Example: the suspension control computer for newer fords (so far just raptor and newer commercial F series) is separate from the ECU, and if it faults out you need to buy a new $2500 computer and sensor pack. You can, however, replace a commonly blown diode or fuse on the computer but opening the case causes the device to stay "in fault/service"
With a raspberry pi and a bit of python however you can reset this tamper code once the whole assembly is closed. but since it "violates the DRM" most shops generally just bill for the part and labor.
This sentence is interesting to me. It tells me that now mechanics need to learn programming skills to be successful. Software really is eating the world...
> Dead-end jobs followed – washing dishes, polishing rings at a jewelry store, ringing orders at a record store and, finally, fixing Volkswagens at Uncle J.O.'s auto repair shop.
> The tinkering that's required of mechanics appealed to the teenage hacker. The $6-an-hour job "was the first time I ever felt like I accomplished something at work," McGee said.
> On breaks, covered in grease, he'd write inventory and customer tracking applications for the shop.
Paid someone to fix my air conditioning vents though because I'd have to half disassemble the interior of my car to do it and I knew it would take me longer to do than I could have the car out of commission. I really hate the vacuum controlled vents in mid 2000's Ford trucks. I had a vacuum leak - somewhere.
The most extreme I did was to replace the car body after an accident I had (slippery road) in my own garage. After a week or something I got a running car again, with a different color and car body number but whatever ^^.
Most programmers I know tend to be handy in some way, whether that's fixing their own cars (myself), wood working, or some other skill which requires them to think through problems and work with their hands.
I actually view fixing cars as not only a hobby of mine, but as a fall back career should I ever become bored of software or need some quick cash.
I can relate to that. In fact, I find it downright relaxing being able to work with wood (I like to restore mid-century furniture as a hobby) and compared to all those digital, virtual tasks and projects it's so refreshing being able to physically touch, feel, see and use the result of one's work.
We joke that the big difference is that I got AC during the summer and he doesn't.
Absolutely agreed. I think "what if this fails?" a lot in situations that most likely really don't require it.
I'm not the OP but I hope that helps.
This translates very well I in most task oriented jobs, like, maybe your average programmer won't be able to invent a new gourmet dish but I expect most of them to be very competent cooks with a recipe on their hands.
Interestingly, I find the musician mindset is also very similar, particularly musicians who compose or improvise.
Software mechanic says: I don't mind getting my hands dirty while doing intricate work (computers, who understands 'em?). Janitorial work seems to be regarded as lowly drudge work, even though being a good caretaker/warden means preventing problems from occurring in the first place, like watering the garden and keeping leaks in check.
Everyone is trying to keep a cupboard in order somewhere :).
I'm sure that the software in modern cars causes all manner of stupid problems that never existed before, and could be easily eliminated by giving the mechanics access to the source.
I think the effect of this sort of DRM is underestimated in many conversations about post-scarcity.
People don't seem to appreciate that cryptography will create programmatic scarcity where previously we only had scarcity due to physical laws.
That's a lie. Yes they have DRM in place to artificially limit the range of certain models, everything else you said is mischaracterization, misrepresentation, and lies.
They saw opportunity in offering different ranged batteries of the same model, however the cost to produce two different battery capacities was too high. Instead of hiding this fact from the consumer, they instead offer it as an upgrade path if you one day have a need for the additional range.
This sort of thing is done all of the time in manufacturing to streamline costs. They even do it with their Autopilot system, all Model 3s come with the same sensor package but the feature itself is unavailable unless you pay to unlock it.
There's an advantage to doing this in that you do not have to guess at what consumer demand will be because you can lock/unlock features as needed in software based on consumer demand.
OK let's see where is this lie...
> (grandparent): Tesla set up DRM to artificially limit the driving range
> (parent): Yes they have DRM in place to artificially limit the range of certain models
OK no lie here. So it must be in the second part of GP's comment?
> (gp): until you pay them a ransom to simply let your car drive longer distances
> (p): they instead offer it as an upgrade path if you one day have a need for the additional range
So you just confirmed everything from GP's comment, where are the "mischaracterization, misrepresentation, and lies" you speak of?
Tesla didn't take anything from the buyers of the car owners who paid for 60 kWh capacity. It gave them what they wanted, it just happened to delivery it in a vessel that could hold 75 kWh.
Rather, the car buyers were offered the option to purchase the exact same car at a reduced price because it was artificially limited to 60 kWh.
I'm not clear what people are upset about. Are they saying Tesla should have made 60 kWh packs or sold the 75 kWh packs at two prices and hoped most people would opt to pay more money?
In the former scenario an owner of a 60 kWh car would have to replace the entire battery to upgrade or trade in their car to a higher capacity if they found they needed it. In either case their costs would be higher than just paying to unlock the restricted capacity.
In the later scenario Tesla loses money because no one opts for pay them more money for the same product.
