Like your new John Deere? Like your lease? You’re leasing by the way. You signed a paper that allowed them to keep exclusive rights. Eric Peters, today, explained how that works:
Not if it’s a John Deere tractor.
When you buy one, you’re actually purchasing an “implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.“ Basically, a rental contract. With the difference being that even when the rental is paid off, you are still bound by the contract.
It has to do with two things – the code that runs the tractor (yes, them too) and the ownership claims to that code asserted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
You may recall the ruckus that erupted about a year ago when the car companies floated the idea that even though you bought their car, it was still their code that ran the thing – and this code remained proprietary. That is, their property. To “tamper” with anything that could conceivably affect the code, their lawyers proposed, would violate both the warranty and copyright laws. Effectively making the car not your property, no matter the name on the title.
A DMCA exception was granted for cars – but probably only because of the rictus of outrage that erupted; rightly so.
Tractors, on the other hand. . .
Probably because there are fewer farmers – and most of them are wholly owned subsidiaries of massive Big Ag cartels, working the fields on behalf of Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland, et al.
But not just them, either.
When you buy a Deere, you must sign a licensing agreement (see here) that contains what amounts to the rental agreement. It basically says that you – the “owner” – will not perform unauthorized repairs or modifications; that you will only permit an authorized Deere technician to touch “your” tractor. This comes in mighty handy when you are out in the field cutting hay and something breaks and you need to get the thing running again right now . . . not next Thursday, when the Deere dude can schedule you an authorized appointment.
“Beep! Beep! Boop! agriculture.com.
All about control and ownership for the Big Club with the DMCA. I noted as much over two years ago:
All companies, from Ford to Honda to Caterpillar, have announced the need for a change in the law. Specifically, they want to amend the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-304, 112 Stat. 2860 (Oct. 28, 1998) to protect their proprietary software from your incessant meddling. Yes, you, the shade-tree mechanics of America, are the real problem here.
In a way, this is only fair. New cars, all of them, are totally controlled by sophisticated computer programs. Those programs were developed by the car makers at considerable cost. When you endeavor to work on “your” own car you will inevitably run into programming issues. Most shy away from this spectacle of technology. However, some intrepidly dive in and use their own skill to navigate the oil stained field of ones and zeroes which make the new cars work. In doing so they may, intentionally or unwittingly, alter the original programming. This equates to software piracy, you see.
Never mind that you paid for the car, computers and all. It’s not really your property – not all of it. Back in the 90’s the lobbyist for the industries of America wrote and paid for the DMCA. It’s their law, designed to protect their money, and they can change it as needed. You get back to that baseball game – nothing to see here.
“Your” representatives will be bribe … er … convinced to alter the law. In the future only dealership mechanics and licensed big chain techs will be authorized to work on cars. This will save you the trouble of reading code and allow the manufacturers to reap additional profits. Go under the hood yourself and you will likely lose the car and land yourself in prison. As it should be.
The terrorist with a laptop, of whom Markey and I warned you, will no more obey the new DMCA than he will the old laws against kidnapping, murder, and extortion. No mind; eventually this too will be cured. A new dawn of self-driving, un-hackable, super “safe” but un-Godly expensive cars is just over the horizon.
This dawning will surely usher in new problems. Rest assured our wise and benevolent betters will have solutions for these too.
As I said then; “Fix a car, go to jail”. I should have included tractors in that.
Hook that to your PTO.