U.S. to jail those who unlock cell phones

Woman hold her iPhone illustration 
By: Mahesh Sarin 

(Scroll down for video) If you received that expensive smart phone because you signed a contract for a yearly service it is now illegal to unlock the cell phone in order to use it with another network, according to a statement by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Those found guilty of unlocking cell phones without permission face fines of up to $500,000 and jail time.

As of today, it is illegal to unlock the new subsidized phone without permission of the issuers.

The new rules, which do not affect consumers who purchased the phone before Saturday, come from the U.S. Copyright Office Library of Congress.

Previously, you could unlock the device subsidized under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and could then sell the phones or use the SIM card of another company to start a new service on another wireless network.

The new rule is an update to the existing DMCA law.