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Right to Repair. Why Not Having It Is Bad For You

Why should you care? Well... Because they can and will be taking away your ability to go to the lawn and garden division and save money.  This is already trickling down into smaller products from other tractors to your cell phones (See apple).  John Deere has argued in court (successfully) that when you buy the machine, you're not buying the machine itself, you're buying an "implied license"..... for $800K+.

So you want to resell the machine?  Sure someone can buy the piece of equipment, but it doesn't mean it will work.  New owner now needs to buy the implied license from John Deere.  So the piece of equipment you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on has no resale value for the original person that spent the money.

As far as how this effects the repair aspect of it, it's a big deal and huge problem.  Absolutely every part of the machine is now connected to the computer.  Which means  that it is now a "software" repair, not a hardware repair, which means that every part of the machine is a trade secret, including the tools to repair them.  So you can't get schematics and everything from the tools (even if they're not powered in any way) to the schematics are DRM protected.  So if you somehow get your hands on one and are not licensed to have it, you have now broken federal law.

You have a part that you don't even use that is an optional upgrade that has an issue? Congrats, you now have an 800k + brick that you can't use because there is a fault on the machine and for "safety" reasons the remotely shut them down.

Did I mention they all have a satellite connection and are always monitored.  They will remotely kill your tractor for any fault, even the most minor fault that has no safety impact.

So, you have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to have your tractor sent to a repair center, which only John Deere runs now.  So it could be hundreds and hundreds of miles away.  So you're completely shit out of luck and can't work because your only machine you had to take a mortgage out to have is down because there's a fault in the system, so you can't earn any money and you can't work....

Over what? A hydraulic line sensor, not even an issue with the line, but just the sensor was faulty to a tertiary optional add-in system that you don't even use.

You have to pay to send the tractor in for repair for a system that you don't use, not for a critical fault that makes it dangerous to operate, but just a bad sensor for an add-on option system that you aren't using.

True Story of something that happened to a farmer

The lock on the door broke somehow? Congrats, that is a software based system, even if you replace the cheap ass lock, that tractor will not move until a John Deere authorized repair center enters their secret code to clear the alarm on the system related to the door lock. Have to pay thousands of dollars to have the machine picked up and delivered to have a special password entered in to clear the error.  That money is just the money spent getting the tractor to and from your farm and the John Deere Repair center.  Not the hours you have to spend finding a company capable of picking said tractor up and delivering it back and forth.  Or the time you lost dead in the water as you can't work your fields as the truck driver is dispatched from God knows where to pick up your tractor and drive it back and forth.

Also a true story from a farmer

But "They have remote access to all the tractors, why can't they just remotely clear the codes?", you might ask.

Good question.

Because John Deere wants more money.  They've found ways to monetize the product from soup to nuts.

All John Deere authorized repair centers are now corporate owned and they're going to squeeze every farking penny out of you that they can.

It used to be that you bought the tractor and you got your ROI on using the machine and then selling it.  Well guess what.  You don't own the farking machine anymore.  You can't sell it.  So unless you make your money back on crops by using it, you're farked.  Because as I mentioned before, you can't resell it because it is not yours, the couple thousand pounds of metal is yours, but it won't operate unless you buy a license.  Resale value is now shit.  You just own a license to use it.  You can sell the the machine as a paperweight for not 1/100000th of its value, and then then the purchaser can then pay for the license to use it.

It gets even worse than that.  Combine the fact that they're always online and that they've found ways to monetize every aspect of it and now you're in Evil Corp territory.  You YOURSELF is now the product like social media companies do it. John Deere uses that satellite unlink to collect shit tons of data and then sell that.

"Whatever" you might say, "Maybe they're just able to offset the cost off the machine and if thy didn't do that it would be more expensive.

Fuck no.

It's pure profit motive, and it's even more nefarious than you think.  The machine isn't collecting data just on you, but your farmland.  It tests the soil and all sorts of other data points that is required information for you to know to properly tend your farm, doesn't give you access to it, and then sells that data to the your local fertilizer companies so they can show up to your door and sell you what you need.

So you buy the machine, it has software built-in that you don't have access to, even though you bought it, and then sells that too.

