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Old 04-24-2015, 06:17 AM   #1
Apache
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GM, Ford, And Others Want to Make Working on Your Own Car Illegal

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General Motors — the same company responsible for 87 deaths related to faulty ignition switches, FYI — wants to take that right away from you citing safety and security issues. Along with a few other big names.
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It’s called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It’s been around since 2000 and started as anti-Internet piracy legislation. But automakers want to use it to try and make working on your own car illegal. Yes, illegal. The general premise is that unlike cars of the past, today’s vehicles are so advanced and use such a large amount of software and coding in their general makeup, altering said code could be dangerous and possibly even malicious.
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What GM, and even tractor companies like John Deere, argues is that you, as an owner, don’t actually own your car. Rather, you’re sort of just borrowing it for an extended amount of time and paying for the rights to use the technology.
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According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Deere argued that “letting people modify car computer systems will result in them pirating music through the on-board entertainment system.”
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Ironically, one of the brands that relies most on technology in its vehicles — Tesla Motors — in not in support of DMCA. While other American companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler all agree that working on your own vehicle should be punishable by law.
http://www.autoblog.com/2015/04/20/a...s-car-repairs/

http://news.boldride.com/2015/04/gm-...illegal/76702/

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Old 04-24-2015, 07:42 AM   #2
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Crazy. Didn't the courts decide this back when IBM wanted to force their customers only to buy IBM parts and accessories? Printers the same way, the printing companies wanted to make the ink cartridges proprietary and forbid 3rd party manufacturers. As I recall, HP sued a company that reverse engineered the ink cartridges and got slapped down by the courts.

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Old 04-24-2015, 08:10 AM   #3
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Aww don't be so mean to them. If they wanna restrict your freedoms, you should let them. After all, corporations are people too.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:35 AM   #4
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Perhaps a more accurate title would be "Automakers want to make working on your car's electronic control systems illegal."

Don't get me wrong. I disagree with a lot of the restrictions that they want to place and I definitely disagree with them doing so through the DMCA. To give you an idea of what I mean: any modifications must reflect the various regulations that cover automobiles. The DMCA does not reflect that, it should not cover modifications that are not covered by those automobile regulations, and it should not cover acquiring data from the onboard electronics.

On the other hand, I am a bit concerned about those other modifications. In the past, you had to understand the mechanics of a vehicle in order to make modifications. If you didn't, there was a good chance it wouldn't work. With software someone can download the modification from the Internet and upload it to the onboard computers, with no real understanding of what is going on.

At any rate, there is a definite hysteria to the articles. Some of that hysteria is justified, but a lot of it is misplaced.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:05 AM   #5
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Then again, the car makers can just start embedding chips into all of the car parts, and linking them all into an internal licencing network. Of course, the chips would be protected by DRM. So, if you put in a third party water pump for example, your car will shut down.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:07 AM   #6
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According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Deere argued that “letting people modify car computer systems will result in them pirating music through the on-board entertainment system.”
There are far easier ways of pirating music then hacking the firmware of your John Deere tractor.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:35 AM   #7
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There are far easier ways of pirating music then hacking the firmware of your John Deere tractor.
And a lot less expensive than having to buy a John Deere Tractor.

I know the title is over the top. I posted the title of the article as written.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:42 AM   #8
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There are far easier ways of pirating music then hacking the firmware of your John Deere tractor.
Well, yeah, but pirating music with an Alfa Romeo is just so much cooler than with a dell

I agree with BWinmill though, hacking your car's electronics is a bad idea, accidentally reprogramming your airbag to go of when you turn while going over 50 could be bad. Generally it's those winners of the Darwin awards (future winners, of course) modding the car with the famous last words of "Hey, look what I can do" that worries me.
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:01 AM   #9
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Darwin award contenders don't worry me overmuch. They are more likely to remove their geneline from circulation than to take somebody else with them. Drunk and stoned drivers are a more imminent threat.
So are overworked truckers, for that matters.
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:59 AM   #10
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This, like most other licensing issues, is a perfectly legitimate position for a seller to propose. It's also perfectly legitimate for people to decline to do business with the seller. Were I an automaker, I would tout my products as OPEN. As soon as one does this, all others must follow. As a consumer, you choose who you will do business with.
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Old 04-24-2015, 01:28 PM   #11
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Well, yeah, but pirating music with an Alfa Romeo is just so much cooler than with a dell

