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PostSubject: Smartphone News   Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:01 pm

Until recently it was illegal to jailbreak your own iPhone, and after Saturday it will be illegal to unlock a new smartphone, thereby allowing it to switch carriers. This is a result of the exception to the DMCA lapsing -- not as a result of a mistake but of an intentional choice by the Librarian of Congress that this was no longer fair use and acceptable.

PENALTY: In some situations, first time offenders may be fined up to $500,000, imprisoned for five years, or both. For repeat offenders, the maximum penalty increases to a fine of $1,000,000, imprisonment for up to ten years, or both.

That's right, starting this weekend it is illegal to unlock new phones to make them available on other carriers.

http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2013/01/the-most-ridiculous-law-of-2013-so-far.html

What a Face
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Besides this being laughably stupid, I doubt the carriers are going to be ace informants snitching out people bringing in hacked phones. Laughing

$500,000 fines... Laughing ...it's one of those things that probably won't change until someone gets caught up in it, either. Unbelievable.

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KevinM



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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:38 pm

"Off with their heads!"

This growing trend of controlling adults' lives through fear is demeaning and needs to be rethought. It's like being back in HS where someone else made decisions for us and reserved the right-of-review on those decisions we made for ourselves.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:43 pm

Actually this one is justified.. the law not the punishment... When you go buy that new $200 iphone you are in actuality receiving a $700 phone with $500 of it's cost subsidized via contract. If you unlock it and go elsewhere before the contract expires you are in essence stealing $500. Sure the ETf etc etc etc..

The simple solution is if you want an unlocked phone purchase an unlocked phone.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:10 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Actually this one is justified.. the law not the punishment... When you go buy that new $200 iphone you are in actuality receiving a $700 phone with $500 of it's cost subsidized via contract. If you unlock it and go elsewhere before the contract expires you are in essence stealing $500. Sure the ETf etc etc etc..

The simple solution is if you want an unlocked phone purchase an unlocked phone.

A $700 phone that equals about $50 in actual goods, labor and product, $300 in mark-ups and $400 in various taxes, you mean, right? Wink

Since people aren't normally paying $700 for the phone, its worth hasn't been established as that amount. You can't steal something that doesn't exist, unless you take the taxes/import values/etc, which only matter at time of sale, anyway (at the amount of $700, that is, which hasn't happened)...so all someone is really doing is taking eggs from the government and there's a potential loss of chickens. The Sweatshop electronics laborers in Sri Lanka are ashamed of us. Laughing

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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:24 pm

Regardless of what 'people' pay the price is $700. AND thats just a stupid American thing anyway.. The rest of the world purchases them outright (at$5-700) and do not deal with the contract bs.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:35 pm

The contracts are stupid, PB, but the projected-profit price markup is just smoke n mirrors. The only reason why they don't fluff up their future earnings by marking the phones up to $10,000 is because they KNOW no one will pay that much, contract or not...the $700 figure is arbitrary and reasonable to stay in good graces with the shareholders and general public. The government does that all the time.

Since no one agreed to the price being $700, they agreed to the contract, the only thing they can be held accountable for is not reading the stupid contract in the first place. Fair game. It's still not a $700 phone in worth, i.e., loss. The RIAA already went down that road with the whole "fair use" hoo-haw trying to claim losses from people copying music on behalf of the artists suckered by large recording companies. It's the same deal from my angle, an unknown future suddenly equals a known loss? scratch

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:49 pm

Kyle... go anywhere else in the world and price an iphone, gs3, etc


It is a $700 phone bro. millions of people pay it every year.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:08 pm

...but not around here. We have contracts. Can you truly imagine the uproar if people in the US would suddenly have to pay $700 for a phone? The whining fallout would be immense, and flip phones would make a triumphant, if not begrudged, return.

China leads in cell phone use. I don't think any of them paid $700 per phone, but that's beside the point. Or is it?