In some cases, someone takes something from you and then offers to return it for a ransom. That sentence wouldn't make sense if the entire thing, including the initial taking was itself "ransom". Ransom is just the second part.
People are rightly upset at the very concept of artificial limitations. The more stark it is that a price has no connection to costs but merely to a marketing game, the more offensive it is.
I'm not saying the answers are easy, but there's a level of transparency and honesty we can rightly expect in our system.
So, if to produce products economically and satisfy market demand, we find we must rely on some people paying extra money and others paying less (because such a setup allows the low price to be lower and thus to reach more customers), then we can flat out say it. We can say, "this is the same product, same features, same cost to the company, but by artificially limiting the features, we can get some people to pay extra and then pass on some of that as a reduced starting price".
At least then people won't feel like they are being marketed to dishonestly. Of course, people can see reasons to object to the idea of artificial limitations, such as how they privilege the wealthy in ways unrelated to actually needing to use their wealth to cover additional costs (it's different to have rich people have extra software features than for rich people to have more land or other actually scarce resources).
Anyway, "ransom" is indeed a framing, but it's not crazy, it's reasonably honest. For example, people describe running a crowdfunding campaign to pay for existing software getting freed under an open-source license as a "ransom".
We could accept that Tesla's ransom approach is a good solution. Or we could suggest something else (maybe some sliding-scale pricing?)
In general, prices in our market are screwy and people intuitively get that. The more screwy or manipulated or dishonest they seem, the more annoyed and distrusting people feel.
Yes, people would feel different about literally getting cars with physical differences, but you're right that purposely producing a worse product at very-little cost savings just to hit the lower price point isn't actually better in the big picture.
And that a company should either not sell a product at all, or only sell it completely without restrictions or limits?
Otherwise it's dishonest and ransom?
If you hire a man to mow your lawn do you have a right to be upset that he refuses to clean your septic tank for the price you paid him to mow your yard? You are after all paying for labor from a tool that's capable of doing more than just cutting grass.
They paid for x range and received x range. They were given a standing offer to increase that range for a cost significantly less than the cost of replacing or physically upgrading the battery.
Now if they had paid for 120kwh batteries and received 120kwh batteries that would only deliver 100kwh of range then we'd be having and entirely different conversation.
Flag / downvote is essential, or we would just get spam or become Reddit. But currently there is no way to disagree without punishing.
As it is, many are afraid to post anything other than echo-chamber because they might get downvoted.
I reserve downvotes for absurd or baseless remarks, attacks, and other noise.
People like to downvote off topic or sarcastic remarks, I generally ignore them (neither upvote/downvote) because I think making light of topics isn't necessarily a bad thing and can engage people in a discussion.
* I say generally because no one is perfect and I don't strictly adhere to the above.
Then why, if you pay for 100 kWh capacity, and they give it to you in a battery capable of 120 kWh capacity are they suddenly cheating you?
Did you pay for the higher capacity? No.
Did you get the capacity you paid for? Yes.
Are you able to buy up to the higher capacity? Yes.
You paid to eat 4.
Those other two cost a little extra to eat.
You can't eat them, until you pay for a catalyst that renders them edible.
I do not care that Tesla shipped more battery personally. Just got sucked into the analogy here.
Source: granddaughter orders nuggets any chance she gets
Tesla didn't sell the vehicle as having a different curb weight, or a specified number of 18650 cells contained in the battery pack. They sold it based on having a 60 kWh capacity which it does.
Why do you feel entitled to the additional 15 kWh?
You're not getting downvoted because you're wrong. We know you're right. But you're telling us our feelings are wrong, and people don't take that well haha. We all agree on the facts.
Calling it ransom or extortion isn't just misleading, it's an outright lie.
You're free to feel what you want about the situation and express those feels but I feel that it's harmful and toxic to then make false assertions because you feel bad about a situation.
The thing is, it was their decision to give a battery capable of 75 kWh, not mine. And it's OK that they have software to limit it to 60 kWh. But it's not OK (obviously in my opinion) for them to prevent me from modifying the software to bump it up to 75kWh. I bought the car, I should be able to do what I like to it.
I actually don't really even have a problem with them including some sort of DRMish thing to prevent me from changing the software, but it shouldn't be illegal for me to try to circumvent it. Again, I bought the car, it's mine now, I should be able to do what I like with it.
I understand that Tesla didn't make the IP laws. What bothers me is that they use those laws in this manner.
Imagine that instead of having a single Tesla, there were two identical companies each selling half of what the actual Tesla does.
Now one of them could offer an unlocked 75kWh version at $1 more than the locked-to-60kWh version (since they cost the same to make and they are profitable) and would capture all the market, so the cost of those two products should be the same.
So Tesla essentially can only do this because they have a monopoly on Tesla-or-functionally-identical cars.
A good example is Intel and chip manufacturers locking their cpus to a specific frequency when they are capable of higher so they don't have to manufacture the same cpu with different frequencies.
