Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

If I take a picture with my camera the camera manufacturer will not get the copyright. How on earth are car manufacturers gonna be the ones that get the copyright?

(I'm sure you are correct but it feels absurd)

Will software companies claim copyright on logs?

I don't think this is a fair comparison. It's like saying all the work I do on my computer belongs to apple. Which doesn't make sense. But apple does keep logs and telemetry of performance and crashes and uses that to improve it's products.

With self driving cars, and other devices (like apple electronics) the logs they keep give you really really good insight into what sensors, techniques, and algorithmic approaches they are taking to problems, and those directly expose proprietary information. I would argue that this information entirely belongs to those companies (with an agreement to send this data to their servers).

Also most AI and self driving companies use the data collected by their existing fleet to further improve AI systems in these vehicles. The competitive advantage of most of these companies is how much data, with what sensors they are able to collect. Making that information public will have a huge negative impact on the tech and AI industry, essentially pulling the carpet out from underneath everyone.

> But apple does keep logs and telemetry of performance and crashes and uses that to improve it's products.

Sure, but do they claim copyright on that? Am I not allowed to paste a log online?

... and those directly expose proprietary information.

How would copyrighting that information make any difference? As long as competitors can get to your logs (which is orthogonal to whether they hold a copyright) the copyright doesn't stop them from gaining that understanding. They could even publicly disclose their understanding.

Just encrypt the logs. Then no one will get at them and even if they manage to the act of decrypting them is illegal in most places so they probably won't publish it. And even if they do that it will be from one car, not a whole fleet.

Maybe I just don't understand copyright.

They ask permission before they transfer that telemetry data. An important distinction.

Because it potentially contains private information, telemetry data from cars doesn't have to.

Driving location and driving patterns is private information. Especially if video and/or lidar information is present.

This is doubly so when driving on private property or in sensitive areas that forbid photography.

Sure it is, but the telemetry data doesn't have to contain it to be useful.

Agree, but do anyone, for even a nanosecond, believe it isn't?

> will have a huge negative impact

I doubt that public telemetry would have a negative impact on the tech itself. Quite the contrary. Not necessarily true for the business case of course. And although there is a connection, it would boost the tech if there would be publicly available telemetry.

> The competitive advantage of most of these companies is how much data, with what sensors they are able to collect.

Yes, however "you're removing my competitive advantage" has always an enormously bad argument for (or against) legislation.

But your camera manufacturer may log on a dedicate flash memory inside the camera some logs about pixel defects, and claim that they copyright these data.

Actually if you use your camera for video it's free for personal use.

If you use the footage in any commercial manner, though, the MPEG LA [1] may want to have a word with you.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG_LA

First, this analogy is broken, in that the MPEG LA is not the manufacturer of your camera.

Second, you may still use that footage in any commercial manner, royality free. At worst, you need to transcode it into any open standard. The footage is always yours, only the encoding might be encumbered.

Good point, though a bit unrelated?

MPEG LA won't get copyright on my material. It's just that the format used is patent encumbered. I guess I could just transcode it to a different format and be safe?

You'll sign a contract when buying the car.

What if you buy it used?

So? You have to accept the software license agreement to use the software in the car. Esp 'self driving' software.

In Germany you'd have to accept those tos before buying, otherwise they are void (or something similar)

That makes zero sense. Does Windows EULA not apply to me if I buy an used computer? I don't think so.

If you buy a used computer, the windows license doesnt transfer with it.

Ignoring that however, you cannot be bound by a EULA that you receive _after_ signing a contract. If you receive the eula before or with a contract, it may be valid

OEM license does transfer. If you choose to use the product, why shouldn't you be bound by the license?

Because at the time of purchase you havent been given access to all terms.

EULA are basically void in Germany anyway, so I don't think the distinction matters much.

I don't think Windows EULA apply to you even if you buy a new one. You didn't sign anything. In fact, maybe it was your friend helping you to setup your computer that pressed "accept".

In EU pressing accept is legally binding, along with other forms of agreement like gentlemen (handshake) agreement, over phone, etc. I can open a bank account by pressing accept.

