As we secure the internet of things, we are inadvertently locking out fixers and tinkerers. New protection measures interact in an unfortunate way with section 1201 of the US Copyright Act, which makes it illegal to ‘circumvent’ locks put on products by the manufacturer without permission. It shifts control of our products from us, the owners, to the original makers of the equipment. This law has been a significant contributor to the steady erosion of ownership rights.
In response, right to repair advocates are working to pass legislation to reopen our hardware, and are seeking structural changes to copyright law in cooperation with EFF and Consumer's Union. Join us for a technical discussion of where we're at, why we have to jailbreak refrigerators to fix them, and a hope for a tinkerable future.
Dr. Ken Tindell is the co-founder and CTO of Canis Automotive Labs. His doctorate is in real-time scheduling from the University of York where he developed Deadline Monotonic Analysis for CAN bus. He co-founded the automotive real-time OS company LiveDevices (later acquired by Bosch) and co-founded Volcano Communications Technology, a joint-venture with Volvo and Motorola and one of the pioneers of the LIN protocol (later acquired by Mentor Graphics).