This seems more wasteful because you have to mine extra lithium, manufacture extra batteries, install them, haul them around -- and this makes your car perform worse. All on the off chance someone later decides to buy up to the extra-power version?
One's a great way to use extra parts that would have been scrapped. The other's just wasteful...
I guess the closer analogy to CPU binning would be if they found a fault in a P100’s batteries and sold it as a P85 instead of replacing the battery. CPUs aren’t a great analogy though, since the unused material in a Xeon-E that failed binning and became an i3 is pretty minimal.
Sort of... sometimes CPU manufacturing processes are too efficient or mature and they produce more higher spec parts. They don't then lower the price of higher spec parts, instead they under clock the CPUs and lock them so they can't be clocked to their higher spec.
People caught wind of this fact and began overclocking their CPUs beyond their rate specifications. This started an arms race between CPU manufacturers and buyers. Intel at one point was, and possibly still is, laser cutting the CPU PCBs to physically prevent changing the clock multipliers after they're set.
They received the performance they paid for and the option to increase that performance for a cost less than full replacement of the battery.
The battery / range thing no so much.
Offer a lower range option.
If the cost of retooling a line to make 2 battery types, or setting up a new line from scratch results in a greater cost per unit, regardless of capacity, than 1 line producing the single high capacity battery then why make two battery types?
Are you saying they should just offer only the higher capacity battery at a lower price or just tell the lower range customers to fuck off with their money?
What if you could satisfy both potential customers and offer the lower range customers the option to upgrade in the future at a cost lower than replacement of the whole battery?
What if you could also offer them a good will gesture of added range if they're fleeing natural disasters?
Is that ransom?
Would you be outraged to discover your printer's print speed was artificially capped to not erode the market for a faster model?
Or that your CPU wasn't running at it's maximum potential?
Does it only become outrageous or random when the manufacturer offers you the option to unlock it's full potential?
What about Labor? If you pay a yard service $50 to clean your property and they do it in 4 hours but your neighbor, with a 2x larger yard pays $75 and they still complete the work in 4 hours. Do you demand a lower rate? Faster service? Both?
The fact of the matter is if you paid for 100kwh battery and they give you a 120kwh battery that will only put out 100kwh are you being cheated or held at ransom? Or are you just getting what you paid for?
Why are you entitled to get anything more than what you agree to buy?
That doesn't make me less upset that my chip has wasted potential artificially locked away.
Sometimes, how you treat your customers doesn't have to be unfair for it to make a negative impact on customer vibe/relations.
Tesla produced two identical cars that cost exactly the same to manufacture. They offered one at a cheaper price but with a restriction on the battery capacity. They sacrificed their product margin to offer customers a vehicle they wanted or could afford.
They also said "hey if you want the additional capacity you can pay the difference to unlock it."
Good, solid discussion. Nice to see.
If you buy a 2ghz CPU and it turns out it can run at 2.5ghz but is locked at 2ghz, are you being cheated or getting what you paid for?
This ruling says you have the right to remove that limit.
They weren't ransoming anything. They gave the customer the range they paid for and never took anything away.
The context here is more like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_pledge_system#Ransom...
This isn't a Threshold Pledge System either because there's no contracted good being withheld.
It's not that simple. If your battery breaks out of warranty or starts loosing charge, you can't go to Tesla and say, "hey, I paid for X range and I'm not getting it anymore, fix it." If you do, they'll say, "sorry, physical batteries decay, not our problem", which most of us would agree is a reasonable response. Tesla gave you the hardware, it's not their responsibility to make sure you take care of it.
So in this scenario you're not just purely paying for range, you're also paying for hardware, which has its own warranty period and physical constraints/downsides that Tesla is not responsible for.
In the same vein, if somebody came out with magical tires for the Tesla that managed to effectively increase your range by a substantial amount by having better grip or less friction or something, you wouldn't expect Tesla to go to drivers and say, "hey, you're paying for range. You can't install those tires because they would cause you to get more range than you payed for!" Most of us would call that reaction unreasonable.
So in that scenario, you're also not really paying for the actual range you get, you're paying for a kind of "potential" range that could be increased or decreased depending on other factors outside of both yours and Tesla's control.
The reality is you're not really paying for the range or the # of cells. You're paying for a kind of bizarre combination of both. The physical hardware is your responsibility to take care of, but also you're not allowed to use it in a way that Tesla doesn't like. If you come up with an unrelated way to increase your range, you can do that. You haven't signed a contract that says, "I will stop driving if I've gone more than X miles without a refill, period."
It's understandable to me that different people have different opinions about how those two things should be combined and where it's reasonable for each party's responsibilities to end. For example, the CPU scenario you've listed is fairly common, but most people don't mind because it's not illegal to overclock your CPU. That's a big differentiating factor.
I understand that you disagree with the word "ransom" but it seems pretty obvious to me that that's an opinion, not a statement of fact. The original poster was using a shorthand to suggest that Tesla's attitudes toward consumer rights were unreasonable. I don't see a problem with that.
