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ISRI Applauds Passage of Legislation Permitting Recyclers to “Unlock” Used Cell Phones for Reuse

ISRI Applauds Passage of Legislation Permitting Recyclers to “Unlock” Used Cell Phones for Reuse

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry applauded the passage of the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (S.517/H.R.1123) that reinstates the exemption for recyclers and refurbishers to bulk unlock used cell phones for refurbishment and resale.

ISRI especially thanks Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Goodlatte (R-VA) for their bi-partisan leadership in working together to pass this legislation that removes the competitive disadvantage to recyclers and refurbishers in the marketplace. Previously, electronics manufacturers and telecommunication carriers wielded the power of copyright to control access to information necessary to unlock, refurbish and resell used technological devices, such as cell phones and tablets.

Last October, the ISRI Board of Directors 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 valuable and working devices back into the domestic and global marketplace where there is a strong demand. This Act is consistent with ISRI’s policy.

“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.”

ISRI serves as the largest organization representing electronics recyclers with nearly 400 member companies that handle electronics at more than 675 locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. It also partners with Earth911 on the initiative Project Reboot to educate consumers on the importance of electronics recycling.

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