John Deere really doesn’t want you to own that tractor

posted by
December 21, 2016
Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Kit Walsh  
Posted in Commentary

"John Deere is at it again, trying to strip customers of the right to open up and repair their own property. In the new License Agreement for John Deere Embedded Software, customers are forbidden to exercise their repair rights or to even look at the software running the tractor or the signals it generates. ... The new License Agreement is John Deere's attempt to write its own private law. It's perfectly legal under copyright law to repair your own equipment, reverse engineer its software, and tinker with it to meet your needs. But where your rights interfere with manufacturers' ability to extract the most possible value from you, documents like the License Agreement are the go-to method for them to make your rights disappear." (12/20/16)  

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  • MamaLiberty

    Software in a tractor? Good grief. Strikes me as silly as talking to your refrigerator via your cell phone. For heaven’s sake, WHY?

    I remember the John Deere tractor (already ancient) my uncle had on his Michigan farm in 1955. Good old put-put, with a gear so low it could pull almost anything – as long as you didn’t mind it rolling along very slowly. It had all sorts of levers and buttons, attachments and features to do all sorts of heavy work, and very few people had even heard of “software” at that time.

    The tractor was a miracle, marvel of engineering and top notch manufacture. It did the job very, very well. Once in a great while it needed some repair, but my uncle would have been flabbergasted to be told he couldn’t do that repair himself. And he would have told whoever said it to go to h**. He never suffered fools long.

    So, nuts to the John Deere company. Get rid of that stupid software and go back to the mechanical miracle that more than quadrupled the productivity of farming when much of it was still done with big draft horses. I’ll bet a LOT of non-computerized older tractors could be repaired and brought into service. That would show them. :) Or, isn’t there some other outfit that makes tractors? Do they all claim perpetual ownership of the “software?” Do they all put computers in their machines? Competition is good.

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