You do raise an interesting point though about failure. Cells don't fail at the same rate and packs are designed to disable cells (possibly groups of cells) that aren't performing within acceptable operational parameters.
So given that these "ransom packs" are capable of 75 kWh but only deliver the 60 kWh the customer paid for, how do failing cells impact overall capacity?
Since over charging and completely discharging lithium cells shortens their life does that mean because they're never allowed to use their full potential would they actually last longer than a true 60 kWh pack?
I am not a mechanic, but off the top of my head, they should last longer, depending on how Tesla has implemented the limit. If Tesla put the artificial charge limits in the middle of the actual capacity, then that would mean you never discharge the last 7 kWh or overcharge the last 7 kWh. If they just make the battery shut down 15 kWh early, then I doubt the gains are as significant, since plugging in your car overnight will still charge it all the way to the top (which from my understanding is the more harmful thing to do).
I'd be very interested to see some research done by someone who knows more about batteries than me, would make a cool technical breakdown. It seems to me that (just like CPU throttling) battery "throttling" could potentially be a useful way to decrease failure. Of course, if you think back to Apple's kerfuffle with throttling iPhones as batteries aged, you can have a good, justifiable customer result that still makes customers angry if they're not informed or suspect you have other motivations.
To bring this conversation back to the original point of the entire thread, it is (for now) legal to circumvent DRM for maintenance. So question: your battery starts failing on your Tesla car -- you buy a completely new battery from a non-Tesla producer that supports 75 kWh. You get a non-Tesla mechanic to install it. As part of the installation process, you break the DRM and allow the battery to be used to its full capacity.
Problem? No problem? When you bought a Tesla, were you paying for a 60 kWh rated battery or were you paying for a 60 kWh car?
Followup question, suppose you find out that Tesla (or any other electric car company with similar policies) has implemented battery throttling poorly for your car. Rather than rotating cells or putting a limit on how full cells get, the battery throttling just disallows a few specific cells from getting power -- so effectively, its as if you literally have a 60 kWh battery with a few (disabled) extra cells stapled on. Your battery range starts decreasing over time, and a mechanic breaks the DRM, which restores most of the failed capacity, which puts you back up to close to your original range.
Problem? Have you violated your contract if the car battery never got above 60 kWh?
And of course, finally you have obvious question, which is, 'if you buy a Tesla car and immediately break the DRM as soon as you get it home to get extra capacity, is that a problem?' Which, yeah, that's a problem. Tesla will not be happy with you.
The difficulty of looking at Tesla's policy as if it's a pure contract is that the physical constraints get in the way -- in other words, it's not a completely encapsulated system. If you look at something like being charged per-mile in a taxi, it's easy to completely divorce that from the physical process. You're charged per-mile that the taxi drove. Doesn't matter how it drove, doesn't matter what the actual cost of driving it is, doesn't matter what the implementation details are -- you're being charged for a result.
Similarly, if you buy something physical, then the physicality provides a reasonable set of consistent restraints and rules. Doesn't matter if it breaks later, doesn't matter why you bought it. In that case, only the physical reality matters and very few contractual things get in the way.
But with Tesla, you've got both systems clashing with each other. It makes sense to say, "okay, you payed for a 60 kWh battery and got a 60 kWh battery." But you didn't really get a 60 kWh battery. You got a 75 kWh battery that has extra restrictions. So you can't completely ignore implementation details, because you're still buying a physical battery, but neither can you take the entire system apart or universally mess with those implementation details.
I think the capacity limit isn't a function of the car itself but rather the battery pack installed.
In other words, if I bought an after market 200 kWh battery pack 5 years from now and installed it in my 60 kWh Tesla and it registered as a 60 kWh battery pack, I would burn Tesla to the ground.
0: given sufficient digging around in low-level settings and availablity of a appropriate clock source on the motherboard
Did Tesla sell you a 75 kWh pack that will only deliver 80% capacity?
Or did Tesla sell you 60 kWh of power?
I would say it's the later and you're with-in your right to circumvent the DRM and boost your failing pack back up to 60 kWh or less.
They didn't sell them a 300 mile range then knock it down to 250 when they rolled off the lot. They didn't send them a letter saying "if you want your range back send $$$ by 10pm tomorrow."
The customer paid for 250 miles, they provided a car that could go 250 miles and additionally said "if you would like to upgrade to 300 miles we can do that for less than the cost of a full battery replacement."
I'm genuinely asking this because I often question whether it's true that "everyone should learn to program", or it's more like, "we have a programmer shortage".
You could buy a commercial product to do what's fairly trivial (write to a couple of HW registers) that only support select models (because they all have their own registers/addresses). You could also just learn what HW registers are and some general techniques to change them and figure it out for any model that rolls in the shop as you need it. The better mechanics can even extrapolate fixes to completely new but related issues.
