The right to repair question centers around one seemingly unlikely tech company: John Deer. It turns out that tractors are some of the most sophisticated machines (dare we say, robots) with hundreds of sensors, computer components, and software to run all facets of the machine. As a result, repairs have become more complicated and companies like John Deer are choosing to lock down their software to prevent unauthorized repairs.
Of course, this presents a problem for farmers. Not only do authorized dealer repairs tend to cost more, they’re also not always conveniently close to the farm. To them, it feels like the big companies are simply trying to squeeze them for more money.
It’s a debate that has implications on all hardware/software devices: your phone, computer, washing machine, refrigerator, car, and more. This week we dive into it… and spoiler alert… we don’t really come to any hard conclusions. It’s complicated.