We're singing two parts of the same song: contracts are stupid, I'm just adding the chorus that the notion of what something is worth versus what people pay.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:25 pm

if we paid outright they couldn't justify the $200 a month contracts...

Boost, Virgin, Straight Talk, TMobile etc are doing just that.. buy a phone outright and enjoy $50 bills.
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:27 pm

*shrug* Many of us Stateside have short-term memories. If we pay $200 a month, it makes more sense than $700 total cost of a phone. I mean, 200 is less than 700, right? Laughing We iz smurt.

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:33 pm

I spent about 5 years in wireless sales and service (I spent time on the retail, wholesale, and business-to-business ends of the game). It is, and always has been, about making money on the service end of it - early termination fees are usually right around what it takes to cover any loss taken from the reduced sale price of the phone, itself...by the by, most companies will still let you take a no-contract option, but no discount on the phone and (usually) a no-contact charge on the monthly bill of $5-$10 or so, just to hedge against the loss taken on the phone, itself (and there is still a loss taken, even factoring out retail markup and sales tax).

But ultimately, this:
Kyle wrote:
Besides
this being laughably stupid, I doubt the carriers are going to be ace
informants snitching out people bringing in hacked phones. Laughing

If you're bringing a phone in to my store or calling my call center to start an account, what's in it for me to rat you out for using another carrier's phone model? Unless the gov't is going to start offering an incentive that outweighs the commissions/bonuses I stand to make for signing up a new customer (and that's assuming I'm paying close enough attention to notice in the first place), it doesn't really matter.

And its a small step from being able to program your phone to run on a different wireless network to being able to tweak how the model number/serial number appears in the phone's registry, so "automated" attempts to regulate this would be difficult (and damn expensive) to maintain.

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KevinM



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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:06 pm

I used a flip phone for five years after the initial contract. Finally, the numbers and letters were worn off the keypad. I swore I wasn't going to pay for a "Smart" phone. No, sir, not me. Then they offered me a flip phone for $59 plus 2-year contract or an iPhone 4 for free plus 2-year contract. I'm kinda enjoying Pandora.

Buy? Or lease? You're going to pay either way. Depends how long you plan to keep the product.
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gravel

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:27 pm

Jailbreak =/= unlocking.

AFAIK it still isn't illegal to jailbreak an iPhone and nothing I've found states that it is illegal. Jailbreaking/rooting a tablet computer (such a an iPad) is illegal.

One of many:
http://www.mobilemag.com/2012/10/30/us-govt-legal-to-jailbreak-iphone-still-illegal-to-jailbreak-ipad/


Last edited by gravel on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:40 pm

No... jailbreak/root is legal... unlocking the sim to accept other carriers is illegal.
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:54 am

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sstodvictory

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:49 am

The actual ruling from the pages of the Federal Register is here:

http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2012/77fr65260.pdf

The ruling is driven by software copyright and fair-use considerations. Those topics get complex but the reasoning behind the rule is pretty well laid out in the document, as well as the reasons why it applies to some devices and not others. What one is actually paying for with cell phone contracts and fees, is a license to use copyrighted software.

That also explains why the ruling would still apply after the phone contract expires....is it right to continue to use the copyrighted software of party A after payments for doing that have actually been rechanneled to party B?

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:14 pm

All weasel stuff. P*ss on their whole tribe.

With the calculated destruction of manufacturing/self-sufficiency via the Central Banking-Congressional-Judicial alliance, the result was that, increasingly, legitimate profit from offering goods and services disappeared.

What was left to exploit was the people themselves. So, using the "intellectual property" smokescreen, they created situations like this one.

Can you imagine Colt trying, in 1873, to get a law passed that it, and it alone, had the right to manufacture .45 bullets for their pistols ? And to charge 10 times the going rate on that basis ?

Or Henry Ford trying to patent the specific spark plug configuration that would work in his autos ?

Or Spaulding getting a patent on the baseball ?

But that's exactly what you're seeing here. Same scam as making desktop copiers & selling them at a loss because it's now ILLEGAL for anyone but them to make ink cartridges (priced an order of magnitude beyond "profitable") that work in them.

