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GM Claims They Own Your Vehicle!!


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I find this somewhat disturbing, for many reasons.

 

http://consumerist.com/2015/05/20/gm-that-car-you-bought-were-really-the-ones-who-own-it/

 

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/05/20/general-motors-says-owns-your-car-software/

 

GM, if you're listening....back off. You don't own my truck any more then Bill Gates owns my PC!

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I find this somewhat disturbing, for many reasons.

 

http://consumerist.com/2015/05/20/gm-that-car-you-bought-were-really-the-ones-who-own-it/

 

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/05/20/general-motors-says-owns-your-car-software/

 

GM, if you're listening....back off. You don't own my truck any more then Bill Gates owns my PC!

 

GM owns the proprietary data used to produce your truck. There are many patents in your truck, some of which GM may not own but are licensed to use. You may not infringe on those patents. There are copyright protected things in your truck. You may not infringe on those either. Nothing new under the sun here. What will be new is a ruling on whether someone (usually making money to do it) can use GM based software and modify it to achieve something they want. I suspect GM will not prevail in preventing normal maintenance/diagnosis access to their software by businesses. But the modification (tuning) thing is a different issue. Especially, if someone is doing it for money. That may get quite a bit more contentious.

 

This is all about businesses doing things, not an individual doing things.

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Yea, but what struck me is GMs position that because the software/firmware is their intellectual property, and the vehicle won't work without it, their copyright extents to the entire vehicle. I would have to call bull on that. Owning something, and being licences to use it are two completely different things. We have been owning patented and copyright protected items forever. Every book you've ever read is copyright protected. But, you still own it. You can do whatever you want with it. Even tear the pages out and use them to get your campfire started (not recommended, but you could). So GM trying to claim because the developed the software, and copyrighted it, it is only licences for you use is utter nonsense. Something can be patented or copyright protected and still owned by someone else. Now, if GM wants to only provide licensing of the software instead of selling it, I can see that. Happens all the time in computer software. But, like is said above, just because I agree to the licencing agreement for my Windows OS doesn't not give Microsoft the right to extend it to the hardware. Yes, the hardware is useless without the software. But that is irrelevant.

 

And patents have nothing to do with it. Patent covers the IP that goes into the item, and grants exclusive commercial use of the IP to the patent holder. I still own the item lock, stock and barrel! Not the patent holder. No extension of rights there either. And don't forget, the whole intent of patents in the first place was to foster invention AND innovation. Invention by grant exclusive use of the IP to make invention commercially worthwhile to the inventor, but also to force full disclosure of the inventions IP to promote others to improve on it and innovate a new IP, mainly to get around the patent!

 

No, I maintain that GM is going too far here. I understand the desire to prevent tinkering with the software, especially since it could result in safety or warranty issues that GM could be held liable for. But instead of acting reasonably, like Ford did, GM is once again treated their customers like dog-dung. Corporate bullying, is all this is. (Ford solved this by simply having their systems permanently record if the software was tampered with. With that record, Ford can deny warranty, for example. I suspect they could also use it to defend themselves in the event of an incident where someone was claiming liability. Ford even mentioned this in the owners manual, so the owner is aware of the consequences of tampering. But, at least they are not making criminals out of their customers if the owners decides to tamper with it and basically go on their own. GM is trying to hold their customers ransom, and if you do decide to forgo GM warranty and liability, GM is saying they will hold you in violation of the licensing agreement and that would some kind of legal no-no. Thanks a lot, GM.

 

I guess it doesn't really matter, though. After all the trouble we're having with our 2015 Yukon Denali, I will never own another GM product as long as I live. I would rather ride a sick horse before I ever paid money for a General Motors product again! This legal bs they trying to pull just solidifies that sentiment even more.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GM is correct, their copyright DOES include the entire vehicle. You do own the truck, assuming it's paid for and you can do with it as you please, as long as that does not mean copying their product and trying to make a profit in doing so.

 

 

If you are that unhappy, buy from a different manufacturer that agrees it should be perfectly legal for you to purchase their product, make an exact copy to include any software installed, and produce it on your own for financial gain....Report back on how that works out for you.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GM is correct, their copyright DOES include the entire vehicle. You do own the truck, assuming it's paid for and you can do with it as you please, as long as that does not mean copying their product and trying to make a profit in doing so.

