Three States Propose DMCA-Countering 'Right To Repair' Laws

Automakers are using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to shut down tools used by car mechanics — but three states are trying to stop them.

An anonymous reader quotes IFixIt.Org:

in 2014, Ford sued Autel for making a tool that diagnoses car trouble and tells you what part fixes it. Autel decrypted a list of Ford car parts, which wound up in their diagnostic tool. Ford claimed that the parts list was protected under copyright (even though data isn’t creative work) — and cracking the encryption violated the DMCA. The case is still making its way through the courts. But this much is clear: Ford didn’t like Autel’s competing tool, and they don’t mind wielding the DMCA to shut the company down…

Thankfully, voters are stepping up to protect American jobs. Just last week, at the behest of constituents, three states — Nebraska, Minnesota, and New York — introduced Right to Repair legislation (more states will follow). These ‘Fair Repair’ laws would require manufacturers to provide service information and sell repair parts to owners and independent repair shops.

Activist groups like the EFF and Repair.org want to “ensure that repair people aren’t marked as criminals under the DMCA,” according to the site, arguing that we’re heading towards a future with many more gadgets to fix. “But we’ll have to fix copyright law first.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.