A crucial e in 1993 when the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals ruled in MAI Systems Corp

A crucial e in 1993 when the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals ruled in MAI Systems Corp v. Peak Computer Inc. that the local, impermanent copy of an operating system that is loaded into a computer’s RAM upon its booting up – a necessary component of a computer’s operation – is, by virtue of making a copy of intellectual property (the operating system), subject to copyright law. This “deeply stupid ruling,” Fairfield tells Vox, laid a trap, making the use of any software (broadly meaning nearly anything used on a computer system) a copyright violation unless the user followed rules set unilaterally by the manufacturer and/or seller. “That was the case that handed the keys to the kingdom to these companies,” Fairfield says. These legal principles have carried over to the so-called Internet of Things, in which tangible objects are embedded with copyrighted software (a.k.a. smart devices, like smart refrigerators and televisions and cars). As discovered by those John Deere customers, even wholly purchased real-world objects are subject to user agreements imposed by the seller. ” In Fairfield’s writing, four rights of traditional ownership are lost in this shift to a license-based system. Another loss is the “right to run,” or to use our purchased products however we would like, as illustrated by Apple regulating which applications iPhone users can install or Nintendo blocking the use of Wii U consoles unless users agreed to a new end-user license agreement. (This also applies to manufacturers requiring software updates to continue running, essentially enabling them to force consumers’ personal possessions to change under their noses.) One is a “right to ban,” or to exclude others from your property, as Kindle owners could not keep Amazon from removing their copies of 1984, nor could We-Vibe sex toy owners block the company from tracking data about their toys’ usage There is also the “right to hack,” which includes the right to repair, as demonstrated in the John Deere tractor imbroglio. […]