Last Fall I published an article about iFixit, the activist group trying to make it safe, even possible for people to fix their own stuff. That article referred to a Wired article about the John Deere company trying to make it illegal for farmers to fix their own tractors. Now Modern Farmer has an article about how farmers feel about that.
– This might be hard to believe for non-farmers, but owners of tractors aren’t actually allowed to fix them, thanks to a set of laws designed to protect software intellectual property.
– John Deere, the world’s largest tractor maker, said that the folks who buy tractors don’t own them, not in the way the general public believes “ownership” works. Instead, John Deere said that those who buy tractors are actually purchasing an “implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”
– Farmers are fed up with being forced to endure long, inefficient repair processes.
I’m tired of people using copyright this way. It’s bad enough that copyright has been extended so far that the original creator’s grandchildren will be dead before it expires. Now it’s being used to curtail competition in business. Could someone please throw a pitcher of ice water on our politicians? We need to break their thrall.