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Farmers Turn Criminal Jailbreaking Tractors

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by Alton, Apr 11, 2017.



  1. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Yep! Farmer Bill is now a criminal because he jailbroke his John Deere to get the harvest in!

    More on the desperate farmers jailbreaking their tractors' DRM to bring in the harvest / Boing Boing

    John Deere says that farmers don't really own their tractors -- even the ones they buy used! -- because the copyrighted software necessary to run those tractors is licensed, not sold.

    They say that the fine-print on the license agreement, combined with the ban on breaking software locks in Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, means that farmers who reconfigure their tractors to recognize new parts without having them activated by technicians who charge hundreds of dollars, and take days, to travel to their farms and type in a password.

    Which is why John Deere tractor owners are downloading DRM-breaking tools from Ukraine, a practice that's taken hold in Canada (where the old Conservative government rammed through Bill C-11, which mirrors the US DMCA and gives the same abusive powers to businesses as they enjoy in the US). The alternative isn't just forking over hundreds of wasted dollars to John Deere for the privilege of using their own goddamned tractors: it's the ability to harvest a crop when it is ripe, and not days later, when John Deere grudgingly permits you to do so.

    Right to Repair bills are pending now in eight states, which would force companies like Deere to provide independent service centers -- and their customers -- with the tools to fix their devices and gadgets.

    Modern tractors, essentially, have two keys to make the engine work. One key starts the engine. But because today's tractors are high-tech machines that can steer themselves by GPS, you also need a software key — to fix the programs that make a tractor run properly. And farmers don't get that key.

    "You're paying for the metal but the electronic parts technically you don't own it. They do," says Kyle Schwarting, who plants and harvests fields in southeast Nebraska.

    He previously ran auto shops fixing cars and trucks. So when he started farming, he thought he'd be a natural to do the mechanical work himself.

    Even a used combine like his Deere S670 can cost $200,000 or $300,000. As he lifts the side panel on this giant green harvester, he explains that the engine is basically off limits.

    "Maybe a gasket or something you can fix, but everything else is computer controlled and so if it breaks down I'm really in a bad spot," Schwarting says. He has to call the dealer.

    Only dealerships have the software to make those parts work, and it costs hundreds of dollars just to get a service call. Schwarting worries about being broken down in a field, waiting for a dealer to show up with a software key. If he had that key, he could likely fix the machine himself.

    Farmers Look For Ways To Circumvent Tractor Software Locks [Grant Gerlock/NPR]
     
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  2. spinalcracker

    spinalcracker On a mail train. Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    John Deere , making crooks out of honest farmers , priceless.

    image.jpg
     
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  3. the_shootist

    the_shootist I self identify as a black '69 Camaro Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Anything electronic can be hacked. Good for those farmers. I applaud them!!!
     
  4. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Same thing with GMO seeds. They are one use only, but some cowboys use the seeds from the crop in violation.
     
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  5. the_shootist

    the_shootist I self identify as a black '69 Camaro Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Eventually you squeeze people too hard and they find a way around you.
     
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  6. GOLDBRIX

    GOLDBRIX God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh Site Supporter Platinum Bling

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    The GMO gimmick is the seed from the previous crop the yield becomes less.
     
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  7. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Not allowed to use the seed by contract.
     
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  8. the_shootist

    the_shootist I self identify as a black '69 Camaro Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Contracts can be broken, stay tuned
     
  9. GOLDZILLA

    GOLDZILLA Harvurd Koleej Jeenyus Midas Member

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    Monscam-toe has seed cops who sneak out into fields and test the dna to see which year the seed comes from because they make changes in the dna each year just to prove that farmers replanted and then they sue them and win...

    They even have suckcessfully sued neighboring farmers who do not use their seed, but the wind blew their pollen into his field so he is once again sued and somehow they win.
     
  10. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    That's the really f'ed up part. That Monsanto can essentially release their genetics to the wind and then sue anyone whose crop inadvertently becomes pollinated by it.
     
  11. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    It's not as if they don't make enough profit from the sale of the tractor, but the have to bleed farmers too?
     
  12. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    According to the Report of the House of Representatives which accompanied the law (House Report No. 93-1197, 93d Cong 2d Sess.) the Magnuson–Moss act was enacted by Congress in response to the widespread misuse by merchants of express warranties and disclaimers. The legislative history indicates that the purpose of the Act is to make warranties on consumer products more readily understood and enforceable and to provide the Federal Trade Commission with means to better protect consumers.[1]

    The Act was sponsored by Senator Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and U.S. Representative John E. Moss of California, both Democrats, as well as Senator Frank Moss of Utah, who co-sponsored it with Magnuson.

    The statute is remedial in nature and is intended to protect consumers from deceptive warranty practices. Consumer products are not required to have warranties, but if one is given, it must comply with the Magnuson–Moss Act.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson–Moss_Warranty_Act
     
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  13. MIavatar

    MIavatar Seeker

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    They used to use these things to bypass the ECU's for the street racing crowd. Not sure if they work on tractors. Yet I don't see why not?
    http://megasquirt.info/products/diy-kits/ms3/
     
  14. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    As far as John Deere goes, how they run their business from sales to service is their business. Their business model projects certain levels of sales coupled with forced service. The reality is, if they don't get $x from sales and service then they have to raise prices on sales just to get the same $x. You can't win unless you wholly decide to boycot buying JD and get a couple Belgian horses.
     
  15. Zed

    Zed Size doesn't count! Midas Member

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    The law needs to catch up with technology, consumer rights need some definition here. It would be dead easy to get these things throwing random codes that need attention every so often without anything serious being wrong. My old Subaru throws cat below threshold codes at the drop of a hat... I hacked the thing so it can't complain anymore... guess I am a crim!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  16. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    That's what they'd like ya to think. What they're doing is trying to increase revenue off forced service. JD has always offered service on their equipment. They'd be there for the heavy repairs while the farmer took care of all the smaller issues along with basic PM. Now JD wants to force 'em to let them do it all. Which results in the backlog on repairs while the crops rot in the fields.

    The answer is to build the tractor with the diagnostic code box built in and provide info as to what the codes mean. Same as they used to provide all the specs on all their equipment. The computer is just another part of the equipment.
     
  17. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    As I said, their company, their business model. If you don't like it, buy elsewhere.

    Now throw this in. Most farmers in my neck of the woods don't buy equipment anymore. They rent/lease it for the season. If you didn't buy it, it can see JD not wanting you working on "their" equipment.
     
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  18. mtnman

    mtnman Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    In that case, you should be able to sue for damages when crops are rotting and JD is too busy to fix your machine.
     
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