For the people wondering why they should care.  Entire industries are watching this and seeing the money signs..... and this will effect everything you "own."  I put own in quotes because you will no longer own it.

This is already trickling down to consumers.  Know how you have to go to an apple authorized repair center to fix anything fixed?  Put a new hard drive in your apple computer?  Just kidding you can't, you can't even buy it to do it on your own..  Even though it is the exact same part you can easily put in any other computer with literally 2 cables, so easy a child could do it, they have put "security" chips into the hard drive/ssd and the computer won't operate until that chip is tied to the machine itself.  Which you can't do, only an apple genius can do.  So a standard drive that you can buy online and is so easy to put in a child can do it costs triple the amount just to purchase (directly from apple only) because they put a 10 cent chip in it.

You're not even done yet!  You have to have the apple 'genius' then authorize that drive to work for a couple hundred extra dollars.  They claim it's for security.  So someone can't steal your drive and pull the data off of it.  But that's bullshit! They have encryption that are almost impossible to break unless they have years on their hands to hash out that completely.  Also, if that physical chip either dies in your computer or on your drive.  You're now fucked because data is lost forever as the chip is the is the only one with that unique key and if it's dead (which has happened).

Oh, but Apple will be happy to attempt to recover the data for thousands upon thousands of dollars.  But you have to have them do it.

It's not about security, it's about the $$ and locking you into their ecosystem so you have to use them for everything from product purchasing to repair.

So this John Deere thing is already effecting everyday users because other companies are already using the same business model and it's only a matter of time before it comes to all your electronic products.

Everyone uses right to repair and you don't even know it.  You should care.  Right to repair has been alive and well in most industries and is just so normalized that you don't even realize how farked you'll be if this isn't taken care of now.

This is a major thing EVERYONE should care about.

Need oil in your car and take it down to a privately owned Jiffy Lube down the street?  That's right to repair.  Will be gone.  Will have to take it to authorized dealers only for an oil change and they can charge you whatever the fark they want because every other car manufacturer will be doing it and they can set whatever price they want.  Hello $500 oil changes, where nothing has actually changed about the process that cost you $50 before outside of the authorized person unblinking your car by putting in a special code.

What are you going to do?  Not own a car?  All the car manufacturers can and will be doing it, so you don't have a choice.

You are somewhat handy and can down to the local Autozone and pick up parts for your car so you can do easy repairs?  Right to repair.  You won't even be able buy the parts because they'll all be "proprietary" so you won't even be able to decide if you want factory authorized part or the 3rd party cheaper part.

Shit, you won't even be able to find a repair manual if you even wanted to... trade secrets, drm protected.  (Already happening in apple products)

That push mower you have needs a new spark plug?  Even the most un-handy person can do that.  Guess what?  It's got a little chip in it and even if you can find the the right sized spark plug, unless you bought it directly from them (which they won't do because they want that sweet sweet money from forcing you to bring it in and charge fees for the person doing the repair) it won't work.

Need to swap a blade on lawnmower which is literally just a hex bolt?  Blades now have a security chip and machine won't run unless its sold by and installed by authorized center...  Can't do it as it will be bricked unless you take it to authorized dealer.

The light bulb in your fridge is out?  Well that's a software piece because it integrates into the the electrical system and you can't unscrew a light bulb without bricking the fridge, so you have to pay the manufacturer to send out a tech for a couple hundred bucks to unscrew and replace a $4 light bulb.

"But what about the the non-electrical system, I can still repair that right?"

Stupid question, see the door lock on the John Deere above.  They throw a sensor on it, it is now part of the electrical system and is a software based product, proprietary, and DRM protected.  You have to pay someone to come out and replace it for hundreds of dollars for something that would only cost you a couple of dollars.

You like being able to buy used cars or even sell your older car so you can buy a new one?

Well fuck you.  Just like the John Deere, it is a software product, you are only paying for a license to use it, so that car is now worth only the metal inside of it because the new owner won't be able to drive it until they pay the licensing cost on it.  So you have no way to get any money back on that investment.  Because you don't own the license and can't resell the license.

"Car trade-ins so you can get some money off your new car purchase? "

Fuck you!  The entire used car industry is now dead along with parts stores, independent repair shops for everything from home appliances to tractors.