I don't think the parent was saying either of those things. Cars are no longer mechanical devices; they're full of computers now. In order to service any modern car, you need an increasing level of computer tools & training. This has been a growing problem for a long time for independent mechanics who have had no choice but to refer people to the dealerships, due both to proprietary digital systems in the cars, and to the copyright laws that prevented legal home and third-party repairs.
> so why would every one need to learn to program something that could be made by one and sold as a commercial (or open source) project?
Maybe this is a theoretical question, as opposed to a practical one? Car manufacturers today are, by and large, not shipping open source products, and until now it has been illegal to reverse engineer those products, so no open source project could legally exist.
* BTW, total tangent of a side note, but might be interesting to you: the US Department of Defense (and I think other branches of the government too) define "commercial" software in a way that includes open source, in other words open source is commercial. The reason is that OSS comes with a license, it's not to do with whether the software costs money, nor whether the source code is distributed with the software. https://dodcio.defense.gov/open-source-software-faq/#Q:_Is_o...
I find this a bit scary --- mainly because I'm used to cars where the (mechanical) parking brake also can be an emergency brake, and the solid linkage between the lever and the braking mechanism means it is still usable even if all other power is lost. (It's also analog, unlike the "push to set parking brake" on/off behaviour --- especially useful for modulated emergency braking.)
Will that commercial product still be sold in 30 years to help repair a "classic" Tesla?
Now I operate a laser cutter, have a fairly extensive AutoHotKey script, can navigate my way around the post processor that generates the particular dialect of G-Code our laser prefers, and know a touch of python.
I'm definitely an outlier, but I'm not the only computer-nerd-come-metal-fabricator I've worked with.
I’ve never made a boiler. I probably could, but I’m not even qualified to weld pressure vessels. I’d pass the weld tests with a couple of days practice though.
And now I have several machines that one generally doesn't find in a second-story urban walkup. (Getting a 400-ish-pound lathe up the steps was how I found my limit there.)
I wonder of there would be a market for a purely mechanical (modern) car like the old days.
(One of the beauties of mountain biking I see being lost is the ability to fix maybe 90% of problems with a small pack of tools that you can carry about with you. I can see electric bikes being problematic for that. They will get you further from civilisation and fail worse).
Then again, when I put it that way I begin to worry about mechanics unwittingly infecting cars with malware...
Also, I wonder how much that $2500 computer and sensor pack costs to manufacture. Perhaps replacing the entire unit with a raspberry pi version would ultimately be the way to go.
I don't want a DIY arduino-hacked suspension control chip or ABS. Neither would your clients. Unless of course your client understands this and it goes into the service logbook and you take full legal responsibility for any accidents this might cause in the future.
However I couldn't care less if my mp3 player has it's EMMC swapped or if my laptop has a third-party LCD replacement.
This is a professional service being done by the same professionals who you're paying to actually replace the suspension, brakes, brake lines, or other life-critical components. If you can't trust them to make a good judgement on how or whether to reset tamper detection, then how can you trust them to replace your brakes or suspension in the first place? Surely the idea is that some company would develop and test a process for resetting the tamper detection now that it is apparently legal, and then this tool would be provided to mechanic shops.
> and you take full legal responsibility for any accidents this might cause in the future.
Do mechanics take full legal responsibility for any accidents caused by replacing your brakes or other things? I'm sure in cases of egregiously negligent behavior, they could probably be sued, but most of the time it would be very difficult to prove that they were the cause. I don't think this would be any different.
> Nobody should tamper with critical control systems.
If you believe this, it sounds like you buy brand-new-only cars the moment your existing car turns on any kind of fault light. But, assuming you're okay with them swapping in a $2500 replacement instead, do you believe in this idea so strongly that you would pay 10% to 20% of the vehicle's MSRP any time a fault triggers? Keeping in mind that a vehicle's MSRP has very little to do with its used market value. $2500 could easily be 30%+ of a vehicle's actual value at the time that this occurs.
I get where you're coming from, but I think the strength of your language is out of proportion with the suggested repairs.
I still think the right to repair is worth the risk, just pointing out that it's not so clear cut.
There is a possibility of failure in either one, right? It's people doing the work either way.
What's the worst that would happen with a malfunctioning active suspension system? It wouldn't lower when going highway speeds, so you'll get more drag.
The only computer that absolutely needs to work to keep your car running is the one that's controlling the EFI system. If that's not running well, it's pretty obvious since the engine will stall out. If you have a modern automatic transmission, then you'll need that one too, and that's pretty obvious if it's not working correctly. Everything else is an accessory, non-essential and part of planned obsolescence.
It's just like that AF 447 crash, they stalled from 38,000 ft to the ground because they never expected the computer to let them stall the plane.
But I mostly agree, the only software things I would see as absolutely life critical on a car would be drive-by-wire controls. All the rest will just either stall it, reduce performance or break something.
Nobody is ever going to become dependent on locking up their brakes during normal driving. Power brakes would be dangerous if they failed because without them you get very substantially reduced braking but in no way would the lack of ABS be any more dangerous than driving a car without ABS to begin with.
