Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Who Owns Your Phone?

“Who owns your phone at the end of the day?” asks Derek Khanna, a visiting fellow at Yale Law and former staff member at the Republican Study Committee. Last fall, Khanna earned notoriety – and a pink slip – for a public memo urging GOP members of Congress to rethink their stance on copyright law.

More recently, in a column for The Atlantic, Khanna blasted a new ruling that criminalizes the unlocking of cellphones under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Unlocking the phone simply means that a person could use a phone designed for one carrier on another carrier, assuming they had switched his plan. In addition to civil penalties, breaking this law could land you in prison for up to five years and force you to pay a fine of up to $500,000.

“In 1998 a poorly written statute, the DMCA, was passed and it prohibited a wide swath of commonly used technology in the name of defending copyright,” Khanna explains. “If this is allowed to stand, then the answer is you don’t own your phone.” H/T Reason TV

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