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Digital right to repair: You bought it, but do you own it?

Alan Earls | Nov. 5, 2015
There's a lot at stake for companies that may find they must rely on OEMs for everything, potentially cutting out roles once filled by VARs and specialized repair outfits.

Barring reformation of DMCA, Aft says “tinkering” – as long as it stays away from items covered under DMCA, would probably have some protection under common law notions of personal property. “Typically, if you own it you acquire the bundle of rights associated with that property,” he adds.

Indeed, McSherry says EFF and others are fighting for what they regard as “a crucial and settled consumer expectation. And as I think we are learning in the wake of the VW scandal, an important one,” she says.

“If we can’t tinker with our devices, including our cars but also other equipment, how can we be sure those devices are safe, working correctly, and not, for example, sending information back to the manufacturer without our knowledge,” she asks.

“Our basic theme is: You bought it, you own it!,” she adds.


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