Unlocked-iPhone 4S

The White House announced this morning that President Obama will be signing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act today. The bill restores the copyright exemption that allows customers to unlock their phones, regardless of carrier restrictions.

The bill was first unanimously passed by the Senate a couple of weeks ago, and then agreed upon by the House of Representatives earlier this week. And with the President signing it into law today, it has become once again legal for users (and vendors) to unlock their phones…

From The White House and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (via The Verge):

Today, President Obama will sign into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, and in doing so, will achieve a rare trifecta: a win for American consumers, a win for wireless competition, and an example of democracy at its best — bipartisan congressional action in direct response to a call to action from the American people.

The story of how we broke through Washington gridlock to restore the freedom of consumers to take their mobile phone wherever they choose is one worth telling, and a model worth repeating.

Senator Leahy goes on to tell the story of how this bill came to be. We’ve tracked most of it, starting with the decision by the Library of Congress to not renew the DMCA exemption, and then the online petition with over 100K signatures, and finally The White House’s response.

Unfortunately, today’s signing doesn’t put this whole unlocking mess to bed. All the bill does is reinstate the exemption temporarily. The Library of Congress will still vote on the matter every 3 years, although the bill does instruct them to carefully consider keeping unlocking legal.

More info: refer to our iPhone unlocking page to learn how you can unlock your device.