Technology companies are taking away the right of the people buying their products and convert them into simple consumers who don’t really own the products they buy.
“It’s official: John Deere and General Motors want to eviscerate the notion of ownership. Sure, we pay for their vehicles. But we don’t own them. Not according to their corporate lawyers, anyway.
In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker —told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”
It’s John Deere’s tractor, folks. You’re just driving it.”
For more details, see this article at Wired.
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act forbids people to modify the software on their deives they own. So people can’t legally repair, update or upgrade their tractors, mobile phones and other technical devices as that would require permission from the manufacturer – often prohibitively expensive and restricted to their interests.
Consumer rights groups, Free Software related NGO’s and other collectives are raising awareness of the unjustice of this kind of legislation. The Free Software Foundation is running their Defective By Design Campaign for several years. They call DRM “Digital Restrictions Management” instead of the official eufemistic abreviation “Digital Rights Management”.