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the farming right to repair case is a different case than phones/laptops case imo. farming tractors are much more expensive and much larger. You can't mail a tractor in a bubble-wrapped envelope. I support right to repair for farm equipment because its their job on the line.

the mechanisms are much simpler in a tractor and mechanical in nature.

trying to do the same with other appliances could be dangerous or fatal if mistakes are made. farmers are literally hacking their machines (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPYy_g8NzmI ) likely voiding warranty.

What's the influence of an item being small or possible to send on whether people should repair it?

The mechanisms in a tractor are different, not necessarily simpler. Replacing a keyboard on a Thinkpad is both mechanical and as siple as it gets.

Messing up a mechanical repair can absolutely be dangerous: it's a few horspower you could suddenly have out of control.

Most farm implements are dangerous even when under normal operating conditions. Farmers must be self reliant and able to repair there equipment or else the farm can fail. And a failed farm can take years to come back - if ever.

Computers are machines in a very similar fashion, and it's also people's jobs on the line when they can't complete their work with their machine.


Consider the question of "something went wrong and the field was over-fertilized and will not be able to grow anything for 5 years" or "something went wrong and 5x the legal limit of pesticide was sprayed on the field."

If this is stock equipment with stock software, the manufacture would be at least partly liable (probably fully liable).

If you modify the equipment/software so that it plants seeds at a different density than the settings and inadvertently make it so that when the fertilizer runs it also overfertalizes the field - who is at fault?

You own it. You can modify it. Is the manufacture still responsible for the functionality of the device after you modify it? If the modification is software and after the "oops, I screwed up" do a factory reset of the software - is the company properly able to defend itself from changes to the software?

Who is at fault if you try to repair your car's brakes and they fail, killing a pedestrian?

Simple: you are.

In theory this is true.

In practice someone facing liability for having done something at the level of killing a pedestrian or illegally poisoning a field will be doing everything they can to reduce their exposure.

Claiming the problems result from the original design and not the changes may be their first step in their defense.

Once that defense has been raised, it won’t necessarily be simple to prove whether the repair was the cause of the problem or not.

But, this is an interesting issue. Perhaps the right to repair would be more palatable if it came with a blanket indemnity from legal liability for manufacturers once the device is repaired or modified in any way.

...which is exactly what a manufacturer would do if they were sued. what you are describing is a problem with the legal system and not with repairing our on property.

Which is kind of interesting - because farm equipment doesn't have that sort of protection.

Product Liability in the Farm Equipment Industry - https://youtu.be/NdN577BbnSY?t=1166

Also: https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/agriculturallaw/2019/05/pr...

> When purchased equipment is altered, the manufacturer is generally released from liability unless the manufacturer could have reasonably foreseen that purchasers would alter the equipment in the manner that resulted in injury.

So if you could have modified a tractor in a way that was not obviously bad and the manufacturer didn't try to stop you from doing it, the manufacturer could still be liable.

Is it reasonable to believe that if the purchaser has the ability to modify the software, they will? If so, how does one rewrite the liability laws for farm equipment?

And while physical modifications may reduce manufacturer liability - what about software? And the ability to reset the software so that evidence of the changes are no longer present?

There's a challenge with the law for repair and liability for farm equipment that needs to be reconciled. That liability issue doesn't exist for other domains (modifying a personal computing device). You aren't likely to find a $6M claim against Apple for ripping someone's arm off - that is an issue with farm equipment.

That depends on what you mean by ‘right to repair’.

If you are only talking about banning terms and conditions that forbid repairs or modifications, then I agree.

If you are talking about banning design choices, then clearly we are not just talking about repairing our own property.

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