The Senate has approved a bill (which already passed in the House) that makes it legal for you to unlock the phones you own so you can choose which carrier you use.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously, and left out the terrible "bulk unlocking" rules that would have made it hard to found businesses that helped
people unlock their phone, a common practice in the rest of the world. The bills now have to be synched up and sent to the president for his signature.
This is one of a very small number of bills passed by Congress this year. Kudos to Derek Khanna and all the other activists who campaigned for this.
Senate passes cell phone unlocking bill without opposition [Joe Mullin/Ars Technica]
(Image: Squircle Lock Picking, Darrell Hamilton, CC-BY)
An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday’s conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA’s bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms.
Tim Harford, the Financial Times’s Undercover Economist, writes about the Happy Birthday to You court case, which finally settled the question of whether the familiar birthday song was still in copyright (it isn’t) and uses that as a springboard to ask the question: how long should copyright last?
For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a “trade deal” that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world’s biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty.
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