A pox on their house.

What a Face
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dshpipes

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:19 pm

Yak wrote:
All weasel stuff. P*ss on their whole tribe.

With the calculated destruction of manufacturing/self-sufficiency via the Central Banking-Congressional-Judicial alliance, the result was that, increasingly, legitimate profit from offering goods and services disappeared.

What was left to exploit was the people themselves. So, using the "intellectual property" smokescreen, they created situations like this one.

Can you imagine Colt trying, in 1873, to get a law passed that it, and it alone, had the right to manufacture .45 bullets for their pistols ? And to charge 10 times the going rate on that basis ?

Or Henry Ford trying to patent the specific spark plug configuration that would work in his autos ?

Or Spaulding getting a patent on the baseball ?

But that's exactly what you're seeing here. Same scam as making desktop copiers & selling them at a loss because it's now ILLEGAL for anyone but them to make ink cartridges (priced an order of magnitude beyond "profitable") that work in them.

A pox on their house.

What a Face

Mmm... this isn't right. No one has a monopoly on any phone. Most phones are made for multiple carriers with different antennas in them so they can operate on the network they're designed for. Occasionally a cellular provider and a phone manufacturer will strike a deal and a phone will be exclusive with one carrier, but that doesn't provide a corner on the smartphone market at large. Phones that get sold through Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc that are attached to contracts shouldn't be allowed to be transferred to other carriers until the contract is over. The contract is legally binding and customers get a steep discount on the phones when they sign one.

My day job is as a Store Manager for Verizon in Chicago. I can tell you that, in fact, the devices do actually cost retailers close to the "full retail cost" but retailers are then paid a subsidy when they sell a device at a discount. For example, the cost to my retailer is $650 for an iPhone. A customer can purchase that phone at $700, with a $50 profit to the retailer, or they can sign a 2 year contract which drops the price of the iPhone 5 to $200. Verizon pays the retailer the difference, plus a chunk more than $50 for a job well done. You can complain about the cost of manufacturing vs the price you pay, but the fact is that these devices are in high demand and are highly sophisticated. As such, they command a high price, even if they aren't incredibly expensive to make.

BTW, retail costs will always be relative to manufacturing costs. What do you think the cost of manufacturing a pipe cleaner is? I betcha it's a few pennies per cleaner at the most, yet we pay $2 to $5 for a pack of them. That's an enormous profit on every cleaner in that bundle. Same applies for smart phones. It costs much more than pennies to make one so the price a consumer pays will naturally be higher than for a pack of cleaners, for example.

I hear complaints like these a lot but here are the facts, boys. When cell phones first came out en mass, simple phones (phone calls, texting, and, later, cameras) were a little more expensive, but then came a short period where it was easy to always get a free phone with an upgrade. Well that upgrade was still a 2 year contract which discounted those phones from $200+ to free. The system hasn't changed but the devices have. A smart phone is a computer in your pocket that has constant internet access all over the US and many other countries. We can surf the web, get turn by turn directions from satellites using an online database of free maps created by Google, we can make a video call to friends and family, we can still make phone calls and send texts, take pictures, take HD video, work on word, excel, and powerpoint documents, interact quickly through forum apps and other social media applications, the list goes on endlessly. These devices are more versatile and powerful than any laptop I've ever owned. Most of the ones we sell in my store are more powerful than my Girlfriend's gaming computer that she runs Guild Wars 2 on at top performance, seamlessly. Not only are these devices computers, they are MP3 players, navigation devices, and video cameras. I don't think it's too much to ask for committed loyalty for 2 years so people can afford a device like this.

A customer signs a legally binding 2 year contract in order to get a steep discount on a device. If they break that contract, unlock their phone, and take it to another carrier, they are committing fraud by breaking a legal agreement. This is not small potatoes guys.

Yak, what you describe above sounds to me like, and you used this word, patenting. If Colt had invented the .45 bullet and patented it, then hell yeah it is and should be illegal for others to manufacture or sell that bullet without some sort of agreement with Colt.

