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My contribution to the Copyright Consultations is to emphasize the need for consumer rights in the wireless space. Currently, the cell phone companies place digital locks on mobile devices. However, I ask, what right do they have to do that? Did they invent something unique in the handset that needs protecting? Some created intellectual property? No!
The purpose of the cellphone lock is to protect the carrier's business investment (a discount on the hardware price to entice consumers), but they already have service contracts for that purpose; the consumer then has to buy another handset if she wants to switch carriers, inhibiting competition in our wireless industry. In an age where we are encouraging competition and wireless freedom for Canadians (i.e. wireless number portability in March 2007 & spectrum auction Q2 2008 with spectrum reserved for new entrants), why would we support medieval business practices?
If I buy a cellphone, I should own that equipment and be able to use it with any compatible service provider. Period. Thanks for listening... this forum is a great idea!! Get ready, digital age, here comes Canada!
"The best solution for cracking the un-locked phone market is for phone manufacturers to develop new business models that will keep consumer costs low, but still reward carriers and phone manufacturers." http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10277723-94.html
"Approximately 70% of cell phone users in Asia are using un-locked phones. In Europe, approximately 80% use un-locked mobile devices. Finally, North America is in last place with a whopping 5% of un-locked cell phone users." http://www.blackberrycool.com/2009/07/wireless-usage-and-roaming-survey-support-the-unlocking-industry/