Furthermore, this war on private ownership is not limited to John Deere. General Motors is involved as well.
Excerpt from the article at Wired (emphases mine):
It’s official: John Deere and General Motors want to eviscerate the notion of ownership. Sure, we pay for their vehicles. But we don’t own them. Not according to their corporate lawyers, anyway.Goodbye to aftermarket performance tuners, such as DiabloSport Tuners, one of which Mr. AOW and I had for tuning up our Mustang for races at the drag strip:
In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker —told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”
It’s John Deere’s tractor, folks. You’re just driving it.
Several manufacturers recently submitted similar comments to the Copyright Office under an inquiry into the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. DMCA is a vast 1998 copyright law that (among other things) governs the blurry line between software and hardware. The Copyright Office, after reading the comments and holding a hearing, will decide in July which high-tech devices we can modify, hack, and repair—and decide whether John Deere’s twisted vision of ownership will become a reality....
...John Deere may be out of touch, but it’s not alone. Other corporations, including trade groups representing nearly every major automaker, made the same case to the Copyright Office again and again. It’s worth noting Tesla Motors didn’t join automakers in this argument, even though its cars rely heavily on proprietary software.Using the DMCA in the above manner is an excellent method of squashing innovation — not to mention removing the joy of tinkering for those inclined to that activity.
General Motors told the Copyright Office that proponents of copyright reform mistakenly “conflate ownership of a vehicle with ownership of the underlying computer software in a vehicle.”...
Also see Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years under the DMCA.