Legal or not?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by Jcshannon05, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Jcshannon05
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    Jcshannon05 New Member

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    Just out of sheer curiosity... is it legal or illegal to own/use a rooted Droid? I could honestly care less.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  2. kaboyd
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    kaboyd New Member

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    It is your phone. It does void the warranty that comes with the phone, but that is not illegal. It is your choice to access root authority.
  3. aminaked
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    aminaked New Member

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    VZ's contract says that installing unofficial software is grounds for cancelling an account.

    As far as the government caring, I suppose the FCC could come down on you if your ROM somehow caused interference or something. Not sure that is even possible with software. I think it's legal then, but I am not a lawyer.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  4. jstafford1
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    jstafford1 DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad

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    I'm guessing if you tethered a bunch of droids together and created a self aware supper computer bent on world domination it might throw up some red flags. But just a rooted phone, not so much. Voids the warranty, but you can unroot if needed, so eh.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  5. samiusmc
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    samiusmc Member

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    Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  6. mkzbdroid
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    mkzbdroid New Member

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    lol Illegal, dude they arent gonna put you in jail for actually having knowledge to operate a phones fine tuned operations....who knows it is Big RED:icon_eek:
  7. tcrews
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    tcrews Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    One you purchase the phone it is your phone. It is legal for you to throw it in the toilet, jump up and down on it, root it, give it to someone else, whatever.

    It is against Verizon's contract with you to "operate" a modified phone on their network but they have no way of detecting/knowing your phone is modified.

    No laws are broken by rooting your phone. Key phrase their is "your" as in you have ownership of said property. Do what you want with it. You do however give up rights to use the phone on their network, rights for warranty repair and such.......
  8. RW-1
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    RW-1 New Member

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    Have that supper computer make me a steak and lobstertail dinner please.

    Sent from me! Guess how for a cupcake. . .
  9. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 New Member

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    I see a lot of "you own it" references here and in other threads. In fact, it's not that simple. When you "purchase" your phone in the context of a two year (or one year) contract, you are in effect entering a "lease to buy" relationship with Verizon. Until you pay off the total purchase price of the phone you don't "own" the phone. Verizon retains a lien against it. You may, of course, purchase a phone without such an associated contract but few people in the US do this. It might help to think of a somewhat analogous situation. If you lease an automobile you are entering a similar contract. The lessor can prohibit you from making certain changes to the car or using it for certain purposes, e.g. professional racing. Is it "illegal" to make those changes or engage in that behavior? No. Can the lessor demand that you pay off the lease if you do? You betcha. You are, after all, making a change in a vehicle in which another party retains an ownership interest. Of course in the case of phone (unlike a car) the carrier doesn't want the phone back at the end of the contract. (It has no "residual" value.) That's why they lock you into a contract until the entire value of the phone is recovered. The bottom line is that while you may believe you have "purchased" a phone from Verizon, what you have actually done is enter a contractual relationship with Verizon to pay off the full cost of the phone AND to use their network for a period of up to two years. If you modify your phone and/or use the phone on their network in a way that Verizon prohibits, they can demand that you pay for doing so. P.S. Sorry for the formatting problems above... Browser problems.
  10. christim
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    christim DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad

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    +1 ...illegal would be a crime. If you signed a contract and didn't live up to your part of the deal AND Verizon wanted you to pay the early termination fee and you elected not to, then they could take you to court and the court could make you pay. If you elected not to then that would be illegal.

    Please provide a link concerning unofficial software. My phone comes with an option to do just this. It lets me install programs not from the market. Are those also unofficial? What specific language in the contract spells out what software is unofficial?

    Again...link please. As soon as I installed my first app I modified my phone.

