Friday, May 22, 2009
Right to Repair
Cars are increasingly computerized. Consumers are increasingly dependent upon even captive to their "authrorized"new car dealers for repair of these cars when the warranty expires because independent repair facilities do not have access to the information, tools, diagnostic codes, computer programs and other products and services necessary to service today's complex vehicles. IP and competition law are major issues here.
In Canada, there is a private member's bill intoduced by Mr. Masse as Bill C- 273, which is receiving much attention.
In the USA, there is a similar but more detailed bill, H.R. 2057 that is also getting some attention.
One of the notable differences between the two bills is that the American bill provides explicit remedies.
The EFF is suggesting that the concept apply accross the board to all consumer products and points out how the DMCA gets in the way of a the consumers' "right to repair".
All of this comes in interesting times for the major automobile companies.