John Deere, makers of farm machinery and vehicles, applies copyright law to make it illegal to repair your own equipment. After years of debate, anger and hacking, the company now promises to allow users to do so without voiding warranties or facing the prospect of legal action.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Deere & Co. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday. "It addresses a long-running issue for farmers and ranchers when it comes to accessing tools, information and resources, while protecting John Deere's intellectual property rights and ensuring equipment safety," AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. Under the agreement, equipment owners and independent technicians will not be allowed to "divulge trade secrets" or "override safety features or emissions controls or to adjust Agricultural Equipment power levels."