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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Just because you own your smart phone doesn't mean you have complete control over the device. No matter where you live or work or attend school, lots of people communicating on smart phones is pretty standard.
"If you spend money on a phone you should be able to use the phone however you please as long as it's within the boundaries of the law," says GW law student CJ Hancock.
Those boundaries have just gotten a little smaller, at least for anyone who bought a phone after January 26. Now, exemptions laid out in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, including allowing users to unlock spart phones or jailbreak tablets, have expired. This means if you are caught doing so, you could face over a $2000 fine. If you're doing so for commercial purposes, you could be find up to $500,000 or spend 5 years behind bars.
"From a competitive standpoint, it really hurts consumers," says Public Knowledge Vice President of Legal Affairs Sherwin Siy.
Siy says the big winners here are the large cell phone carriers who want to lock you in to contracts. The losers: you, the cell phone users.
"If someone's giving you terrible service, you should be able to switch," says Siy.
"I know a lot of people who do it," says GW Fresham Imran Moledina. "They'll buy a phone, say from AT&T, and get it jail-broken or unlocked and switch it to Verizon for a cheaper plan or T-Mobile."
For most people, when you walk out of the store with your new smart phone, you're thinking about how happy you are to get rid of the old one, or which apps you plan to download. Now, you might want to ask an important question: who's phone is this really? Turns out the answer is in the fine print, which very few people actually read.
"These contracts actually say things like you haven't actually bought the software," says Siy. "You don't actually own it. We do."
A small change with potentially large consequences for you. Telecom and telephone companies spent over $101 million last year lobbying lawmakers in Washington. If you break that down, with 535 lawmakers in Congress, plus the President, companies spent about $188,000 per elected lawmaker in 2012.
Saturday, February 2 2013, 12:31 AM CST
Memphis libraries seeking funding
May 25, 2013 13:07 GMT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The public library system in Memphis is hoping to secure $2.9 million to add employees and increase its collection.
The Memphis Daily News (http://bit.ly/19BANxH) reports the Memphis Public Library & Information Center cites the figures as part of its strategic plan.
A study by the Friends of the Library and the Memphis Library Foundation found that during the past five years, the system's budget has been cut 21 percent and hours were reduced 20 percent.
The goal of the new funding would be to add 47 employees to the 18-location library system and increase the collections budget to $2 million from less than $1 million.
Library director Keenon McCloy says the plan is a "roadmap for the future."
Information from: The Memphis Daily News, http://www.memphisdailynews.com
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for military and civilian aircraft and an increase in business investment.
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Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
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