General Motors and John Deere Declare Intellectual Protections


100% Tier-1 Gogent
Good read over here:

TL;DR - General Motors and John Deere are out seeking to protect gearheads and mechanics from working on their vehicles.  Deeming them dangerous and all that sort of nonsense.

This is where we are headed folks.  You pay royally from both ends for the garbage these clown factories push out, then they want you to rob yourself for every nickel and dime for every repair and upgrade forever.  All while they embed more spyware, more unnecessary crap and drive the prices up higher and higher.


Top Thrill
Verified Provider
Seems to deal with the software aspects of the vehicle including but not limited to the infotainment system (car radio) and black boxes.

I could care less about someone's radio being redone, I think the main concern is of course the black box being wiped or bypassed and possibly even something critical such as an instrument cluster (some are digital).


XFuse Solutions, LLC
Verified Provider
My take on it is I can see it from both sides. Myself, I have a 1979 Chevrolet Camaro z28 and it is highly modified. Almost not street legal due to a few things. Lets put it like this... When I worked at a Nissan dealership and had to deal with computer issues and modified cars, the number one issue was those modifications changing settings that shouldn't be set. Example, on a 2009 Nissan 350z that a customer installed a "chip" and a programmer of some sort (can't remember what it actually was), the ABS was turned off and the light was turned off as well. This caused the guys brakes to lock up very easily. Another issue he had was that the two crank/cam positioning sensors would read the wrong variables and cause the car to burn more fuel than it was supposed to which initially didn't matter, but over the course of a few thousand miles the car started having a bad smell of gas in the oil. Obviously if you know anything about cars, if fuel is left in the cylinders it can wash past your rings causing lower compression at times and leaving the fuel inside your oil. That isn't good for the purpose of motor oil. Either way, if they can stop you from modifying the computer unless done properly by a dealership, they can reduce the amount of crap they have to deal with. The guy with the 350z, he tried to make it a warranty claim. Except the fact that his computer showed us that it was flashed and which settings were changed and when they were changed.

The main issue I have from the side of the car owner is that why do I pay a premium for this vehicle and own it if I can't modify it? I can understand the computer, that is why I have a 79. No computer. :) But what about exhaust? What if a legitimate speed shop took my 2013 Camaro SS and slapped a larger supercharger, cams, headers, custom tune and a borla exhaust system on it? Why could that be considered illegal? lol Obviously I wouldn't touch the computer myself as I know that I wouldn't want to have to pay for a new one or for the techs to flash the correct software.


Active Member
+1^: You should be able to modify it, but it should be perfectly clear that if you do you void the warranty.  Same as with phone sw.


Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
To be honest, they're not far wrong.

The 'work' some people do to cars while calling themselves 'mechanics' is really quite scary.


100% Tier-1 Gogent
The work some people do on [their house] [their diet] [their teeth] etc. is really quite scary. Oh wait, people are just scary :)

If this was about GovernmentMotors and Juan Deere doing right big picture I would be alright with that.  Seems heavy and overbearing though the whole intention at play here.  Sure they get warranty abuse issues.  They get them when the wife drives the vehicle empty on oil just the same.  Abuse is abuse.

Inevitably the IP protection racket gets into slop extortion like we saw and continue to with printer companies charging more for lowly ink than illicit substances cost or find liquor.

Needless to say I haven't bought a GM product in decades and when it comes time to buy a tractor Juan Deere isn't on my shopping list.  Then again, they were demoted for the crap I've seen them sell my neighbors last few years.  Looks nice but unreliable as Yugo.


Dormant VPSB Pathogen
Last week's news, but the government told GM and John Deere to go EFF (pun intended) themselves last week:

The ruling on DMCA section 1201 reaffirmed, and in some cases expanded, fair use rights for:

Car Security Research, Repair, and Modifications: "The Librarian recognized the need for vehicle owners to circumvent access restrictions in order to repair, modify, and tinker. The exemption removes the uncertainty of whether 1201 liability would attach to a range of activities that have been clearly lawful throughout most of the hundred-year history of automotive tinkering, but were called into question as an unintended consequence of copyright law."
Jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and other portable computing devices to run third party software

Ripping DVDs and Blu-ray video that you own in order to create fair use remixes and analysis

Preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them
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