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September 29, 2005
Compare and Contrast
Jennifer Granick's story in Wired about a cell phone company using copyright law and technology to lock customers into their service:
Last week, I was contacted by a small company that I'll call Unlocko. Unlocko sells software that "unlocks" mobile phones so owners can select different cellular providers on the same handset. The company had received a cease-and-desist letter from a large mobile phone provider, which I'll call CellPhoneCo.
Like most U.S. cellular providers, CellPhoneCo electronically locks the handsets it sells so the phones can only be used with CellPhoneCo's service. CellPhoneCo claims that the sale of unlocking software is illegal.
The financial motive behind this claim is obvious. Companies have been using the razor blade business model to guarantee a steady stream of revenue ever since, well, the razor blade.
...with this article
in which the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), a group developing specifications for cell phone-lockdown, implies people have nothing to fear because these "security" features will be optional, whilst a TCG-friendly analyst calls concerns
about its anti-consumer applications "extremely paranoid."
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