I'm not saying that there couldn't be a failure mode that would prevent someone from using the brakes but due to the attention to detail for everything else about the design and redundancy of the braking system on a car I think it's doubtful that the ABS actuator would be designed in such a way as to allow a software error or broken part to potentially prevent the brakes from working.
The correct way to apply the brakes is the same with or without ABS, you should always do it smoothly with increasing force as necessary. Doing this would allow ABS to function properly, and in the case of no-ABS, will allow you to feel and respond when locking may occur.
Even if your ABS were to fail, that does not absolve you of the responsibility of driving like a complete moron. It's an unfortunate reality that most of the people on the road in the US frankly should not be driving.
That's why there's a warning light for this
This is also a good starting balance in that legal subsidies are removed but it doesn't require manufacturers to nerf their tech either, which is an area that needs to be navigated very carefully in law given the security implications and the risks of unintended consequences. I still wish "right to repair" was "right to have work" but this seems like an unalloyed Good Thing regardless. Maybe it can catalyze a bit of renewed fight against the worse parts of the DMCA and the like.
That's really well said. A bit of a tangent, but it's similar to how software patents should be as well. If you want to patent a software feature, then you have to include a working code sample and that sample code loses copyright protection forever.
>The PTO does not have laboratories for testing disclosures for enablement
Does this mean that only that specific implementation may be used without a 3rd party infringing copyright?
Both the corruption and lack of it can happen in most systems of creating rulings.
0: And the EU/most European countries/Australia/anywhere else that calls itself 'democratic' in a attempt to imitate the US rather than as a fig leaf for a dictatorship.
I'd go further and say that there's nothing of any significance in this decision since it will likely go away down the line since it was not codified in law.
I don't believe you're correct here. If down the road the LoC and USCO did not continue this exemption, it still would have applied for the whole intervening time and anybody who took advantage of it during that time would be in the clear. At a bare minimum this is a specific material benefit to many people, and any knowledge, tooling and techniques developed to aid that during that time would still be valuable. That's not insignificant.
More long term, ultimately this is politics and that can definitely be influenced by "temporary" measures which later become permanent. In general in politics it's much harder to take away something specific granted to people who gain a concentrated benefit from it then it is to not offer it in the first place. Before having it people may not be able to visualize a future benefit, but after getting used to it they'll resent having it removed if it was at all useful. Constituencies develop. So if for 3+ years some people were more easily and cheaply able to get something dealt with or saw more competition for it and in turn better quality/reliability/price, and then all of a sudden one day they walk in and get told "well the politicians just rescinded this so suddenly you can't but only because they said so" well that tends not to go over so well. Particularly if it seems like "common sense" and there is no harm any general member of the public can see from it either. Appeals to distant corporate profits tend to be curiously unmoving...
Like licenses in professions, the only true reason we have patents is to reduce competition for incumbents. This is why VCs like them so much... It creates a moat.
At most patents should give a short head start in the market, not be a guaranteed competition crusher.
You can see the exact same cycle go through as industries develop. They start with no copyright/patents, they develop successful companies and business models, those companies lobby to increase protections for themselves resulting in lower amount of new competitors and a decrease in creative/technological development while increasing profits for existing entities.
You saw it from the early beginnings with Watts engine, you saw it in the film industry in the US, you saw it in the German, Japanese, South korean development, and now you see it happening in China.
Make a list of the most famous composers in the 1800s. How many of them made most of their work prior to the introduction of copyright in their place of business? How many did it after? You can see it clearly there.
“Repair of motorized land vehicles (including tractors) by modifying the software is now legal. Importantly, this includes access to telematic diagnostic data—which was a major point of contention.”
Along with this flabbergasting detail:
“You may find this hard to believe, but one major point of discussion at the hearing was whether letting people repair cars and tractors would allow them to pirate music and movies using the vehicle’s entertainment systems. In their 2015 filing, John Deere speculated that farmers might pirate Taylor Swift music using their equipment. Fortunately, the Copyright Office saw through that argument.”
For the longest time Zara used an MS-DOS based POS system, and hey, it worked.
But to your point you can basically go back to the archives of the 90s internet and go on a shopping spree of vulnerabilities for dos looking at Trojan/virus code.
Most of the internal and data stuff is pretty solid but never saw any of the systems stuff from the machines themselves so unsure how messy that might be.
They've always been big on contractors so it wouldn't surprise me on the readability of some of that stuff.
I'm terrified somebody will think their tweak is 'obviously safe' and share it online and before we know it a combine will run through an elementary school.
Using your line of reasoning, we should close down repair shops altogether. How can we trust people without engineering degrees work on something like brakes? Before we know it, we'll see buses full of schoolchildren on fire or something.
The fearmongering aspect of "combine running through an elementary school" aside (although perhaps the fact that schools aren't usually located in corn fields and have walls could warrant a reminder), I personally find the general approach of "I am afraid of X, so let's make/keep X illegal" terrifying.
