Yesterday, Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) introduced the You Own Devices Act (YODA), a bill that prevents copyrights in embedded software from being used to restrict consumers’ resale and repair of their devices.
The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Public Knowledge:
“This bill takes a crucial step forward in an often-overlooked area of the law. People should be able to sell, lend, borrow and give away the things that they own without worrying that their transactions will be booby-trapped by copyrighted works embedded in their own devices.
“If you get a new iPhone and want to sell the old one, phone companies can use contractual restrictions on the old software to sue you for doing so. This bill makes it more difficult for that to happen by removing one of the tools phone companies use to control the sale of used devices.
“The underlying problem is that software is frequently saddled with restrictions that twist copyright law to cheat buyers out of the value of their purchases. This bill will prevent some of the most egregious abuses of this kind, and we hope it represents the first step in a longer journey towards fully protecting people’s rights over their own personal property.”
The text of the bill is available here.
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