The cars we drive are more computerized than ever before. Software is designed to run nearly every system in new car models, a luxury most owners enjoy. But the newly developed technologies are running into some legal issues, resulting in you not being able to repair your own car.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 was intended to fight against piracy. However, companies are now using this law to increase profits by stifling the competition. By using the DMCA, companies can prevent users from taking their computerized devices to competing companies for repair. Car makers are now considering using the same tactics.
Sam Tabar points out the ludicrous idea that the companies responsible for making cars are claiming they own the software that allows your car to operate, which means it would be illegal for anybody else to tinker with your car due to copyright infringement laws.
Even though most car companies are against the idea, General Motors has shown support for enforcing the copyright laws, arguing that it is a safety concern for consumers. The automaker explains “The proposed exemption presents a host of potential safety, security and regulatory concerns that proponents have not fully considered.”
If General Motors gets their way, you could no longer bring your car in to your local mechanic for repair. Instead, you would be legally obligated to bring it directly to the automaker.