Actually, that's the whole problem...GM is saying you don't own the vehicle and you CAN'T "do with it as you please". They are saying you can't modify the vehicle. You can't even work on it. That's my problem with what they are attempting here. Ultimately this means you would be forced to have ALL work performed by an authorized GM dealer. How far would they take this? Not the point. The decision should be mine, not GM's. I have not interest in copying anything for profit. But if I want to install a lift kit in my pickup, I should be able to do so without GM telling me I can't. I understand anything I modify may have warranty impacts. I'm OK with that. I don't expect GM to cover me if I do something stupid and cause a problem. I just don't think they should have the right to actually prevent me from making that decision. It really comes down to the principle here, and rolling over and letting big corporations impose such limitations is fundamentally wrong. But if GM wins this, they will be able to dictate exactly what you can and can't do with the vehicle. Who services it. Who can repair it. Who can put tires on it. Even who you can buy your gas from, maybe. After all, your only licences to use it the way they say. You really want that? I don't. Enough big brother these days.

 

And don't worry, I certainly won't be buying from GM again. But if GM does this, then there is risk the other will follow. And that I don't want. And neither should you!

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GM is only making claims right now, and that holds no water. Not to mention one the the videos you linked rattled off a half dozen different manufacturers so it isn't just GM. Stop playing chicken little and claiming the sky is falling because it isn't.

 

Right to repair has already won in favor of the consumer in at least one case (this was more along the lines of granting access to diagnostic data for electrical subsystems.

 

DIY repair/modification of vehicles will never go away, period. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. The software claims with ECUs probably holds some legitimacy but the tuners will always find ways into the system.

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GM is only making claims right now, and that holds no water. Not to mention one the the videos you linked rattled off a half dozen different manufacturers so it isn't just GM. Stop playing chicken little and claiming the sky is falling because it isn't.

 

Right to repair has already won in favor of the consumer in at least one case (this was more along the lines of granting access to diagnostic data for electrical subsystems.

 

DIY repair/modification of vehicles will never go away, period. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. The software claims with ECUs probably holds some legitimacy but the tuners will always find ways into the system.

Enough money certain people might disappear if it started going one way or another.

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  • 4 weeks later...

You can't even work on it. That's my problem with what they are attempting here. Ultimately this means you would be forced to have ALL work performed by an authorized GM dealer. How far would they take this? Not the point. The decision should be mine, not GM's. I have not interest in copying anything for profit. But if I want to install a lift kit in my pickup, I should be able to do so without GM telling me I can't. I understand anything I modify may have warranty impacts. I'm OK with that. I don't expect GM to cover me if I do something stupid and cause a problem. I just don't think they should have the right to actually prevent me from making that decision. It really comes down to the principle here, and rolling over and letting big corporations impose such limitations is fundamentally wrong. But if GM wins this, they will be able to dictate exactly what you can and can't do with the vehicle. Who services it. Who can repair it. Who can put tires on it. Even who you can buy your gas from, maybe. After all, your only licences to use it the way they say. You really want that? I don't. Enough big brother these days.

 

And don't worry, I certainly won't be buying from GM again. But if GM does this, then there is risk the other will follow. And that I don't want. And neither should you!

 

 

Ya know, I have seen several threads across the various forums, I have read all the articles that news folks have put out about this, and I haven't seen anything that GM is saying anyone cannot work on their vehicles or will not be allowed to. All of this hoopla centers around the electronics and modifying the software. They don't give a rip if you lift or lower the ride. They could care less if you change your own brake rotors. They don't care if you rotate your tires. You want a cat back setup on your exhaust, then go for it. They could care less if you want to change your own oil, put in a K&N air filter, etc, etc, etc. The only folks that have any real concern are the folks who are involved, both the seller and buyer, of ECM tune modifying stuff.

 

Just like if one buys a PC, you can modify the memory amount, change to a different display, add a hard drive, and a hundred other things, but you are not allowed to change the operating system without risk of copyright violations. Just like Microsoft or Apple states, GM is stating the software is licensed to you to use... they own it. When you boot up a new PC and set it up, you have to enter the license code from the Windows operating system package. That is the license. When you boot up an Apple for the first time, you have to agree to the license stuff.

