"You may wonder why Alford doesn't just break that digital lock and get into the software and fix the problems himself. He could, but he'd be breaking the law. It's called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, or DMCA. It was written because movie studios were worried that people would break the digital locks on DVDs, make copies and pirate them. "And now we have this situation where there's digital locks on all kinds of things," says Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit, which helps people repair their own technology. "There's digital locks on your garage door opener and if you want to circumvent that, if you want to use an aftermarket garage door opener that wasn't made by your garage door manufacturer, you might be violating copyright law." And you can add to this list. It is illegal to break the digital locks on medical devices, such as a pacemaker, as well as game consoles and cars — pretty much anything you purchase that runs with software. If you break the digital lock you can face five years in prison and/or a half a million dollars in fines. Though we haven't heard of that happening to a farmer. The law provides that every three years the Library of Congress' copyright office can review the law and make exemptions. Farm groups, mechanics, security researchers, consumer advocates are all in the midst of fighting for several exceptions. Automakers, John Deere and other makers of construction equipment are opposed."
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul Of Copyright Law; NPR, All Tech Considered, 8/17/15
Laura Sydell, NPR, All Tech Considered; DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul Of Copyright Law: