Updated: Feb 9, 2018

Contact: Lucy Tutwiler
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CCA Urges Copyright Office to Permit Device Unlocking

Washington, DC – May 26, 2015 – Today, Michael Lazarus, Managing Member of Telecommunications Law Professionals PLLC testified on behalf of Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) before the United States Copyright Office in support of allowing consumers to have the ability to legally unlock their wireless devices.  Consumers should be allowed to take the device of their choosing to the carrier that best meets their needs and desires, and CCA urged the Copyright Office to permit legal unlocking under appropriate circumstances by exempting unlocking circumvention measures pursuant to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In opening remarks, Lazarus said, “CCA strongly supports an exemption allowing consumers to unlock all of their devices that connect to a wireless network, to associate a wireless device with the network of their choosing, which CCA originally proposed through its Petition and comments in the record.  This protection should apply not only to handsets and tablets, but to all wireless devices that have the potential to connect to a telecommunications or information network.  Because this proceeding is forward-looking, an exemption should allow consumers the ability to unlock any relevant device, and not be subservient to the will of any one carrier or manufacturer.  In addition, as directed by Congress, the exemption should not limit who may provide assistance to unlock a device, and therefore should allow an agent of the consumer, whether it be another person or a wireless provider, to perform the unlocking procedure, just as a locksmith may unlock an individual’s car or home when they do not have the necessary key.”

In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “The decision to extend the unlocking exemption should be an easy one for the Copyright Office.  Congress demonstrated its support for unlocking by passing a bill that the President signed last year.  There has been near universal support for the exemption, and unlocking clearly benefits consumers and competitive carriers, especially smaller carriers who still have trouble accessing the latest devices.  I encourage the Copyright Office to recommend to the Librarian of Congress adoption of the unlocking exemptions proposed by CCA.”