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Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:37 PM

 

Automakers to use copyright law to stop owners and some mechanics from modifying cars



EFF is fighting for vehicle owners’ rights to inspect the code that runs their vehicles and to repair and modify their vehicles, or have a mechanic of their choice do the work. At the moment, the anti-circumvention prohibition in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act arguably restricts vehicle inspection, repair, and modification. If EFF is successful then vehicle owners will be free to inspect and tinker, as long as they don’t run afoul of other regulations, such as those governing vehicle emissions, safety, or copyright law.

Most of the automakers operating in the US filed opposition comments through trade associations, along with a couple of other vehicle manufacturers. They warn that owners with the freedom to inspect and modify code will be capable of violating a wide range of laws and harming themselves and others. They say you shouldn’t be allowed to repair your own car because you might not do it right. They say you shouldn’t be allowed to modify the code in your car because you might defraud a used car purchaser by changing the mileage. They say no one should be allowed to even look at the code without the manufacturer’s permission because letting the public learn how cars work could help malicious hackers, “third-party software developers” (the horror!), and competitors.

John Deere even argued that letting people modify car computer systems will result in them pirating music through the on-board entertainment system, which would be one of the more convoluted ways to copy media (and the exemption process doesn’t authorize copyright infringement, anyway).

The parade of horribles makes it clear that it is an extraordinary stretch to apply the DMCA to the code that runs vehicles. The vast majority of manufacturers' concerns have absolutely nothing to do with copyright law. And, as the automakers repeatedly point out, vehicles are subject to regulation by other government agencies with subject matter expertise, which issue rules about what vehicles are and are not lawful to operate on public roadways.

The DMCA essentially blundered into this space and called all tinkering and code inspection into question, even acts that are otherwise lawful like repairing your car, making it work better at high altitude, inspecting the code to find security and safety issues, or even souping it up for use in races on a private course. We’re presenting the Copyright Office with the opportunity to undo this collateral damage and leave regulating auto safety to specialized agencies, who understandably have not seen fit to issue a blanket prohibition against vehicle owners’ doing their own repairs and safety research.

More: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/04/automakers-say-you-dont-really-own-your-car


Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars


Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

Allowing them to continue to fix their cars has become "legally problematic," according to a written statement from the Auto Alliance, the main lobbying arm of automakers.

The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.

Every three years, the office holds hearings on whether certain activities should be exempt from the DMCA's section 1201, which governs technological measures that protect copyrighted work. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for individual rights in the digital world, has asked the office to ensure that enthusiasts can continue working on cars by providing exemptions that would give them the right to access necessary car components.

Interested parties have until the end of the month to file comments on the proposed rule making, and a final decision is expected by mid-year.

In comments submitted so far, automakers have expressed concern that allowing outsiders to access electronic control units that run critical vehicle functions like steering, throttle inputs and braking "leads to an imbalance by which the negative consequences far outweigh any suggested benefits," according to the Alliance of Global Automakers. In the worst cases, the organizations said an exemption for enthusiasts "leads to disastrous consequences."

More: http://www.autoblog.com/2015/04/20/automakers-gearheads-car-repairs/

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Reply Automakers to use copyright law to stop owners and some mechanics from modifying cars (Original post)
951-Riverside Apr 2015 OP
lumberjack_jeff Apr 2015 #1
still_one Apr 2015 #2
In_The_Wind Apr 2015 #3
BlueJazz Apr 2015 #4
Purveyor Apr 2015 #5
Art_from_Ark Apr 2015 #6
Jenoch Apr 2015 #7

Response to 951-Riverside (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:41 PM

1. If you can't fix it, you don't own it.

 

You're a licensee of Toyota. You paid $40k for a license to drive their car.

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Response to 951-Riverside (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:41 PM

2. It is simple. All they have to say is any modifications void the warranty, and

Perhaps liability

That does not mean people can't do their own maintenance

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Response to 951-Riverside (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:43 PM

3. Just plain N F W !

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Response to 951-Riverside (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:54 PM

4. "Is your husband named Paul and is he at home" "Yes..I'll get him"

 

"Sir...we heard you changed one of your tires this afternoon..is that right?"
"Yes officer..but,um..I've never seen that type of uniform before"
"We're the Michelin Cops and we have a few questions to ask you"

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Response to 951-Riverside (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 10:06 PM

5. All the more reason to keep my ole gas guzzlers on the road plus they are built like tanks.

 

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Response to 951-Riverside (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 10:10 PM

6. The more I know about the new generation of cars,

the less I like them.

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Response to 951-Riverside (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 10:31 PM

7. If I had my wish I would be a mechanic and

 

drive a 1972 Oldsmobile and a 1970 Ford F-150 with after market AC.

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