General Motors and tractor manufacturer John Deere have presented a report surrounding the new American Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), proposing to give consumers a car license instead of actual car ownership.
The proposal entails that when someone buys a car, he or she will not own the car, but receive a manufacturer license to use the car. If the proposal is accepted, it would be a historical shift in the idea of car ownership.
The two manufacturers feel they have the right to demand this type of digital ownership, as cars are now filled to the brim with digital gadgets. Safety can no longer be assured if consumers can freely tinker with the car's computer technology, the companies say. With the use of this digital copyright, they wish to avoid tampering with the technology.
License revoke possible
If the proposal gets accepted, manufacturers will get to decide what users can and cannot do with their car, and anyone breaking the rules could even lose their car. Independent mechanics could suffer as well from this possible new legislation, as they can be considered to be an offender, especially if they have not been given manufacturer permission to work on the cars.
Video games already have this type of digital copyright in the United States, giving developers and publishers the freedom to only sell a license, which can then be revoked when needed. However, European law prohibits this type of arrangement.