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Autos and Digital Rights Management (DRM)


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#1 desmo

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 20:59

The new electric Renault Zoe apparently will prevent the car owner from charging the battery (which can only be rented) if the owner falls behind on payments.

 If this is OK why aren't all cars disabled under similar conditions?  Late with a payment, the car won't start. Maybe the contract says you can only rent the OS for the cars' ECUs, never own it. Should be legal, right?

 

Link in German (sorry):   http://www.spiegel.d...n-a-930066.html

 

<edit> English: http://www.techdirt....-drm-cars.shtml



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#2 Greg Locock

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 22:38

Hopefully customers will vote with their wallets



#3 Canuck

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 02:24

I have no faith in customers. On the whole, people choose complacency and comfort over confrontation unless they're behind the wheel.


#4 desmo

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:31

I just like the fact that if you are late with a payment the financer of the car loan will be able to disable your car remotely anywhere it is with a simple keystroke. Or even if they just think you are. The insurer should probably have the same perms too, in case you like to speed. Ex-spouses maybe also, late with a support check, bam, no more Lexus for you! The possibilities are nearly endless.



#5 gruntguru

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:03

It is because Renault owns all the batterys. The shutdown is an easy way for them to ensure compliance with the battery rental agreement.


Edited by gruntguru, 16 November 2013 - 08:50.


#6 Canuck

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:45

There are lots of means to ensure "easy compliance". As a society, we tend to a avoid using them as we find them unacceptable. Desmo is absolutely right - why stop there? What about lease payments on ordinary vehicles? Car loans? SolidWorks software is an interesting twist. Your license doesn't (typically) expire but woe be you if you fall behind your annual "optional" maintenance agreement. Each year there is a new iteration of the platform and it is fully backwards compatible but if you open your 2012 edition model with 2013 edition software, and do nothing but save it, you can no longer access it with 2012 software. Previous year's software can't open current software models. We had a CAM vendor that tried to ding us $20,000 to replace our destroyed USB hardware key. We declined as the competition who's software we were familiar with would have us up to speed for less. The price magically dropped from $20k to <$200.

#7 Greg Locock

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 01:09

Secondhand cars in the USA can be fitted with either tracking beacons or immobilisers which are remotely activated by the finance company if the 'owner' defaults.



#8 BRG

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 16:06

It may be old school and analogue, not tomorrowy and digital, but haven't finance companies always been ready and able to snatch back a car if the payments aren't kept up?

 

#nothingnewunderthe sun



#9 indigoid

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 18:13

We had a CAM vendor that tried to ding us $20,000 to replace our destroyed USB hardware key. We declined as the competition who's software we were familiar with would have us up to speed for less. The price magically dropped from $20k to <$200.

 

This shit really ticks me off.

 

I know people love to hate on Oracle, but I do mostly like how they license their products. Unlimited free usage for testing purposes (this is really important!), no license keys or hardware dongles ever, and the looming spectre of well-funded legal teams if you don't do the right thing. Most things are per-CPU licensed, which can get a little murky in some environments but mostly works just fine.