I won't respond any more, since I'm pretty sure that's trolling.
People are generally pretty good at not putting questionable, critical parts into vehicles. Hopefully that holds for the software "part" as well. Maybe if software engineering moves towards better testing practices, we'd have reliable methods to test whether firmware was safe or not.
Many states already require vehicle safety inspections to address concerns such as yours. I could see states requiring manufactures work with the state to provide a way to inspect the firmware for safety, (not just checking the hash against the manufacturer code).
The lifts had no buttons inside the car, your security tag would program in the floor, so you had to get in the right one otherwise you’d be stuffed.
There was a restaurant open to the public at the top, so in the evening the lifts would be full of forlorn diners trying to find their way out.
The computer would often crash and reboot mid journey - the lift would stop, the lights would go out and the screen would run through a boot sequence, before starting up again.
I once saw a technician tinker the system and he genuinely had a bunch of five inch floppy disks.
All I can do is remind myself there’s a mechanical interlock to keep the car from free-falling.
https://www.reddit.com/r/theydidthemath/comments/2qbjw2/requ... though I recommend reading more into it and doing your own math.
What we need is Congress to update copyright law to make these exemptions permanent.
The output of a compiler is a mechanical result, not the creative work itself. A company should not be able to purportedly license a copy of a creative work to an end user under the copyright regime, while then stripping away the ability to utilize/service that copy via computational complexity.
For folks who want to look at previous exemptions
2015 - https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2015/
2012 - https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2012/
2010 - https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2010/
2008 - https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2008/
2006 - https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2006/
2003 - https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2003/
2000 - https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2000/
Edit: And they could set up a network of embassies around the world, with integrated repair shops. Instead of visiting the Kiribati embassy to get a visa, you might visit to get your device fixed.
If you can't even import a real part into the US from the very same Chinese factory that the "officially-supplied" parts would be shipped from, then I doubt you'll be able to import those parts from the Cook Islands.
The implication is that we are correctly enforcing trademark law... Or are you saying that anyone should be allowed to import anything with anyone's brand on it? Because congratulations, you have now destroyed the value and purpose of every single trademark.
Remember, the issue was NOT that they "looked like" Apple parts, the issue was that the parts had an actual Apple logo printed on them when they were not parts sourced through Apple.
This is just the stupidest issue. All Louis Rossmann had to do is purchase his non-genuine third party laptop batteries without an Apple logo printed on them, and he would have been legally entitled to them. He could have his batteries, he could perform the repairs, everyone would be happy.
With his complaint he is effectively saying is that trademarks mean shit and anyone can use anyone else's brand whenever they want. It's absurd. And it's a loser case. If he tries to fight Apple, he won't win.
I think what's being said (well, implied) is that the first-sale doctrine states that those trademark rights are limited, and that by blocking imports, those right may be being violated (specifically, the right to resell).
If that's the case, that would mean that we are incorrectly enforcing trademark law.
Edit: To make it absolutely clear what I'm talking about, if I as a U.S. citizen go to China, and I have some used iphones, and I try to ship them to the U.S. after people buy them from me, does Apple's special handling prevent me from reselling Apple products? If so, that may be violating my rights.
In the cases which have been popularised in the media recently, we're talking about products where a "first sale" has not occurred.
Well, you seemed to distill the initial point to that, and then reject it, but I didn't interpret it as something so specific at all. Essentially it looked like a Straw Man argument.
If the details of this are specifically linked to that case, and there's no indication that it's happening to other types of shipment (a weakening of the original points presented that you responded to), that should have been specifically noted (is it? I don't know. I haven't been following this). Otherwise, you aren't really addressing the same thing as the comment you responded to (unless derefr is specifically talking about this incident, without mentioning this incident. That's possible).
I'm not interested in arguing hypotheticals. If there's a specific incident that you want me to remark on, I'll be happy to provide my opinion on it.
It is possibly the items were counterfeit. But the information as presented does not make that case. They've been called refurbished. Until a case is made that they are counterfeit that includes more evidence than "it has an Apple logo on it", it makes sense to assume they were not given the statements about their providence.
So all my arguments to this point can be taken to apply to this specific case, and you can feel free to provide your opinion.
Maybe there's more to it but that's what I understood so far.
Removing the Apple logo from Apple products in order to ship them to the states so they can be used to fix Apple products seems unnecessary.
That makes the parts counterfeit if they bear an Apple logo. All Louis had to do is source the exact same parts without the Apple logo printed on them. That's not difficult, nor is it unreasonable.
Putting an Apple logo on something that is not an Apple product seems unnecessary.
These parts are not Apple products. In order for a product to be an Apple product, it has to have been sold by, through or under license from Apple at some point in its life.
These were not, which makes them counterfeit by definition. They might be perfectly identical to the real thing, they might be slightly inferior, or they might be dangerous junk. You don't know.