In short, PB and Bowman are right.
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:31 pm

(Ohh... i feel it coming... ahhhh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The dread, the agony, the post I hate more than any other)




+1
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:23 pm

TracPhone. Twenty bucks and thrown in glovebox. Never turn it on. Don't call me, I'll call you.
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:38 pm

Richard Burley wrote:
TracPhone. Twenty bucks and thrown in glovebox. Never turn it on. Don't call me, I'll call you.

This made me smile. Richard Burley, fighting the good fight against ultra connectivity and probably living a richer life because of it. Very Happy
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:56 pm

I'm not sure why the misunderstanding a clear fact here:

This is a guess, but percentage of people who outright buy a phone at $700: less than 1%. Percentage of folks that purchase a phone via a contract that carries them from month-to-month for an agreed amount, that either makes the phone significantly cheaper, or in some cases free: 99%

Therefore, the phone is not worth $700 to a vast minority, if any, of individual consumer. If the companies pay this amount, that's their business. The profit goes to the electronic companies producing them, which comes from the cell companies, who turn around and peddle various contracts for more money. That's America for ya. *shrug* Let's say for argument's sake a $700 phone is paid for at full price. Five years go by...can you recoup any of the cost? Half? A quarter? Maybe 10%? No, it's recyclable trash--incidentally, something the cell phone companies want you to do with them, because they can scrap the components for raw materials and effect their bottom line even more. Which very much so matters when it comes to production cost...and contracts of their own with these silicon sweatshops. $700 is an arbitrary amount set on what people are willing to not take them to court over in case the contract goes sour--it is not a market value, it's just what the carriers are willing to pay for them--that the people get stuck with if they screw up.

No one is wrong here, just not seeing things objectively. I mean, no offense, Dave, but I'm not going to discuss vehicle engineering and design with the salesman. It's just not what they do.

I worked for a battery distributor here in the west. One of the things we did was store and provide transit logistics for the backup power banks for cell towers. I found out more than half of them are NOT owned by cellular companies: they are privately-held and public companies, some big, some small, that you have never heard of. Why does this matter? Because communications has always been a huge business, and everyone wants in. The only reason why it isn't a monopoly is because, I suspect, these companies (on paper) have more in common with each other than not. It's a little different than AT&T recently acquiring T-Mobile, or the other end of the business...the acquisition of frequency license ownership--of which is controlled and regulated by the FCC.

This doesn't make me an expert, either, but it opened my eyes to what else is going on just beneath the surface. Wanna know why I don't care in the end? My horse in in a different race: I'm in the precious metals end of the commodities industry...please, buy your phones, contracts, or whatever at whichever place you see fit. It give me a future.

The contracts are stupid, but people eat 'em up. What can ya do? Apparently open up avenues for half-million dollar fines for people wanting to put the cell phone equivalent of a Ford 351 in a '69 Chevy Nova and then running them on public highways. Oh good heavens, the horror! Laughing Stupid.

Cool
thinking of the children
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:03 pm

I don't know where you are getting your facts Kyle.... but they are wrong.

The rest of the world buys their phones out right... instant majority.
Then add, TMobile, Boost, Cricket, Virgin, Straight Talk, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc and apparently Verizon and ATT headed that route in the near future.

besides, people pay it every day man... either hidden in contract cost.. OR
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Cell-Phones-Smartphones-/9355/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=iphone5&_pppn=r1&_dcat=9355&LH_BIN=1

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=iphone5&LH_BIN=1&_osacat=9355&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1311.R1&_nkw=samsung+galaxy+s3&_sacat=9355
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PostSubject: Re: Smartphone News   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:06 pm

Also.. every two years I sell our phones via ebay and generally average around $350 which allows contract purchase on new phones and $150 in my pocket.... IF you think they are recyclable junk please mail me everyone you can lay hands on and I'll recycle them.. for a minor fee of course. sucker.
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