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In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress, who determines exemptions to a strict anti-hacking law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), decided that unlocking mobile phones would no longer be allowed. But the librarian provided a 90-day window during which people could still buy a phone and unlock it. That window closes on January 26.
the part you are missing/skipping/avoiding is the 'installed software' that comes with the phone (that is copyrighted) that most owners are trying to remove by unlocking it.
The DMCA has nothing to do with unlocking phones, it has to do with copyright infringement