Two articles recently crossed my desk:
- Content in lockdown — Tom Yager, InfoWorld.com
I’m increasingly aghast at the erosion of the traditional freedom we’ve enjoyed to do whatever we please with our personal computers — but intrigued by the science behind it.
- Your Right to Repair — CAA Driver’s Seat
Imagine taking your vehicle to your long-time independent service provider only to be told he can’t fix your car. You have to take it to a dealership because he can’t access the repair information.
Both from completely different fields, yet both dealing with the same issue; your right to access the information on the hardware you’ve purchased. This is not a new issue, but these two articles, from different perspectives, seem to intersect at the same issue; your right to do what you want, with stuff you’ve bought.
At first glance, this doesn’t even seem to be an issue at all. You paid for the technology, you should be able to do whatever you want with the technology. To make a simple analogy, you buy the pie, you eat the pie, or share the pie, or throw it out.
Ah, yes, but the hardware developers would have you believe that the issue is really not that simple, with reasons like these:
- Yes, paid money and have the hardware in your possession, but what you really bought was a piece of paper with lots of legal text giving you the right to actually USE the hardware. And no, once you’ve used the hardware, you’ve implicitly agreed to abide by the terms of the licence… which clearly state that you can only have the hardware serviced at a licensed service centre.
- The technology in our hardware is super-secret. Only skilled, trained and licenced technicians really know how to fix our technology. Anyone else is just tinkering with your investment…and may actually break it!
- We’ve invested significant research and development dollars in creating your technology. If we allowed anyone to access it, why, they could easily copy it, or even make it better and compete with us.
- You’re a thief. You only want to use our technology to copy the content that our technology presents. You want to take dollars away from our licenced service centres, our partners, and give it to other pirates. To keep you from copying our content, we’re not going to let you access it, unless you can prove that you’ve paid a special fee to access it.
The list goes on, but you see the point. Hardware developers have invested a significant amount of money in product development. Society has allowed them to put in place legal mechanisms that keep you from fixing your own car, copying your own video, or making your computer work better.
Personally, I’m on the side of openness…freeing up the systems and hardware to the benefit of all. But (cue the poll) what do you think?
Technorati Tags: Open Source, Licence, License, Authorisation, Piracy, Copy, Content