Washington, DC) – At its fall board meeting earlier this month, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) approved a new policy supporting the ability of recyclers and refurbishers to unlock technological devices such as cell phones, tablets and other electronics, and return reusable electronics products to the marketplace. Current copyright law makes the U.S. the only country where recyclers do not have the ability to unlock devices, standing in the way of advances in the reuse of technological devices and new innovations and competitive uses.
“The current system limits recyclers and consumers when it comes to extending the life and reusing cell phones and tablets,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Allowing electronics recyclers and refurbishers to unlock these devices will help encourage the reuse of used electronics products and thus avoid the unnecessary and wasteful disposal of these products in landfills.”
Notwithstanding existing service agreements that consumers may have with their technological device provider, the policy:
Supports legislation that, without violating copyright laws, allows recyclers and refurbishers to permanently unlock technological devices to maximize the use, maintenance and reuse of technological devices.
Makes clear that neither criminal law pertaining to unlocking technological devices or technology locks shall prevent recyclers and refurbishers from reselling used technological devices back into the marketplace.
Encourages technological device providers to ensure that recyclers and refurbishers can return circumvented “unlocked” media devices into the reuse marketplace.
Allows consumers, including, but not limited, to recyclers and refurbishers, the right to develop tools to circumvent, "unlock" technological devices.
ISRI, serving as the Voice of the Recycling Industry, is composed of 1,700 members, including more than 400 electronics recyclers.
“Being able to unlock cell phones and tablets is necessary to maximize their reuse value. We refurbish, unlock, and resell these technological devices throughout the U.S. The current law impedes recyclers and refurbishers ability to reuse these devices and employ people to put these devices back into the market. Changing the U.S. copyright law to allow unlocking will help our company and the entire electronics recycling industry,” said Jim Levine, President of Regency Technologies and chairman of ISRI’s Electronics Division.
The issue has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (HR 1123), with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sponsoring companion legislation. The Obama Administration also supports the ability to unlock devices.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI)
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the Voice of the Recycling Industry™. ISRI represents more than 1,700 companies in 21 chapters nationwide that process, broker and industrially consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides safety, education, advocacy, and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. For more information about ISRI, visit www.ISRI.org.