Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has caused a lot of grief over the years.  AutoBlog reports that now car manufacturers are trying to use it to stop people from repairing and tuning their cars:

Allowing them to continue to fix their cars has become “legally problematic,” according to a written statement from the Auto Alliance, the main lobbying arm of automakers.

The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.

Ridiculous, is the word that describes this best, I think.

EFF big win over DMCA

Most of the times, when I donate money, I don’t really expect anything back.  I don’t see them as an investment to the future of the person or organization, but rather a gratitude and appreciation for the past.  It was also how I saw my support of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).  Today I received a press release from EFF, which made me proud to be a member and also a little extra happy about the money I donated over the last few years.  It’s a big win over Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which is one law that I never liked too much.  Here is a quote to get you started:

San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions today, carving out new legal protections for consumers who modify their cell phones and artists who remix videos — people who, until now, could have been sued for their non-infringing or fair use activities.

“By granting all of EFF’s applications, the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress have taken three important steps today to mitigate some of the harms caused by the DMCA,” said Jennifer Granick, EFF’s Civil Liberties Director. “We are thrilled to have helped free jailbreakers, unlockers and vidders from this law’s overbroad reach.”

Continue reading the full press release and supporting documents.

As a side note, once again I am amazed at how much influence some American law has on my life, which happens to be far away from the United States territory.  Being a daily user of many services provided by Americans and from the United States soil, I am impacted by rules and limitations faced by those people who provide those services.