 

This is the clearest example of the public school inability to effectively teach reading comprehension. People see what they want to see when they read the articles, and didn't look at the words themselves. All of a sudden, modifying or compromising the ECM software all of a sudden becomes not allowing anyone to change a windshield wiper or change their own oil or add a lift kit. This whole thing has been fun to watch so many folks have such dramatic knee jerk reactions. This is how politicians do the goofy stuff they get by with... because the public is easy to manipulate with only a few choice words.

 

John Deere is also on record with GM on this, and how many folks actually believe that a farmer out on the farm in his own shop is not going to be allowed to do his own maintenance on his John Deere tractor? Only those that have an enlarged paranoia gland could dream up all this fear over working on their own car, pickup or tractor. This whole issue needs to be used as an example of media manipulation in a college class.

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Ya know, I have seen several threads across the various forums, I have read all the articles that news folks have put out about this, and I haven't seen anything that GM is saying anyone cannot work on their vehicles or will not be allowed to. All of this hoopla centers around the electronics and modifying the software. They don't give a rip if you lift or lower the ride. They could care less if you change your own brake rotors. They don't care if you rotate your tires. You want a cat back setup on your exhaust, then go for it. They could care less if you want to change your own oil, put in a K&N air filter, etc, etc, etc. The only folks that have any real concern are the folks who are involved, both the seller and buyer, of ECM tune modifying stuff.

 

Just like if one buys a PC, you can modify the memory amount, change to a different display, add a hard drive, and a hundred other things, but you are not allowed to change the operating system without risk of copyright violations. Just like Microsoft or Apple states, GM is stating the software is licensed to you to use... they own it. When you boot up a new PC and set it up, you have to enter the license code from the Windows operating system package. That is the license. When you boot up an Apple for the first time, you have to agree to the license stuff.

 

This is the clearest example of the public school inability to effectively teach reading comprehension. People see what they want to see when they read the articles, and didn't look at the words themselves. All of a sudden, modifying or compromising the ECM software all of a sudden becomes not allowing anyone to change a windshield wiper or change their own oil or add a lift kit. This whole thing has been fun to watch so many folks have such dramatic knee jerk reactions. This is how politicians do the goofy stuff they get by with... because the public is easy to manipulate with only a few choice words.

 

John Deere is also on record with GM on this, and how many folks actually believe that a farmer out on the farm in his own shop is not going to be allowed to do his own maintenance on his John Deere tractor? Only those that have an enlarged paranoia gland could dream up all this fear over working on their own car, pickup or tractor. This whole issue needs to be used as an example of media manipulation in a college class.

 

Except its you that seems to have trouble comprehending what you've read. I clearly stated that the software licencing is analogous to the computer industry and that I don't have a problem with that. What I have issue with is that first, GM is attempting to extend a licencing agreement to all systems without having actually had the buyer agree to it. That's crap. If they wanted such an agreement, they should have put it in place during the buying process, in the contract. They didn't. Their loss. This end-run they are trying in the court is BS.

 

Second, the implication that one could not work on anything that is related to any of the software controlled systems will mean the majority of the vehicle will be off limits. Even the suspension, since many vehicles have position sensors on the suspension that feed information to the chassis module. So taken to extreme, the owner could be liable if they were to add a lift kit and modify or disable that portion of the system.

 

So, you may want to enrol in a remedial reading and comprehension class at your local community college before spewing your corporate-sponsored garbage. And you also may want to stop drinking the corporate koolaide from your local GM dealership.

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Far out. Go with your analysis. I am not worried one way or the other. I have many other things that occupy more of my time. This is one issue I am not going to take any time worrying about. Even if it would be as you think, it is virtually unenforceable and in conflict with many other regulations and actual legislation. It might affect those super enlightened in the major population areas, but means little to those of us out in flyover country than barely can count to 5.

 

Corporate sponsored garbage? That is really wild. And from my local GM dealership? Man, I never even darken the door of a dealership unless I am buying a vehicle! I have never used a dealership for any of my vehicle maintenance or repairs, unless it was clearly warranty related and covered under warranty. I dearly love how when folks cannot effectively argue a topic, and start losing their ability to rationally think thru something, they go on to make personal ad hominem attacks. Every time it happens, I know that I have struck gold.

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