DRM in Cars Will Drive Consumers Crazy

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HIGGINS P., DRM in Cars Will Dtrive ConsumersCrazy, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 13.11.2013

Type Article
Link https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/drm-cars-will-drive-consumers-crazy
Topics Business Model, Consumer, Property, Technology, DRM


"[T]he new Renault Zoe comes with a "feature" that absolutely nobody wants. Instead of selling consumers a complete car that they can use, repair, and upgrade as they see fit, Renault has opted to lock purchasers into a rental contract with a battery manufacturer and enforce that contract with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging at all."

"[A]s software becomes a part of more and more everyday devices, DRM and the legal restrictions on circumventing it will create hurdles to standard repairs and even operation."

"The problem extends beyond inconvenience. In plenty of cases, DRM has led to users losing altogether the ability to watch, listen to, read, or play media that can't be "authenticated." Video games with online components now routinely reach an end-of-life period where the company providing the authentication decides it's no longer worth it to operate the servers. That raises the frightening possibility of a company like Renault deciding that it's not cost-effective anymore to verify new batteries—and leaving car owners high and dry."

"As our friends at iFixit say, if you can't fix it, you don't own it. "

"As EFF Fellow and former staff member Cory Doctorow has noted, computers are increasingly devices that we depend on for our own health and safety. It's critically important, then, that consumers actually own our stuff."