Americans believe that they should own the mountains of data produced by their cars, but they don't

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When I can no longer get hold of decent ‘dumb’ used cars, I believe I’ll quit driving.


What happens when a car is re-sold? Becuase USED dealers certainly aren’t getting you to sign a EULA before you drive off?


Obvs, It’s not yours to sell & the license is non-transferable.

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That’s how I feel about smart TVs.
When my 12 year old 26" Olevia from CompUSA finally goes kaput, I’ll probably end up just using a computer monitor. Not sure what I’ll do about connecting the legacy gaming systems though (N64, WII). There’s probably a box for that…


There are plenty of dumb TVs to be had from garage/estate sales. An older dumb TV would be total junk to them but an absolute treasure to you. Hell, you could probably talk them down to giving the tv to you for free.

Not sure. I’ll ask my friend. She hacked into her used Prius, looked at the diagnostics, got the car to start, drove to the dealership, then told them the diagnostic code and how to fix it permanently.

I wish I could have seen their faces when she showed them the screenshot.


I mean, driverless cars are a certainty so yes you will in fact stop driving :thinking:

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Meh; we can agree to disagree on that. :wink:


They don’t currently have the infrastructure in place to make it stick (though it’s not exactly a distant-future thing; ‘Onstar’ and similar have made cars with permanent cell links to the mothership quite common, though the vendors are too staid to do Tesla-like stuff with them for the most part; and plans to redesign vehicle busses around enough cryptographic handshaking to make aftermarket parts quite difficult appear to be well advanced); but the legal theory of “oh, licensed not sold; unless you were just looking for a car-shaped object you’ll be signing here…” is both a pretty obvious choice and not nearly as ill-supported as one might like.

We can look at a potentially analogous situation: Cisco is hardly unique in taking this position, though they certainly have a bit of a reputation; they indeed assert that, while you can sell used switches and routers and such, the software is non-transferrable without their blessing(in practice what they have the ability to make stick is normally just burning your access to patches; but what they claim is that even use of the software flashed into the hardware at time of sale is a violation).

They…generously…offer a “Hardware Inspection and Software Relicensing Program”; where you can request that the company inspect your sordid grey-market acquisitions. If you pass the questionnaire portion of the process you are eligible for an on-site inspection; and if your chassis passes you are eligible to pay a software licensing fee for a software license!

I assume that, in the car case, dealers will take the place of authorized resellers and inspectors in the switch case: those who refuse to buy new will be able to purchase from a vibrant marketplace of 3rd party sellers who have tithed to the vendor for the privilege of remaining in the market; and, potentially, goods from outside the pale of vendor authorization will be something you can bring to the dealer to have legitimized for an appropriate consideration.

Why wait? If your situation makes it possible to live car-free I cannot recommend it highly enough.

(Of course I realize this is not the case for a large percentage of people, Americans especially. That said, it’s always worth running the numbers when moving and/or changing jobs; it might be worth it to pay a little more for housing or take a lower-paying job if it lets you ditch the car…)

Unfortunately it’s getting to the point where you need to pay extra for a dumb TV, because then the manufacturers can’t underwrite low up-front costs by selling your viewing data. If you want to pay the premium, though, look into “digital signage” displays, which are intended to be used for things like digital menu displays in restaurants, departure boards in airports, conference rooms, or (amusingly enough) displaying advertisements. Projectors are also mostly immune from “smart” nonsense, for now… But, if you’re happy with 26", computer monitors are probably the smart choice! There are lots of quite good used 27" monitors out there. An “obsolete” A/V receiver with HDMI out and analog inputs would solve the N64 problem.


You can always buy a smart TV but not connect it to the internet, it still works as a screen.

Check the reviews for a given model before purchasing. Often, they work as a screen…but bug you to connect to the internet every time you turn it on or change mode. That would get real old, real fast.


I would literally LOVE for this to be the test case of that theory. Because this would be a great case to demolish this theory for several reasons.
1.) In most states, there is a state administered titling process. Our corporate masters can’t claim that you merely possess the car because you have a legal title to it.
2.) There is a strong lease market for vehicles. The difference in price and conditions implies you are NOT just paying to use the vehicle. It is difficult for them to argue that the original purchase was not a “sale” under copyright law when the software is integrally necessary to legally operate the vehicle. And a sale does extinguish certain distribution rights of a copyright holder.
3.In principle cars are simple consumer products that judges are familiar with. They would have a more difficult time trying to mumbo-jumbo and snow the judges about what is reasonable. Everybody knows what people intend to do with a car, and it is not some technical piece of equipment that only professionals who should know what they are doing and purchase. For many people, it is arguably a “necessary.”


When my wife took delivery of her latest computer you ride around in, the dealership person spent 45 minutes or so demonstrating all the tech features. In the process, he–not my wife–agreed to several privacy policies and terms of service that my wife had no opportunity to read. We know this because she received multiple email messages thanking her for agreeing and subscribing and creating accounts for all these services she had no knowledge of. And most of those messages had no links to the terms of service.

I suspect this is routine during “delivery” and I can’t imagine such agreements holding up in court.

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I was car-free til I was 33, moved to the country, and learned to drive. If I ever live in a city again (perhaps, say, if wild rabid horses from hell drive me to it), I sure as hell wouldn’t waste my money on a car. However, at this point in my life it’s really incredibly impractical… :wink:


None of this indicates that the model wouldn’t be enforceable.

As your post shows, there are well accepted and widespread models of using a vehicle without ever actually owning it.

All you’re arguing for is that it won’t be possible to ‘buy’ a car in future. Everything will be leased.

There have certainly been cars that were available for lease only. (eg. the EV1) That may well be the future. But a court may well have a difficult time with the idea that a car was available at one price for a lease, at a diffeerent price for a sale, but wait, we fooled you, even though we transferred the title to you, but you ha ha, it was really more like a lease.

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