John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor !

   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #1  


Silver Member
Nov 14, 2007
Northeast USA
1955 Ferguson TO-35
Absolutely incredible ! John Deere has now supported, and is in agreement with, an action filed by General Motors to make it illegal to repair your own vehicle , or to have it repaired by most independent shops ! Only factory certified dealers would have the right to make repairs to your vehicle.
This action, filed with the U.S. Copyright Office, claims that, due to the complexity of modern vehicles, " amateur tinkerers" , including most independent repair shops, create safety hazards . This action is the most blatant and unconstitutional violation of our civil liberties ever attempted by any U.S. companies. An examination of the facts reveals that the manufacturers themselves have been responsible for nearly all of the safety issues, investigations, and recalls associated with new vehicles and equipment. Write to your U.S. senators and representatives, and let them know what you think of this ! Spread the word !
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #2  

This is now the 4th or 5th article and thread regarding this topic here on TBN.

'WIRED' website is pushing this sensationalism and, despite all large tractor brands using computer control they [WIRED] are only targeting John Deere.

Please stop it. Read the other threads.
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor !
  • Thread Starter
Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars

It's not sensationalism , and it's not just being pushed by one website, and it doesn't apply just to one manufacturer. Wake up and see the future . And, the manufacturers aren't going to stop this effort with just the Copyright Office . This issue will eventually be decided for U.S. citizens by the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives , and the input of U.S. voters will be the deciding factor.
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #4  
Mate, have a look at your first post.

No facts. No references. Just a tirade of 'OH NOES!'

Now you reference some blog that I've personally never heard of.

Please read the other threads where this subject has been discussed. I've already lived through the transition from repairing electronics to replacing electronics during the late 80's to now during my career in the Navy.

The future was then, high end computer controlled tractors are just now catching up.
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor !
  • Thread Starter
No sir, this is a huge topic that has been featured in many news reports and on many internet sites , and is currently the most significant topic of debate in the automotive industry. Anyone who cares about our rights to repair our own equipment can easily find many references using internet search engines, without instructions from me. Hiding your head in the sand won't make this issue go away, but responses to our elected politicans will be critical.
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #6  
Mate, have a look at your first post.

No facts. No references. Just a tirade of 'OH NOES!'Blahblahblah.
Massachusetts just had a voter referendum on this very topic.
Massachusetts Question 1, 'Right to Repair' referendum, approved by landslide |

Seems as if you are completely uninformed about this U.S. issue.

The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.

Every three years, the office holds hearings on whether certain activities should be exempt from the DMCA's section 1201, which governs technological measures that protect copyrighted work. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for individual rights in the digital world, has asked the office to ensure that enthusiasts can continue working on cars by providing exemptions that would give them the right to access necessary car components.

Interested parties have until the end of the month to file comments on the proposed rule making, and a final decision is expected by mid-year.
GM an Deere filed comments, hence the response.

We have four GM vehicles in our company fleet and recently wrote the Dealer telling them we aren't buying any more until their position is clarified.
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #7  
Hiding your head in the sand won't make this issue go away

Far from it my friend as I am basing my argument on experience...

Now, I have just finished reading, in full, the linked article that you provided in your second post. The only thing that I can see is the OEM's fear of having their arse sued by people who don't know either what they're doing in the first place or, if they 'do', inadvertently mucking around with the inter-connectivity of computer controlled components.

Professional mechanics (whether OEM or private) can still repair their vehicle (or tractor) if they wish to invest in the diagnostic equipment from the OEM who has developed (and invested in) the integrated programming in the first place.

Think of todays GPS guided, computer controlled tractors where the operator can select what field, what speed, what implement is being utilised and what that implement is performing. Select 'GO' and the tractor does everything whilst the operator monitors the situation. I watched a demonstration of this last week at our State's Agfest.

The demo was given by the local John Deere dealership, which isn't to say that none of the other brands could do the same. So, JD has invested (time, money and trials) in a computer controlled tractor, integrated (more investment) with a contracted GPS control system (with a licence to access those satellites), integrated (again, more investment) with multiple implements that could be deployed.

"But!", you say, "I don't want to use a JD or JD-contracted high tech implement. I want to use 'Brand X's implement, which is just as good."

Except that 'Brand X' can't electronically talk (integrate) with JD's programming, and vice versa. And privately mucking around with the programming, at either end, will bugger-up either end or both... or not (if you're lucky)... or add a cumulative glitch that will effect something else entirely.

I have seen this happen and on a much bigger scale. A brand new Navy Destroyer where, instead of purchasing a single OEM's integrated suite of sensors (radars, sonar, communications), Command & Control system and weapons they (government) decided to buy an Italian gun, a Dutch gunfire control system, an American C&C system and a plethora of different sensors. All 'top of the line'.

It took YEARS of reprogramming to get them to interconnect and even then it was never quite 'right'.

I hope I've been able to make my point on this issue. Mind you, as far as I know, my little 4105 only has an electronic 'HRS' indicator... I don't think that it even reminds me when to service it. :confused3:
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #8  
You have completely missed the point of the legislation or the supporting comments. Impressive!
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #9  
Nice going, adding the "Blahblahblah" to my statement regarding the initial post, which was nothing but sensationalism (the first post, not your witty addendum). It wasn't until the OP's 2nd post (#3) when any supporting evidence was presented.

Also, please note the time stamp between your post(#6) and my post (#7), I could not have seen your post. Which would make your post (#8) moot.


I have now read post (#6) and the attached article...

So, MA just had a referendum in 2012 (I suppose 3 years ago could be considered 'just', however that is a long time regarding the advancement of technology) which agrees with the 3rd paragraph of my post (#7):

"Question 1 requires automobile manufacturers to provide diagnostic software on their models to independent repair shops and even individual automobile owners. This is the same information that had been available only with dealership mechanics or authorized repair shops. The software, which would be made available for sale, allows independent mechanics to perform the same diagnostic testing as at the dealerships, and it presumably gives car owners the freedom to decide where to have their cars fixed."

As far as I can see you can still diagnose and repair your vehicle/tractor however you want & with whoever you choose. The OEM's don't want the integrated control system(s) tampered with or adjusted because, if it is modified by an unauthorised person and then something goes wrong (and it will), they don't want to be sued.

Of course, the electronic odometer is tied-in (controlled) by the programming that the OEMs want to protect too.
   / John Deere wants to make it illegal to repair your own tractor ! #10  
The horse has been out-of-the-barn, and on vacation for years on this issue.

Vehicle manufacturers (of all types) want to protect their considerable investment in computer hardware and software AND (probably most importantly) - reduce their liability.

Independent repair facilities have had access to manufacturers' diagnostic software through paying a fee for access to the software. Diagnostic software is another, separate cost from the operating / control software.

I do not believe manufacturers have an obligation to provide free diagnostic software as it cost them money to develop the software. If you feel they are obligated to provide free diagnostic software, are they also then obligated to provide the hardware for the diagnostic software to run on?

If you don't like computer controlled equipment that's too bad because that's where the state-of-the-art is going - regardless of your personal likes and dislikes.

If you don't like it - buy 30 year old equipment and repair it yourself - or don't buy any new equipment from manufacturers with proprietary software / firmware / diagnostic software....and good luck on that one...