Apparently, American Farmers using John Deere Tractors have to load hacked firmware onto their equipment so that they can do basic maintenance. But risk fines and jail time because of the intellectual property laws around software in hardware.
Is this an issue that is affecting Australian Farmers at the moment?
Also this may touch on the wider issue of digital liberties, especially once we come to rely on software in devices in basic living.
Yes, it’s an abuse of the DMCA, whereby you may not break DRM regardless of whether your intended use of the unlocked content would otherwise count as fair use. So, it’s no use introducing a right to repair, if you would still need to violate the DMCA to exercise that right, just like you are not able the exercise your fair use rights in the face of DRM’d content.
One of the principles we introduced in the Creative Works policy was an obligation on content providers/distributers to provide necessary means for the exercise of fair use rights. It was a more rights positive stance that just banning DRM which felt too authoritarian.
Now this is the type of policies we should be looking at. I most certainly agree with paying royalties, but I’d be inclined to remove all restrictions for use of IP, tho I most certainly think trademark should be maintained.