Author Topic: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car  (Read 15909 times)

Jack

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2015, 10:13:59 PM »
That's the problem! Apparently, nobody cares that it's ridiculous for copyright to apply to non-copying activities, because they're applying it anyway. Copyright is turning into the 21st Century's Interstate Commerce Clause, with all the expansion of government tyranny that entails.

Do you think it would be fair if you wrote a novel and some Hollywood studio made it into a movie without paying you or asking your permission? Or even crediting you? That's not copying. It's creating a derivative work.

Do you think it would be fair if you made a movie, and then some Hollywood studio distributed it and made millions in ticket sales without giving you a dime? What if you wrote a song, a major act recorded and released it, and didn't pay you a dime?

That's why copyright covers more than just copying.

You're being intentionally obtuse, because you damn well know that insufficiently changing the work before distributing it still counts as copying.

It's not the creation of the derivative work -- i.e., the modification of the individual copy owned by the person making the derivative work -- that's the problem; it's the copying and distribution of it afterward.

If you want to think of it in those terms, I'm saying that I am and should continue to be perfectly free to make any kind of "derivative work" I want out of my own individually-owned copy of a work -- using the example of a novel, that means anything from crossing stuff out and writing notes in the margin, to rewriting the entire story -- as long as I don't distribute it!

In other words, in those hypothetical situations you posit above, the "unfairness" would come from the "big hollywood studio" or whatever selling copies of the derived work, not creating the derived work.

(By the way: do not let that lead you to believe I think the "fairness" argument is valid, because I don't. In fact, unless the lack of fair compensation would actually prevent creators from creating -- and the Internet proves conclusively that it wouldn't -- "fairness" is not a valid justification for copyright law. This isn't France; we don't have any stupid "droit d’auteur" here!)

Daleth

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2015, 11:01:23 AM »
That's the problem! Apparently, nobody cares that it's ridiculous for copyright to apply to non-copying activities, because they're applying it anyway. Copyright is turning into the 21st Century's Interstate Commerce Clause, with all the expansion of government tyranny that entails.

Do you think it would be fair if you wrote a novel and some Hollywood studio made it into a movie without paying you or asking your permission? Or even crediting you? That's not copying. It's creating a derivative work.

Do you think it would be fair if you made a movie, and then some Hollywood studio distributed it and made millions in ticket sales without giving you a dime? What if you wrote a song, a major act recorded and released it, and didn't pay you a dime?

That's why copyright covers more than just copying.

You're being intentionally obtuse, because you damn well know that insufficiently changing the work before distributing it still counts as copying.

It's not the creation of the derivative work -- i.e., the modification of the individual copy owned by the person making the derivative work -- that's the problem; it's the copying and distribution of it afterward.

If you want to think of it in those terms, I'm saying that I am and should continue to be perfectly free to make any kind of "derivative work" I want out of my own individually-owned copy of a work -- using the example of a novel, that means anything from crossing stuff out and writing notes in the margin, to rewriting the entire story -- as long as I don't distribute it!

In other words, in those hypothetical situations you posit above, the "unfairness" would come from the "big hollywood studio" or whatever selling copies of the derived work, not creating the derived work.

(By the way: do not let that lead you to believe I think the "fairness" argument is valid, because I don't. In fact, unless the lack of fair compensation would actually prevent creators from creating -- and the Internet proves conclusively that it wouldn't -- "fairness" is not a valid justification for copyright law. This isn't France; we don't have any stupid "droit d’auteur" here!)

I'm not being obtuse. Making a movie out of your book and distributing copies of the MOVIE is not "insuffuciently changing and then copying" your book. It's making a whole separate work in a different medium, and it might use just a few or even none of the actual lines you wrote. Maybe the difference between copying and creating a derivative work is sometimes a fine distinction (example: what if you take a photograph of a painting?*), but copying your book is literally copying your book (e.g., on a photocopier or by retyping it), and that's not the only thing that copyright law covers or IMHO should cover.

A copy of a movie that's based on your book is not a copy of your book. It's a different work in a different medium, but it's based on your book and that's why your permission is needed.

The reason that copyright law basically ignores things like you rewriting an entire novel but not distributing it, or making a digital backup of a CD you own but not sharing it, is (1) because what you're describing falls under fair use (see the four bullets here to understand why: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors/) and (2) because even if there were a decent argument that XYZ were not fair use, litigation is an expensive pain in the ass and there is nothing to be gained by suing people for technical, de minimis copyright violations like that. Generally even fanfiction that's shared on the internet is ignored for the same reason, although fanfiction based on works that are still under copyright constitutes a derivative work that technically is a breach of copyright law. (Fanfiction of, say, Sherlock Holmes is not, thanks to the eminently sensible recent court decision saying that Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain).

In other words you ARE free to do what you want with your own individual copy, as long as you don't distribute it (even for free). If you print out a copy of a cartoon that you saw on the New Yorker website and stick it on your fridge or your office door, no one is going to sue you and even if they did, you would have a fair use defense.

But you would NOT have a fair use defense if you made a movie out of someone else's book and showed it in theaters or on TV.

To me, that seems right; the law is set up how it should be, since you can do what you were talking about without any trouble, but a movie studio can't make a movie based on someone's book (and a singer can't record someone else's song, etc.) without paying them.


* The law is that if you take a photo of a copyrighted painting or photo (i.e., generally speaking, a painting or photo whose author is still alive or has been dead less than 70 years), if your photo seems to be just a picture of the picture with no creative choices made by you--so, it's a photo of the entire picture from straight on, in ambient or otherwise neutral light--then that's just a copy of the original work, and you, the photographer, have no rights in that photo. But if you do something even minimally creative, such as taking the photo at an odd angle or in lighting that sets a mood or distorts the image (e.g. colored light), then you have created a derivative work and you have rights in the part that you created; that said, you still need permission from the author of the picture you photographed in order to, say, make postcards of your photo and distribute them.

Forcus

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #52 on: April 27, 2015, 12:03:20 PM »
I'm a little split on this one. I'm sure that a fair amount of the automaker's intention is to recapture the repair business. For that I think they should be ashamed.

But cars are getting increasingly more complex and I do worry about the average person fiddling with such, and with hacking and other code changing. I think it is inevitable that all cars will be hybrids, all will have regenerative brakes with only an emergency conventional brake system (hydraulic / disc / drum), etc. The computerization needed to coordinate all this is substantial and I can't imagine having the keys to the kingdom.

I don't know the answer but it will be interesting to watch. The only way I can fix several of my cars is having these tools that get in to the code and without that I'd be beholden to the dealer so my only choice would be to drive something older or let the dealer charge whatever they want to fix.

tesuzuki2002

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #53 on: April 27, 2015, 04:17:55 PM »
I have heard of some dealerships that will no longer offer services on a vehicle once it has had an undocumented repair.    They claim they first have to fix all the non standard / non-OEM issues before they can assess and examine their new "auto issue"   

I mean they can refuse service to anyone right??   But at some point I think someone will step in to accept their money with out the other repair issues..

Spork

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #54 on: April 27, 2015, 04:59:08 PM »
I have heard of some dealerships that will no longer offer services on a vehicle once it has had an undocumented repair.    They claim they first have to fix all the non standard / non-OEM issues before they can assess and examine their new "auto issue"   

I mean they can refuse service to anyone right??   But at some point I think someone will step in to accept their money with out the other repair issues..

In some ways: I totally understand this.  Cars have become very complex systems.  If the car is heavily modified, it could run them in circles for days on end.   

Sadly, the complexity seems to make it such that it can be hard for mechanics to have the big picture.  With a 1970s car, you could modify it out the wazoo and the concepts would stay the same.  With modern cars, it's not so clear cut.  Modded cars are outside of their training.  You have to either tackle it yourself or find a dedicated performance shop.

BlueMR2

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2015, 10:14:14 AM »
I have heard of some dealerships that will no longer offer services on a vehicle once it has had an undocumented repair.    They claim they first have to fix all the non standard / non-OEM issues before they can assess and examine their new "auto issue"

Among the modded car community, it doesn't seem to be a problem.  Shops are more than happy to accept pay for extra hours of diagnostics as they have to work around the mods to solve problems.  It'd be a pretty foolish shop to give up all that extra labor income...

Spork

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2015, 01:38:45 PM »
I have heard of some dealerships that will no longer offer services on a vehicle once it has had an undocumented repair.    They claim they first have to fix all the non standard / non-OEM issues before they can assess and examine their new "auto issue"

Among the modded car community, it doesn't seem to be a problem.  Shops are more than happy to accept pay for extra hours of diagnostics as they have to work around the mods to solve problems.  It'd be a pretty foolish shop to give up all that extra labor income...

A buddy of mine with what I would consider "only a little bit modded" Honda has had seriously difficult times finding shops to work on it.  Around here: If it isn't in the spec book they just seem lost and don't know what to do. 

LennStar

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2015, 02:28:43 PM »
Quote
Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.
http://www.autoblog.com/2015/04/20/automakers-gearheads-car-repairs/

That sounds untrue to me for two reasons:

1. You can't copyright useful things (such as car parts)--or rather, if you make a car part with a fancy design on it, you could copyright the design, but not the actual car part (the useful part of it). Don't take it from me, hear what the copyright office has to say:
http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl103.html

2. With things you can copyright, here are the rights that copyright gives you: the right to copy; the right to make derivative works (e.g., if you write a book, nobody can make a movie based on your book and no one can translate your book into another language without your permission); the right to distribute the thing (e.g., distributing a copyrighted movie); the right to perform it (if the copyrighted thing is performable, like a song or play); and the right to display it (e.g., if the copyrighted thing is a sculpture). Again, don't take my word for it: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/106

So even if you could copyright car parts, which you can't, that wouldn't prevent anyone from repairing their own car since repairing, tinkering, etc. are not among the rights that copyright protects.

Behind that article, I smell a scam. Or just an ignoramus, maybe.

*Edited to add* You can copyright software, so if "repairing" means copying, distributing etc. the software code, then there could be something to this--but only to that extent (i.e. only to the extent it's about the software and involves one of the rights that copyright protects).

It would more work like it is with film disks: Some DRM gets put on it and while you are - of course - in full right to copy it, you need to circumvent the DRM, and circumventing DRM is punishable by crippling amounts of money.
Or it would just be an TPM chip like it is now on dektop computers, with keys, and only if you have the key your software is allowed to run on this computer. If nobody gives you the key you can only use windows and kiss good bye to Linux for example. And as a manufacturer: You can only use windows when you make TPM mandatory. So if you DONT implement the key-needed hardware, then you cant sell your stuff, because no one will buy somethign that cannot run windows. And I am talking about windows 10 here already. Current information is that TPM is mandatory for win10 IF the mainboard has it. Its just 1 step away from total and complete lockout.
Then you have a computer you cant trust, because you cant know what software runs and cant install what you want.


Copyright law is a property right.
Only in the sense that it says where you cant exercise your rights in your property.

Cathy

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2015, 09:20:30 PM »
Copyright law is a property right.
Only in the sense that it says where you cant exercise your rights in your property.

The sense in which copyrights are a form of property is that they can be bought and sold on the free market, can appear as an asset on the books of a corporation or individual, and so on. However, the property is the "copyright" itself, not the content that it protects.

In this limited sense, it's not wholly different from real estate. At common law, you cannot buy or sell land. All land is owned by the monarch and she does not make it available for sale. However, the monarch does graciously allow her subjects to use her land from time to time, and to that end, she issues deserving subjects a form of licence to use the land according to her terms: such a licence is known as an "estate" in the land, and instead of owning the land itself, the licencee only owns title to an estate in the land. Traditionally, estates came in various flavours and could have various conditions or expiration dates (commonly the death of the original licensee), but these days there are only a couple forms in common use.

Even though the United States has never had a monarch, it substantially adopted the English system of land ownership, and still uses the same terminology.

The analogy here is that in some sense you cannot own land, but you can own a privilege to exercise a set of rights relative to that land, and that package of rights is something you can buy and sell. In other words, it's the package of rights relative to the land that is the "property" (not the land itself). Similarly, with copyright, the text of a book, or the creative content of a painting, or a software program, are not property, but the "copyright" itself is in a certain sense a form of property.

This isn't a defence of copyright in any way. It's just useful to understand fully what we are up against.

...You can copyright software...

Since this thread has become ground zero for highly technical points, I should note that copyright isn't something you do or apply for, as the language "you can copyright" might suggest. Rather, copyright is something that subsists in certain forms of creative works, from the moment the creative work comes into existence, subject to certain technical conditions: 17 USC § 102(a).