I agree with BWinmill though, hacking your car's electronics is a bad idea, accidentally reprogramming your airbag to go of when you turn while going over 50 could be bad. Generally it's those winners of the Darwin awards (future winners, of course) modding the car with the famous last words of "Hey, look what I can do" that worries me.
I used to re-tune my AH Sprite SUs all the time. I still have a vial of various needle tapers along with changing the 'advance' springs in the distributor

Takes all the fun out of Motoring.
Saturday's Schedule: Fix (something on) the Sprite
Sunday: Get chassed up the mountain by a 'Volkswagan' (1300 beetle )
Wednesday: Rant about the designers at Lucas
Fridays Schedule: Pick up repair parts
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:19 PM   #12
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This, like most other licensing issues, is a perfectly legitimate position for a seller to propose. It's also perfectly legitimate for people to decline to do business with the seller. Were I an automaker, I would tout my products as OPEN. As soon as one does this, all others must follow. As a consumer, you choose who you will do business with.
The real impetus for this is to require all repairs to be done by an "authorized dealer", which is someone who has paid the manufacturer a fee to become an "authorized dealer". You are assuming that enough people will understand and care before buying the (car, truck, tractor), to switch to a manufacturer for it to be worth it for them to forgo the additional revenue the licensing of repair facilities will give them.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:47 PM   #13
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Then again, the car makers can just start embedding chips into all of the car parts, and linking them all into an internal licencing network. Of course, the chips would be protected by DRM. So, if you put in a third party water pump for example, your car will shut down.
Geez .... we'd need an Alf for vehicle parts .....
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:49 PM   #14
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Perhaps a more accurate title would be "Automakers want to make working on your car's electronic control systems illegal."...
That is correct and I have to say that I see their point. Seems to me this is just another beat up by the media trying to make it look like one won't even be able to change ones oil filter.

In my own country it is already illegal to drive a car that has been modified (including changing the engines ECS) without it having been subsequently certified by an approved certifying agency. So, for example, if one changes the handling by modifying the suspension or if one changes the mechanical braking systems then one has to get the vehicle certified as still being safe.

I do not see that changing the onboard software associated with, in similar with the above examples, electronic stability control or ABS braking as being any different. Then there are in modern vehicles all the other software controlled systems such as electronic throttle control, cruise control both conventional and adaptive (adaptive being automatically maintaining safe spacing from vehicles or obstructions ahead), lane keeping, transmission control, adaptive front lighting, etc, etc.

I sure as hell would not like to buy any used car or face one on the street that some hacker has gotten into these systems. Given the difficulty in recertifying small volume changes in such software based systems I would go along with the car makers claims, unless it is something relatively straightforward such as simple rechipping of an turbo charged engine's ECS for more power and that is independently certified (as it already has to be in my own country).
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:20 PM   #15
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The car manufacturers tried something like this back in the 70s. In the States, at least.

I was much more involved in "modding" cars back then. I had a "performance" '71 Chevelle (the "Heavy Chevy" model). I replaced the standard 350 cid V8 engine with a 4 bolt main bearing version, installed air shocks in the rear (lifting it a couple of inches), a Buick front end (lifting it a couple of inches, and stiffening it as well), installed a better set of Stewart Warner mechanical gauges, upgraded ignition, etc., so I was interested in the regulations.

Back then there was a push to prevent so-called "speed shops" from selling any parts that were not "original equipment." It made a lot of news for the papers, especially among hobbyists, but never went anywhere.

But, corporate lawyers get paid by the hour. I'm not surprised they're trying again.


Last edited by cromag; 04-24-2015 at 10:21 PM. Reason: added superfluous video.
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