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ISRI Backs Congress on Cellphone Recycling Exemption

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) applauded Congress for exempting recyclers and refurbishers to bulk unlock used cellphones for refurbishment and resale in a newly passed  bill.

Congress passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) working for bipartisan leadership on the legislation, which removes the competitive disadvantage to recyclers and refurbishers in the marketplace, according to an ISRI news release.

Previously, electronics manufacturers and telecommunication carriers could control through copyright the access to information necessary to unlock, refurbish and resell used technological devices, such as cell phones and tablets.

Last October, ISRI approved a cellphone unlocking policy that called for allowing consumers, including recyclers and refurbishers, the right to lawfully unlock technological devices. By allowing bulk unlocking, recyclers and refurbishers are able to put working devices back into the domestic and global marketplace.

“We are very pleased that the legal right for recyclers and refurbishers to bulk unlock cell phones has been restored,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “Copyright law should not stand in the way of advances in the legitimate reuse of cell phones and tablets or prevent innovations and competitive uses for such devices.”

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