In 2011, the Canadian Conservative government rammed through Bill C-11, Canada's answer to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in which the property rights of Canadians were gutted in order to ensure that corporations could use DRM to control how they used their property -- like its US cousin, the Canadian law banned breaking DRM, even for legitimate purposes, like effecting repairs or using third party parts.
So it's no surprise that all the bad stuff that Americans are having to deal with is also turning up in Canada.
Case in point: in America, desperate farmers are downloading illegal Ukrainian firmware hacks that deke out John Deere's software, which tries to stop you from fixing your own tractor.
In Canada, farmers are doing the same, with the same furtive shame, because Canada's idiotic DRM law says that they must not break John Deere's DRM, even at the cost of letting their crops rot in their fields.
F: Well, pretty much every farmer runs into the same problem. The big problem is logistics. What they've basically done is try to create a new revenue stream for their service departments without thinking about the logistics of trying to support a huge number of farmers that are geographically spread out with limited dealer resources. When you phone your dealer and they say, "Well, we can be there the next day." I mean, in a 12-hour day a modern combine will take off $50,000 or $60,000 of grain. So, I mean, that's revenue that might be sitting under the snow because the dealer couldn't come out to spend 10 minutes with a laptop to unlock a new part.
Saskatchewan farmer hacks his 'smart' tractor to avoid costly dealer fees
[As It Happens/CBC]
In their National Bureau of Economic Research working paper From Revolving Doors to Regulatory Capture? Evidence from Patent Examiners (Sci-Hub Mirror), Business School profs Haris Tabakovic (Harvard) and Thomas Wollmann (Chicago) show that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents for companies that they subequently go to work for; they also go easier on […]
As I wrote last week, the California Farm Bureau (which lobbies for the state's farmers) struck a deal to gut the state's Right to Repair legislation, a move that will cost farmers their right to fix their own tractors and other heavy equipment.
Last week's catastrophic EU vote to censor and surveil the whole internet to catch copyright infringers isn't a local affair; the same corporations who were willing to sacrifice the internet to eke out a few percentage point gains in licensing revenue are busily at work in Canada, where a rewrite of copyright laws is underway.
Gone are the days when you needed to pore over a 400-page physics textbook to learn about weight ratios, aerodynamics, and all of those other STEM concepts that let us take to the skies. Thanks to Force Flyers’ DIY Building Block Drones, you can foster your STEM knowledge as you build and fly your own functional […]
As more companies leverage cloud technology to unite and streamline their operations, the need for capable IT pros increases. But, as any IT guru will tell you, demand alone won’t get your foot in the door to this lucrative field. If you want to cash in on the demand and build a thriving IT career, […]
iOS 12 is finally here, which means now is the best time for aspiring developers to throw their hats into the app development game. While app development can be tricky for some, you can take an intuitive, beginner-friendly approach to understanding app creation and Apple’s latest iOS platform with the iOS 12 & Xcode 10 Bootcamp, […]