The money is now in the licensing cost, because without a license, not the product itself, and if you can only get that license from the manufacturer, they're not going to give any of that to the sales lot.  They have no interest in a car sized paper weight that they can't make any money on.

The car manufacturers will have you by the nuts.  They're not going to reduce the cost of the vehicles, if anything, costs are just going to go up.  They're putting sensors on everything, so they're going to just increase the cost.  They'll sell it as a feature because it is now a smart car and easier to make sure your car is proper working order.

So more $$.

So you're going to be paying more for something you don't actually own, that will have no resale value as you cannot resell it as a working product.  Your microwave, oven, dishwasher, fridge, washer and dryer, cell phone, cars -- YOU OWN NOTHING.

This will kill entire industries.  From privately locally owned repair centers to parts sores to places that resell old equipment..  You're going to be paying more for items that you don't own and you used to be able to offset the cost of a new one by selling your older used version, but you won't be able to.

For anyone who thinks: "Why should I care about this, it doesn't affect me."

You're wrong.  This is huge.  This will effect you.  It already is, you just don't realize it.  It hasn't fully reached the big ticket items.  Like car dealers, they're waiting on official word that they can start fucking customers.  The John Deere cases are still weaving their way through the courts and once it is finally settled, it will be the norm... GM has already entered the frayOther car manufacturers already have plans to do it.

Hello all car sales models.being the same as Tesla.  Company owned sales lots.  Only place you can get them repaired is there.  Need a new windshield?  Need to get it from and installed by tesla only, at 4 times the cost of a normal windshield cost because it has a tiny little chip in it that authorizes it as an authentic piece of equipment so the car will work.  Who cares if it takes 3+ months before they actually get the parts in to actually repair it?  What are you going to do? Walk everywhere?

It will be killing tons of industries from 3rd party parts manufacturers, the stores that sell those parts, to the people that install said parts on your behalf at a cheaper cost than the manufacturer.

Any electronic item you will no longer own.  They will cost more.  They will cost more to repair and you will get nothing on the ROI.

I cannot stress this enough, this will, and already is filtering down to everything you own.  You should care.  You should care a lot.

This will be creating monopolies that will be unbreakable, and there's nothing you can do about it because you're only paying for license to use the product but you will be on the hook for everything else like you actually bought the product.  You own the physical product itself, and they only give you the right to use that product completely on their whim.  You do something to it they don't like? You now just own a non-working version of it because you broke the EULA and they owe you nothing.  Even though you weren't able to use it for it's lifetime, you broke the EULA you agreed to.  You can't use the product anymore and you have no recourse.  Put tires on the car that don't come from the manufacturer the day after you bought it? They can take your software license and you have a brand new car priced paper weight and you can't get your money back.

From windshield wipers on your car to getting an oil change, to a new tire.  The only places you'll be able to get them is directly from the manufacturer at way more of a cost and you won't even be able to do it yourself.

This needs to be fought tooth and nail and it needs to be won.  This will kill industries and kill innovation.

Seriously, you should be writing your congressmen/women today, tomorrow, ad infinitum until this is crushed.

John Deere is just the compamy leading the way, monetizing everything and keeping you from utilizing your own products that you paid for the way you want.  Other companies are already starting to use that business model.  They keep winning these lawsuits and all the other industries are waiting in the wings/already doing it (apple) to just follow suit and do what they're doing.

And what they're doing is monetizing everything from the product, to the repair, to the data they collect on you to absolutely no benefit to the consumer, because the consumer is now the product.  They're triple/quadruple dipping at zero, none, zilch, benefit to the end user.  You're paying more, they're making a lot more, and you have even less access to use the product the way you want.

This isn't a safety issue.

This isn't a security issue.

This is pure profit motivation and they've found a way to make more money on the product itself and then keep making money on it by owning everything from regular maintenance to upgrades.  You are now paying fill price for the product and basically a monthly recurring fee to keep using it.

The model used to be one or the other.  But now they've combined it and over the lifetime of the product you're paying double or triple the sticker price just so you can use it.  And there's is absolutely nothing you can do about it because you can't sell it and you can't go to a competitor because they're doing the exact same fucking thing.

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