Forget cellphones, we should be allowed to unlock everything we own

The arguments have been raging over being able to unlock our cellphones after a law was passed making such a thing illegal. iFixit has made the case for why this is an anti-environmental stance. But there is more, much more to the argument than just cellphone ownership.

This example of the scope of the issue hit me in no small part because it happened to a farmer from my hometown. The closer to home things hit, and on a broader scale, the more we realize how trapped we are in un-fixable electronics. Kyle Weins of iFixit writes on Wired:

This isn’t an issue that only affects the digerati; farmers are bearing the brunt as well. Kerry Adams, a family farmer in Santa Maria, California, recently bought two transplanter machines for north of $100,000 apiece. They broke down soon afterward, and he had to fly a factory technician out to fix them.

Because manufacturers have copyrighted the service manuals, local mechanics can’t fix modern equipment. And today’s equipment — packed with sensors and electronics — is too complex to repair without them. That’s a problem for farmers, who can’t afford to pay the dealer’s high maintenance fees for fickle equipment.

Adams gave up on getting his transplanters fixed; it was just too expensive to keep flying technicians out to his farm. Now, the two transplanters sit idle, and he can’t use them to support his farm and his family.
This isn’t an issue that only affects the digerati.

God may have made a farmer, but copyright law doesn’t let him make a living.

Read the full article and the well-stated points on Wired.

Tags: Corporate Responsibility | Electronics | Technology