentureBeat:

t-mobile unlocked iphone

The unlocked smartphone is about to become an endangered species in the U.S.

Starting Sunday, it will be illegal to jailbreak your phone without the permission of your carrier. While this doesn’t extend to phones like Verizon’s iPhone 5 — which ships unlocked — it does show how laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) can be stretched far beyond their original scope.

Every three years the Library of Congress, working with the U.S. Copyright Office, hands out exemptions to the DCMA, which controls how copyright applies to digital content. The latest round of exemptions came last October, when the Library of Congress decided that sanctioned unlocking methods were strong and extensive enough that it didn’t make much sense to allow for unsanctioned methods.

“The record clearly demonstrates that there is a wide range of alternatives from which consumers may choose in order to obtain an unlocked wireless phone,” the Library of Congress wrote in…

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