The Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow consumers to “unlock” their cell phone, reports The Hill. It will allow phone owners to switch providers once their contract is up.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced S. 517, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which would restore an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) permitting consumers users to “unlock” their cell phones when their contract expires.
It’s a process that wireless carriers are usually willing to accommodate. But the process became illegal last year when the Library of Congress opted not to renew a DMCA exemption, which it granted in 2006 and 2010.
The change lead to an online petition that garnered some 114,322 signatures before winning the president’s support last March.
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