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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a debate raging on how some automakers are pushing to copyright their software and make owners sign licensing agreements.

Their argument is the software that controls every vehicle function belongs to the automakers, and not the owner of the vehicle.

Our fear is it would undercut mechanics and enthusiasts legal rights to modify their cars to enhance performance with aftermarket parts, regardless if it’s for the street or “Off Highway Use”.

What are everyone’s thoughts on this?
 

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Devil's advocate here.

I don't see the problem with locking down the computers as long as it works as advertized. This puts pressure on the aftermarket to create standalone solutions for those that have "off highway" vehicles. It is a slippery slope to completely lock down a system that is in the customers hands. DirecTV and Dish Network fought this fight for many years before ever getting complete control over their systems. There may be devices on the black market that open their systems, but I don't think they are very common.

Most devices that I use on a daily basis are relatively locked down.

My cable box is locked -- It works fine and suits my needs (TiVO hacking was something I dabbled in a while back)
MS Windows is locked (mostly) -- Works fine when I am forced to use it. However I choose to use Linux as a daily system
Cell Phone (chipset drivers and etc.) -- Works as advertized and precompiled binaries are sometimes provided for a particular part vice open source
Standalone GPS -- Works as advertized and I get regular map updates. I use my phone nowadays but still have the old dash brick as a backup.

There will always be reverse engineering and I believe it is impossible to pursue legal action for reverse engineering. IBM PC clones proved this case. We can hack the hardware and put our own software on it (with the available tools) or use something else.

Don't shoot me. I like using programming tools to modify my PCM, but also enjoy full control and that is why I run a standalone. Copyrighting the software is fine IMO and I believe it shouldn't be freely distributed. Locking down the PCMs so that you can't modify portions of the code is pretty shitty IMO. Making it a crime to modify the code is even shittier.
 
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