As software eats the world, it's devouring the idea of private property

John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations ca...

Ah, the internet of things. Want a smart toaster? But then you won't be able to actually own "your" toaster, the manufacturer will always own it and you are only a renter. 

Want to take your toaster apart? That's a felony punishable by five years in prison and a $500,000 fine!

... since the gadgets you buy have software, and since that software is licensed, not sold, you don't really own any of that stuff. You are a licensee, and you have to use the gadget according to the license terms, which spell out where you have to buy your service, parts, consumables, apps, and so on.

As software eats the world, it's devouring the idea of private property...

The fact that the DMCA felonizes bypassing copyright locks, combined with the proliferation of copyrighted software in gadgets means that companies can turn their commercial preferences into private laws. Just design your gadget so that using is in any way apart from the official, proscribed way requires breaking a copyright lock. Now, anyone who violates your license terms is also committing a felony, punishable by five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

For a first offense.

What's more, security researchers who reveal defects in these gadgets face the same harsh punishment, and routinely self-censor, even when they find potentially life-threatening bugs in medical implants or cars.

... the specter of someone doing something illegal shouldn’t justify shutting down all the reasonable and legal modifications people can make to the things they paid for.

Corporations want to own all of "your" property and the copyright office seems inclined to help them. Will corporate persons soon own everything, and mere human persons become their chattel? Stay tuned to Trumpworld, and find out.

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