Skip to comments.DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul Of Copyright Law
Posted on 08/18/2015 11:31:17 AM PDT by Theoria
The iconic image of the American farmer is the man or woman who works the land, milks cows and is self-reliant enough to fix the tractor. But like a lot of mechanical items, tractors are increasingly run by computer software. Now, farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software.
Take Dave Alford. He fits that image of the iconic farmer.
"I do farming on the family ranch," says Alford, standing on a piece of grassy earth with a white barn behind him. "I've been farming for the past 30 years and obviously my family much before that."
Alford wears a blue baseball cap with a farm supply company logo across the top, a plaid shirt, bluejeans and work boots. As Alford and I walk over to see one of his newer tractors we pass what looks like a graveyard of rusty old ones.
Alford says he keeps the old ones around, "Just because I'm a farmer. You keep thinking, well, maybe I'll make this one work someday."
Alford considers himself a small farmer he's got 1,000 acres in San Luis Obispo along the central coast of California where he grows snow peas, garbanzo beans, hay and seed crops. But he jokes that he tells his friends he's a mechanic.
"You spend so much of your time in agriculture fixing things," Alford says. "I'm of a size that it's more economically beneficial to me to fix as much stuff as I can myself."
But that's been getting a lot harder to do.
(Excerpt) Read more at npr.org ...
Farmers are finally figuring out what shadetree mechanics have been dealing with for years.
What a stupid law
Just because I HATE HATE HATE NPR....
National Proletariat Radio.
It’s not stupid if you know the true intention. Notice that all these people have to “fight for an exemption” to the law. Lots of power to congress and the patent office, lots of opportunity for graft.
Stupid law, greedy lawyers.
I just thank god that I’m getting to the age where I won’t have to buy an overpriced. Technological nightmare of an automobile.
Retirement sounds better everyday.
Appears maybe he should consider making his next purchase from someone other than John Deere.
Easy Fix, My friend builds Race Cars out of brand New Camaro’s and Mustangs, they install their own computer with their own software on it and just bypass the factory one. works great.
The true intention is to protect corporate profits, not the governments job to do that
How can this be illegal? And if it is, then that law needs to be repealed.
It’s time to start disobeying these evil laws.
So now a farmer has to know how to jailbreak tractor computers?
Looks that way.
Of course if a software hack goes bad and maims someone, who do you think the ambulance chasers will go after?
Some 3-person software outfit or JD?
Seems to me there would be a solid market for aftermarket computer conversions for farm implements.
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