ISRI was recently invited by the American Farm Bureau Federation to talk about issues surrounding the right to repair. The Bureau’s Technology Advisory Committee is wrestling with the appropriate policy to address growing concerns that farmers are impeded from repairing their tractors due to lacking access to necessary diagnostic software and repair information.
To date, tractor manufacturers, like John Deere, have expressed concerns about giving such access to farmers. The John Deere representatives raised a number of issues such as concerns for safety, emissions, and shifting liability. ISRI and a Public Knowledge representative acknowledged these as legitimate issues but suggested such concerns are unrelated to copyright access and infringement. Consistent with ISRI’s recent Right to Reuse policy, ISRI stated that for recyclers, a key issue was preserving the opportunity and right to repair equipment that they rightfully owned. In a similar fashion, farmers should not have their rights and use limited. Similar to recyclers, farmers are very self-reliant, often decisions are driven by financial necessity and still believe that ownership should be a choice preserved by the customer. Farmers want the choice to invest in technology and training necessary to fix and repair tractors they own. In order to make such repairs, recyclers and farmers alike need reasonable and affordable access to diagnostic software, repair manuals, and tools or the ability to make tools necessary to repair. The New York Farm Bureau recently supported Farm Repair legislation
. For more information about this meeting or ISRI’s Right to Reuse policy, please contact Eric Harris