    And "no way of detecting" is a very all encompassing statement. Without knowing the exact modification made I'd be hesitant to make such a statement. For example: A hacked device somehow hooks up to Verizon's network without paying for such service. I do not know if Verizon could detect unauthorized access to their cell towers or not. Such a person doing this would most likely not have a contract with Verizon in the first place though.[​IMG]
  11. korp
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    korp New Member

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    Yep .... but they probably could pull something since you have altered the phone out of warranty. There is a question of legality with tethering since we aren't paying for it though.
  12. Jim 777
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    Jim 777 Active Member

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    So, you're saying that you do care...? :icon_ poke:
  13. aminaked
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    aminaked New Member

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    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/dr...hone-connects-facts-myths-about-debate-2.html

    (d) modify your device from its manufacturer's specifications

    Not that they would under normal circumstances, but I think that they could argue that a rooted OS is not spec.
  14. nateccnn
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    nateccnn Member

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    LOL! ROFLMAO!

    Last week one of my students came into my office freaking out. She had just dropped her phone in the toilet and just out of freakout habit she accidently flushed the toilet. Now these toilets are power flushers, but still...I asked what kind of phone and she said it was a droid. I said no way would that big of a phone go through the p-trap. So I found another student who I knew was a plumber and asked him to see if he could snake it out. The guys reaches his hand in there and says there is nothing in there. He had his hand in so far I thoguht he'd get it stuck.

    So I called the plumber that installed the toilet. He yanked the toilet off the floor. It was not there. It made it into the main plumbing system so I am thinking GREAT...it's going to plug the sewer system and I am going to have to pay to dig it up. We went out to the sewer lift station and pulled the lid on the dry sump and there was the Driod...in peices...the grinder pumps chewed it up and spit it out.

    Damned thing still booted up. No...I'm kidding. LOL

    So the student said she was going to try and take it in for warranty to see what happens. I have not seen her since so I don't know what happened. LOL

    I do know she did not get arrested though. So there's proof that tcrews knows what he is talking about.

    Nate
  15. nateccnn
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    nateccnn Member

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    If I lease the phone there has to be a lease contract that defines the terms of the lease. My contract with Vz is for discounted purchase price based on higher service price. So if I renigg and cancel early I have to pay the difference in the savings or the amount of higher service price I have not yet paid. In a lease you would have end of contract terms that give a residual value on the product and if I don't want to pay that price I give the product back. There is no such terminology in my contract. Vz never says they want the phone back if I don't do such and such. So you are wrong. Vz uses the product to entice me into paying an outragous service price.

    Nice anaolgy though.

    Nate
  16. BPB
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    BPB New Member

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    Question of legality with tethering? No there isn't. Show me where Verizon says it is "illegal" to tether your phone. If tethering was "illegal", would not the makers of apps like PDAnet and barnacle also be guilty of aiding and abetting a criminal act?
    Now show me where you might be in violation of a contract with Verizon for tethering. If it is in violation of your contract with Verizon then they might have a civil cause of action against you for that, but again it is not illegal.
    As to the "aren't paying for it" argument, (opinion begins here) compare that to stealing cable. The latter is illegal because you aren't paying for it. By contrast, I PAY a monthly fee for an unlimited data plan. Whether I send the data I receive on my phone, from that data plan, to my eyes, ears, or laptop is 100% my business and not the carrier's. The language in the contract may differ but, as someone else on here has said, Verizon wants my money and unless I'm running a server on my tethered phone I'm guessing it's quite alright. They already disallow simultaneous voice and data (something AT&T allows; perhaps that's why their network isn't all that great) so my money says they've got the tethering issue under control on their end. And if I do get an extra fine for tethering, I will happily pay it, turn in the phone, and move to another carrier.
    On the other hand, if you somehow did not have a data plan and were able to tether your phone w/o being charged, that's a different story.
  17. korp
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    korp New Member

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    I am referring to legality according to the contract you sign .... not as in against the law sorry for the confusion. Yes it is unfortunate that you have to pay extra even though you have an unlimited plan but I have a feeling it is due to the amount of data a computer can use vs what your phone can use. They will not come after you for going to a couple websites though ... they go after the people using mass amounts of data. It will cost them way more to go after a small fish than letting it slide and keeping your business.
  18. BPB
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    BPB New Member

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    Agreed. Although, I use the tethering anytime I need it. Today the cable internet was out so I used barnacle as a wifi router for two PCs. While I don't think I should have to pay anything extra for tethering if I've got a data plan, it still isn't really feasible to use your phone for hours on end tethered, unless no one ever calls you!
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