Source? I certainly need to digitally sign something like that. Also opening a bank account might not even require something legally binding. Just that the bank will refuse service if you don't obey their rules. (and if you abuse it you are most certainly committing fraud anyway)

In any event it doesn't apply here. Because noone can tell who pressed accept.

edit: Also, if you open a new account as an existing customer that's because you've agreed to the terms previously and identified yourself by logging in.

I wasn't talking about being an existing customer. This very month I opened a bank account in another EU country using a scan of my EU ID and driving license and then applied for a 20k EUR loan, without digitally signing (or normal signing) anything, their nearest branch is around 1k km far. Just a video phone call where I shown them my ID next to my face, the scans, and a code that I got over sms and entered into their website. The banking regulation requires a legally binding contract for all banking services. There is a loan service called Zonky that literally doesn't have a physical branch, it's all online, no digital signing as well; it's a P2P service (I used to invest there) and the people using it have zero idea what a digital signature is.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but this explanation seems weird to me. If I get someone to accept instead of me, can I then abuse the software legally and they can't even (legally) revoke the license? That is very weird. What about Netflix accounts, is my girlfriend not bound by the ToS when I was the one who clicked Agree, and thus she could legally rip their content and share it? Very weird.

You did provide ID which I believe is a big difference compared to just pressing accept. No signature?

Just because the EULA isn't legally binding doesn't mean that the company in question can't act upon it. But you have no legal obligation to follow the EULA (because you didn't sign it).

When it comes to a "physical" license that makes it a bit more tricky, I'm not sure of the details. But they certainly can revoke the online-aspect of a product (tesla will (I believe) revoke super-charger access and mobile-app access if they feel that you violated their terms).

If you cheat in a multiplayer game that will probably violate the EULA (but not any laws). If you are caught you will likely be banned.

> * What about Netflix accounts, is my girlfriend not bound by the ToS when I was the one who clicked Agree, and thus she could legally rip their content and share it? Very weird. *

You both could legally rip their content (as long as you don't break any laws doing so (and by ripping and circumventing their encryption you most likely would break a few laws)). If they detect it they can and probably will terminate your account (even if what you did was legal). But you didn't break any laws by not following the EULA.


A EULA basically never applies, so yes, you’re incorrect.

Or let a friend drive?

Your friend, or the new used car owner, will get to push a button every time the car starts, agreeing to the contract. Yeah, yeah, unenforcable, blah, blah. You want to go to the mall, or not?

If we have EU cookie banners every time we turn the key in the ignition, I give up. I'm going to find some 80s pickups in Arizona or something and start stockpiling them.

already true for some models with some features like Nissan Leaf with the remote control app - https://www.reddit.com/r/leaf/comments/4i4f3s/how_do_i_get_r...

Not quite true as I stated it. You can drive around all you want with that screen showing without ever pressing any buttons. Source: our '11 Leaf.

(Though I'll admit that that annoying screen was at least a partial inspiration for my original comment.)

Can you press decline? I can't read what the other button says.

Yup, there's a "decline" button. The ironic thing is that my acceptance or declination doesn't go anywhere. The original Leafs used frequencies (GPRS) that AT&T quit supporting. Since the now-worthless radio is a useless threat surface, I had Nissan remove it for free. Because CarWings is a mere half-assed shell of what it could be, I declined to spend the $200 on an updated cell radio. So if I do press a button, it's for naught.

Anyway, all the screen says, in essence, is that Nissan is using the aggregate data blah, blah, and if you want to use the nifty history telemetry, well, you're going to have to let the car send those data. Or not; car works just fine if you press "decline".

Your friend is not the owner.

If I as an owner sign an agreement to sell my soul when driving my car that doesn't automatically transfer to anyone else driving the car.

True. But compare it to a computer.

Not sure I follow. I didn't sign anything when I got my computer and have no special obligations to anyone.

Sure you did, a contract of sale. That makes you the owner of the device. Should another person be able to access all your computers sensor data just because you let the person use your computer?

Of course, this data is yours, same with the car.

Of course my friend can use the sensor data of my car if I let him/her. The question is whether the car company can claim that the sensor data that my friend collects while driving is theirs without informing him/her of it.

(I'm not sure I'm correct - IANAL!)

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact