A New Application of the DMCA-Your Car!

Automobile manufacturers are looking to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent people from working on their vehicles, specifically modifying the ECU. Now, many here may not even do any ‘mechanicing’ on their vehicle, but I thought it was a new twist on some of the very issues we have been facing or witnessing.

That’s interesting. At the same time as this, there’s a boom in mobile apps which can plug in to your car and extract data and plot it; sort of a Fitbit for driving.

Cars having problems with corrupted or bad ECU firmware isn’t really a new thing but It’s been kept fairly hush hush. I worked as a diesel fuel system specialist for a few years (my dads a master mechanic) and I’ve seen bulletins for software updates to fix anything from faulty engine lights to power problems.

The idea they could stop people working on their own cars makes me sick but I’d rather they kept the ECU mostly locked down. I can see the desire for access but I don’t think cars with custom firmware should be allowed on the road at least without full safety testing.

I’d love to see swappable ECUs for track day cars and a lot more data available over ODB2.

It is, not only irritating, but irresponsible that there are some who tune their diesel pickups to blow lots of smoke. They tend to be so obnoxious too, often giving it a rev as they pass someone with an open window. I read one person saying that it was their constitutional right to blow lots of smoke. I must of missed that part when studying government in school. :confounded:

This makes me feel stabby.

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Now, John Deere is wanting it applied to tractors. Under such a provision, John Deere and not the farmer will own the tractor, that there would be an implied licence to operate the machine for the life of the machine. What amuses me is this one argument that by allowing owners to root around in the tractor’s software, that they could hack the entertainment system and pirate music!

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