In other words, you don't copyright books, software, or art: the copyright subsists as soon as you write the book, implement the software, or produce the art.

The question isn't whether "you can copyright" a given form of creative content; rather, the question is whether copyright subsists in that creative content.

In this respect, copyright is far different from patents, insofar as 35 USC § 101 provides that inventors "may obtain" a patent by making an application through the procedure described in the legislation.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 10:11:33 PM by Cathy »

LennStar

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #59 on: April 29, 2015, 01:30:50 AM »
Copyright law is a property right.
Only in the sense that it says where you cant exercise your rights in your property.

The sense in which copyrights are a form of property is that they can be bought and sold on the free market, can appear as an asset on the books of a corporation or individual, and so on. However, the property is the "copyright" itself, not the content that it protects.

In this limited sense, it's not wholly different from real estate.
Ha, no.
The difference is that the land existed before. You can step on it, make it more fertile or less. You can make it unusable by the owner.
Nothing of this is valid for things that are copyrighted.
Copyright is a man (or better: woman) made monopoly of distribution.

Why do I say woman made?
Long, long ago, in a land far away called England, there was a woman. She was queen. Born in Spain she was catholic but unfortunately England switched to the english state church not long before.
She wanted to get England back to the only real religion i.e. hers. That resulted in a bit of "oh no" in her subjects which resulted in her chopping a lot of heads off. By the way, her name was Mary, called Bloody Mary because of her chopping hobby, if you ever wondered where the drinks name was from.
But even when you can make people stop saying things you dont like by chopping their heads off, their books still remain. So what to do with that problem?
A few years before the catholic church tried to do this in France. Printing there was forbidden and having a printing press would cause you to lose your head if found. The result was a printing press boom at the borders to France and book smuggling became a favorite pasttime of france youth.
So that worked not very good. Bloody Mary needed somthign better then chopping heads off.
So they invented copyright, the right to make copy of books.
It was granted to only the London Stationers Guild, the printers there. The condition was that only those books could be printed where the crowns censors said it was ok.
The London Printers were happy because under the rules they had a guild monopoly which was enforcable by the guild itself!

As you can see, even the word copyright was invented as a method of censoring and that hasent changed much up to today.


Thank you for listening to my little lecture, next time we talk about the "statute of Anne", the first copyright law in the modern sense, where the first time authors played a role and some important things were written down, like the time limit on copyright (born from very bad experience with unlimited terms) and the purpose of the monopoly. The full title is "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or Purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned", which is very nice in my eyes because it says what copyright should be about, in contrary to what it is today.

Daleth

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Re: Automakers want it to be illegal to repair your own car
« Reply #60 on: May 02, 2015, 09:11:15 AM »
Since this thread has become ground zero for highly technical points, I should note that copyright isn't something you do or apply for, as the language "you can copyright" might suggest. Rather, copyright is something that subsists in certain forms of creative works, from the moment the creative work comes into existence, subject to certain technical conditions: 17 USC § 102(a).

In other words, you don't copyright books, software, or art: the copyright subsists as soon as you write the book, implement the software, or produce the art.

The question isn't whether "you can copyright" a given form of creative content; rather, the question is whether copyright subsists in that creative content.

In this respect, copyright is far different from patents, insofar as 35 USC § 101 provides that inventors "may obtain" a patent by making an application through the procedure described in the legislation.

Technically, yes, since the effective date of the United States' adherence to the Berne Convention, copyright comes into existence as soon as a copyrightable work is fixed in a tangible form (written down, recorded, made, etc.). I say "technically" because in the U.S. you still can't actually SUE anyone for copyright infringement without registering the copyright, and the damages (i.e. money) that you can get for copyright infringement depend on when you registered it relative to when the infringement began. So the distinction between copyright coming into existence and copyright being registered is kind of like the difference between theory and reality: yes, you have a copyright as soon as you create something that's copyrightable, but you can't protect that copyright in court until you register it, so in effect you might as well not have it until you register it.

The question of whether you "can copyright" something is synonymous with whether the thing in question is a copyrightable work. You can't copyright car engine parts, a.k.a., car parts are not subject to copyright, a.k.a., no copyright can come into existence or subsist in car parts. Software, on the other hand, you can copyright.