In what has become modernly an exceedingly rare circumstance, the US's highest lawmaking body today introduced a bill that would do something moderately useful: remove utterly useless FCC etchings from the back of electronics. The bill is known as the E-Label Act, and the bill was introduced by two US Senators, Deb Fischer and Jay Rockefeller. The act, as written, would allow manufacturers of goods requiring FCC certifications to "stamp" their FCC approval digitally, rather than physical etchings or markings on the product itself. The new method would save money for manufacturers, but more importantly, remove ugly FCC logos from products.


The E-Label Act has the broad support of the electronics industry, as well as the FCC. Unfortunately, in what is widely-considered one of America's most bitterly-divided congresses in history, it is impossible to say if it will also receive broad bipartisan support, or even which side of the aisle may take issue with the new act.

Some modern smartphone manufacturers have skirted the FCC requirement with removable rear covers, by placing the etching on the frame of the product rather than the outside casing. This new bill, though, would alleviate the need for this practice - at least in regard to the US. Unfortunately, the FCC's all-in-one logo generally isn't the worst offender on electronics. That honor belongs unwaveringly to the European Union, which generally is responsible for no less than four individual etchings on the back of your stuff (Ars Technica has a great breakdown here).

So, while the FCC's marking may be going away in coming years, unfortunately, it's probably just one out of a handful of certification etchings OEMs have to (rather needlessly) deal with.

The Hill via The Verge

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.scottcolbert.com/ ScottColbert

    Only to be replaced by even more carrier logos.

    • AOSPrevails


      • wicketr

        Insert so_much_more_room_for_activities.gif

    • RarestName

      In America

      • http://www.scottcolbert.com/ ScottColbert


        • RarestName

          Over here, the worst thing they can do is to have preinstalled carrier apps that can be uninstalled, and have a tiny removable sticker on the device.

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  • mgamerz

    David still has faith in congress. I guess that makes one of us.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      hahahahah no.

  • Serge Cebrian

    but if they remove the label, and the phone doesnt turn on... how will i be able to claim a warranty :(
    well you could still have the box for that :)

    anyway, as im overly paranoid, probably i sent a picture of the digital label to my mail, and/or the written text....

    and they should also ban the gigantic Carrier branding some put to the phones (im looking at you verizon, and ATT and Tmobile, and So On.. )

    • inzandity

      It doesn't say T-mobile anywhere on my S5 :-)

  • MJ

    Comgress hasn't done anything... All we need is for Obama to mention this in speech and it will blocked from passage by the Republicans.

    • Jesse

      Oh god that'd be hilarious, in a desperate, crying kind of way.

  • Kurt Schultz

    Still not as bad as Verizon's logo on every side of the phone

  • p4

    and these are the types of decisions our congress spends their time on.....

    • vzwuser76

      Don't forget the knockdown drag out fight over if Casual Friday should stay Casual or change to Hawaiian Shirt Friday when congress is in session. Let them get major things like this out of the way first before dealing with little things like balancing the budget.

      • hoosiercub88

        Balancing the budget would be ridiculously easy, if we'd stop spending 75-80% of it on defense.

    • Ender

      "Our economy is in the toilet, our deficit is seemingly infinite, and we're sending the world in to WW3... So how about those FCC logos?"

      • Leahelm

        Because the prevent WW3 and revert multi-trillion dollar debt bill would take the same amount of time and effort…

        • Ender

          Obviously it wouldn't be a single bill, I was just saying that Congress could be doing better things with their time.

          • Leahelm

            As disorganized as congress is though they can still do more than one thing at a time. If they shelved every item that ever came up because they have to work on the budget then America wouldn't get a single thing done for decades more. Probably some of their constituents brought up the idea and they put it together when they could, I'd hate to write to my congressman and have him say back to me "How about your bring that up to me again in 20 years?"

          • Cuvis

            Like they would. If anything, they'd be using this time to try to repeal Obamacare for the 748th time.

          • Michael Fontenot

            Maybe this is the first good bill in a series?

    • n_a_v

      This is about the only thing they can agree on

  • Artem A.

    No marks on my MotoG, so useless info here

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Moto G has a removable cover, markings are inside.

    • hoosiercub88

      Useless info regardless, since you already have a phone, that has already been produced.. go away.

  • tyguy829

    I've actually wondered how Moto gets around this. No marks on my Moto x, which of course doesn't have a removable back.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I'm guessing if the back is removable with tools easily there's some kind of loophole.

      • hoosiercub88

        Nope, it's on there.. silk screened very faintly.. if you have a lighter color X it could be pretty hard to see. I have a cement grey version and it's almost the same color.

    • miri

      It's printed very faintly on the back of my Moto X.

  • duke69111

    Maybe they could add Verizon's front logo's to that list as well.

  • http://youtube.com/jedijens Jens Törnblad

    I thought about this a couple of weeks ago. Why do they put so many useless logos on the back! It's not like I would go and throw my phone in the trash.. Glad to see they are getting rid of them.

  • Ian Santopietro

    I work for a computer company that makes laptops. This isn't going to save costs.

    But the cosmetic benefits are awesome!

    • hoosiercub88

      Actually.. it most certainly will.. it's one less step in production of the product. So less machinery & less product put into the product. Which also means less time to produce the device.

      They'll be small marginal advances for production savings, but when you're pumping out thousands of them, it saves time and money.

      End users won't see any of this other than the aesthetic changes.

  • Taylor

    Huh. I didn't know the Rockefeller family was still around. Let alone involved in politics.

  • n_a_v

    "The new method would save money for manufacturers"

    And manufacturers will reduce the cost of devices by exactly $0.00.

  • ConCal

    They are just trying to make up for screwing up net neutrality.

  • ConCal

    Verizon's designers quickly went to work making even bigger and uliger logos to use up the new space.

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    From what I understand, FCC is an American company that operates in the US, right? So why do we, people outside of the US, have to have the FCC labels on our phones too? I live in Germany and have a Nexus 5 bought from the German play store, but there are some FCC labels on the back-bottom part of the phone. Why though?

    • Olav

      That's because it can be used in the US.

  • Poet García Madero

    Slow news day?

  • Will S.

    Why do we have the FCC sign on electronics here in the UK??

  • Toboe

    > That honor belongs unwaveringly to the European Union, which generally
    is responsible for no less than four individual etchings on the back of
    your stuff

    Huh? Lets see on my GT-I9300...
    On the Barcode sticker of the package? Not "etched on the back of my stuff"
    On the Battery? Technically "etched on the back of my stuff", but not like anybody cares, right?
    On the sticker on the Phone hidden under the battery? Not "etched on the back of my stuff"

    Exchangeable batteries ftw.

    • Roger Siegenthaler

      ACtually the z1 compact has this little flag you can pull out from under one of the covers with all of these things on it, also a pretty great solution :D

  • RH

    I'd rather have the FCC logo than what the carriers do.
    Last 2 devices I've owned, were carrier free. Hey, if you get one on contract, that's what you have to put up with to get a "cheap" device (even though paying full price and going contract free is WAY cheaper), but sometimes they go OVERBOARD.

  • Gator352

    The FCC labels look better than VZW and AT&T logos.

  • Michael Fontenot


  • Matt Dowdy

    The worst logo by far is the wheelie bin with a big X on it

  • Scott Breitbach

    What will a digital FCC approval stamp entail? I hope it isn't another splash screen.