Seventeen years after passing legislation that made unlocking potentially illegal, Washington, DC has decided it hates locked cellphones after all.

In late February, copyright reform advocate Sina Khanifar’s White House petition passed the newly-raised 100,000-signature threshold, requiring Obama to address whether unlocking phones should be explicitly legal. Most petitions result in a polite, noncommittal brushoff, but this one was different: a few weeks later, the White House responded with strong agreement. "If you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network," said White House advisor R. David Edelman. "It's common sense."

Within a day, several members of Congress had announced plans to legalize unlocking. At this moment, three Senate bills and one House bill have been introduced, with more on the way. The issue has broad bipartisan and popular support, and there’s a good chance at least one of these bills will get traction. But with multiple strategies to choose from to address a complicated legal situation, what does this mean for people who just want to unlock their phones?