December 6, 2006 | By Fred von Lohmann

TracFone Sues to Block Cellphone Unlocking Exemption

As we reported just before Thanksgiving, the Copyright Office and Library of Congress recently announced a set of new DMCA exemptions, including one that entitles a person to unlock a cellphone without worrying about DMCA liability.

Now prepaid wireless vendor TracFone has sued the Library of Congress to block the new exemption. According to the complaint, filed in federal court in Florida, the grant of the unlocking exemption

  • (1) violates the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) because the Copyright Office refused to accept TracFone's late submissions;
  • (2) violates due process; and
  • (3) violates separation of powers because "the DMCA's delegation of rulemaking authority to the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office is an unconstitutional intra-branch delegation of Congress' legislative responsibilities."

I'll admit I'm intrigued by the third argument, but I imagine people at the Copyright Office are muttering "no good deed goes unpunished" over all this.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Tomorrow at @sfiaf in San Francisco, join EFF for "Edward Snowden Revelations and the Public Right to Know." https://eff.org/r.v9n2

May 29 @ 4:33pm

EFF supporters get 20% off registration for @ISSALA's Information Security #Summit7 next week: https://eff.org/r.s2qt

May 29 @ 1:36pm

Higher max sentences for "material support" won't prevent terrorism—but will chill First Amendment rights. https://eff.org/r.x49r

May 29 @ 1:19pm
JavaScript license information