A consumer should always, 100% be able to purchase a "counterfeit" product should they so desire it.
If importing Apple-labeled products that aren’t Apple‘s property nor have been sold by Apple were legal, Apple couldn’t outsource production, as it would be undercut by its own manufacturers.
So, I don’t see why, in general, you should be able to ”import a real part into the US from the very same Chinese factory that the "officially-supplied" parts would be shipped from”, if you didn’t buy it from Apple.
That's moving the goal post. The original statement said "looks like an Apple part", and now you're assuming it was never sold by Apple.
How is customs to know the difference of whether it's original unsold inventory or refurbished inventory? I have a well defined legal right to sell an iPhone I own (whether bought from Apple or some other entity, as long as it originated from an Apple sale). I'm not sure why it should matter if I ship it internationally or not (that is to say, it should not matter, as long as it's an original device and not a copy).
> Apple couldn’t outsource production, as it would be undercut by its own manufacturers.
My rights should not be curtailed because the market needs of a single company.
> So, I don’t see why, in general, you should be able to ”import a real part into the US from the very same Chinese factory that the "officially-supplied" parts would be shipped from”, if you didn’t buy it from Apple.
As a separate issue, since it's a specific sub-part of the original claims, if the parts are not patented and do not display a trademarked logo, they should not be blocked, but I don't know if the specific case you are alluding refrained from adding a logo.
That said, if the batteries were repaired at the factory, and it was refurbished equipment being shipped, there is no reason that I know of they should have been blocked, logo or not. News sources are saying they were refurbished batteries. Why should those be blocked?
That’s at the root of the problem. Many customers want to have access to spare parts, but is it their right? I think car manufacturers are required to provide spare parts for a reasonable time, but I’m not aware of laws or regulations requiring that for other products.
Even if they exist, I don’t know enough about the examples involving Apple to know whether they are in breach of any regulations.
> That’s at the root of the problem. Many customers want to have access to spare parts, but is it their right?
That's not what I was saying. If counterfeit items are blocked, I don't care. The law specifically makes an allowance for organizations to block copies of products at the border. But legitimate Apple products that are used (i.e. have been sold and refurbished by Apple) are blocked, as was clearly noted in the original comment, preventing those at the border if they are being sold by (and maybe bought by?) a U.S. citizen, that seems to clearly infringe on their rights.
> I think car manufacturers are required to provide spare parts for a reasonable time, but I’m not aware of laws or regulations requiring that for other products.
It's not about the right to get or buy something, it's about people's rights to resell things.
> Even if they exist, I don’t know enough about the examples involving Apple to know whether they are in breach of any regulations.
I don't know a huge amount either, but they are noted in the news as "refurbished".
That said, the agreement Apple has, if it functions as described in this thread, clearly seems to infringe on people's right to resell Apple products if they happen to pass through customs.
1. Manufacture, or at least assemble, in the US
2. Have better oversight over the factories in China
As for #1, this gets thrown around a fair bit, especially with the current GOP Congress. However people constantly forget that regardless of where final assembly takes place, these jobs are the lowest of the low on the tech food chain. Ripe for automation, a human can easily be replaced by a machine that costs less and can work 24/7/365.
Unless people have no other alternatives, these jobs should be avoided at all costs.
Perhaps - but the whole reason these parts were getting imported from China in the first place is that Apple refuse to sell them anymore because the machines they fit in are "too old".
I'd kinda accept an argument that "you should buy it from Apple", but only with the necessary rider that says "Unless Apple refuse to sell it to you any more, in which case they've forfeit all import protection rights".
(Also, if Rossmann _did_ intentionally or unwittingly order known "non-Apple suppled parts with counterfeit Apple logos on them", then it's pretty dumb of him to complain and threaten to lawyer up. He shouldn't have ordered 3rd party batteries with Apple logos, and he should now just order another batch without the Apple brand/trademark on them and argue about the payment for the first batch with the supplier if he thinks it wasn't his fault...)
>Copyright holders might try and block an import, but they would be fighting a harder battle against "parallel import" laws.
They can claim that it's counterfeit, have customs seize it, then force you to file legal action to reclaim your property. Not really the best place to be TBH.
But I don't get why anyone is complaining because the solution is INSANELY simple: if you want to parallel import parts from China, make sure they don't have Apple logos printed on them. That's an absurdly low bar to clear. It's so low that it makes me wonder if these controversies are being—pardon the pun—manufactured.
It might surprise you, but Apple does sell all of those. The products that you are looking for are called for example iPhones and MacBooks.
If Customs sees that, then it's reasonable for them to—let me quote myself—suspect them of being counterfeit or stolen. I didn't say they should assume they are.
(The linked case concerns “evil shenanigans”, in contrast to your proposed “good shenanigans”, but I doubt that argument would carry much sway in court.)
If the host country doesn’t like what they suspect is happening inside an embassy, they can go through diplomatic channels to request it be terminated (perhaps with a threat of some kind, like expulsion of the diplomat).