This week, there have been stories about farmers who can’t legally repair their John Deere tractors, as copyright monopoly legislation prohibits tampering with computer code in something you own. This has been described as an “unexpected side effect” of the copyright monopoly legislation in general and the DMCA/EUCD in particular.
That’s wrong. It’s not a side effect and it’s not unexpected. That is exactly what those laws intended to accomplish. Being locked out of your own possessions is not a side effect – it was the central point of the legislation and its core purpose.
As usual, the geeks who understood the deeper repercussions of this cried murder over the legislation at the time, and were summarily ignored by policymakers. Perhaps only now, when it becomes clear that it’s not just geek toys that are affected but everything in our everyday life, will more people become aware of how the copyright monopoly limits property rights.
Needless to say that right now Orca is more proud than ever before to state that she’s a pirate and gives a fuck about Copyright laws. Ugh, no, not really. Let me clarify that: I’m a fan of copyright protection, I wouldn’t like to see my creations copied and stolen and edited and tinkered with. Totally understandable, no? But what they are doing now, the copyright mafia, is to protect stuff with the sole reason to extort money from you, to take away your personal freedom, to handle your stuff – stuff that you legally own – just with the low low motive of gaining control over your posessions and over your life. It’s not about fairness and protection, it’s only about profit and control.
Fortunately our car is old enough, technically and mechanically as easy as they come, doesn’t contain any computer stuff and is of such an old construction principle there is nothing worth copyrighting in it. So we can tinker and dabble with it as much as we want. 🙂