John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

Getting a lot closer to WALL-E world; expect mega-corporations like ‘Buy-N-Large’ to meter our bowel movements.


You would have to swap the ECU entirely. There is encryption keys involved to even upload new firmware.

But… you might eventually see a startup doing this in Peoria or the Quad cities if Illinois starts trying to court tech startups.


Farmers are the poster children for the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention”.

Betting against your customers is usually a bad idea, but when those customers are farmers and the arena is “being inventive with farm implements”, it’s an especially terrible idea.


I fail to see how personal property is not a subset of private property in our capitalistic society.

The attempt to redefine private property in a way that has no current legal meaning just muddies everything.

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Edited to clarify.

Which is exactly the problem mentioned in the article.

Capitalists have done enough to muddy everything with falsehoods like “the socialists want to take all our property away from us” (Some might, but most don’t). Ironically, it now turns out that the capitalists are trying to do that, because there is more profit in turning personal property into private property then renting it to us.


How much infrastructure would the rental unit need before it transformed into a means of production? Home office? 3D printer station? Woodshop?

You can run an eBay business pretty much from anywhere, I can’t imagine what those founding fathers would have thought of maker spaces these days.


It’s not the means of production that is the problem, just unequal access to it.

How many workers are there at the rental unit and do they all have a stake in the business with voting rights?

Note: I am assuming a rental unit is a home.


You know, I was always wondering about the concept of Kender in the Dragonlance novels and D&D adventures, as they explicitly have no concept of ownership. That’s why they have a distinct character class called the Handler. In my current campaign, I explain it as the handler being a quasi religious role, whose duty is to ensure that everyone has the tools, clothing, food and so on that they need. It’s a concept that works only for them, and only because their society only organizes up to a small village level. In human society, handlers are treated as thieves if they try to “distribute”, and the one Handler in the party also raised ire (and praise from me) by unilaterally rearranging the inventories of the other players.


I know John Deere is the big player in the farm equipment market, but is it the only player in town? Seems this string of bad publicity would bring out competitors who want to increase market share.

My suspicion is that like just about everyone else, John Deere has learned that most people look at the sticker price and pretty much only the sticker price. A more honest approach would be to add 10% to the price, and not play all the games to extract that 10% back out of the customer later.

But then again, many a company has gone bankrupt assuming that the customers cared enough to pay attention to better business practices.


Are you trying to say that a commercial John Deere tractor which have DRM - rather expensive piece of farming equipment - is personal property?

We’re not talking about hobby farm tractors or mowers here. The equipment John Deere is fighting about are the ones with serious sensor suites on them and automated driving systems. Those features are exclusive to big tractors.

If you’re going to argue the weird socialist definition of private property, then surely a piece of equipment for major agricultural use surely is private property.

Genuine question – what does that even mean? And what is the rational, progressive idea that replaces it?

How do “my” eyeglasses best benefit anyone but me? Does it help us if I keep “your” passport? What is the quantum of communalism (or whatever the better alternative is)?

Lemme know how it goes when you use that rhetoric to evict the bear from her cave. (Too gamified? OK, how do we define “justice” for Henrietta Lacks and her family?)


You do understand that the aim of socialism is to get rid of the concept of private property, don’t you?

Personal property (which it turns out does have legal meaning) and collective ownership is OK, but no exclusive individual ownership of the means of production.


You do understand that the aim of socialism is to get rid of the concept of private property, don’t you?

Depends on the form and how far they’re willing to redefine private property.

Marx wouldn’t recognize what Socialists today consider the proletariat let alone the ease that anyone can gain access to the means of production. The amount of private property that the lowest class person today holds would blow his mind.

Right. I asked how a commercial John Deere tractor could possibly be considered personal property. I asked that because you said:

I don’t see how personal property that is being attacked as a commercial John Deere tractor even from a Socialist perspective should be what is currently considered to be private property, not personal property. I mean, it is pretty clearly a means of production.

In which case, it is absolutely not personal property that is being attacked. It is commercial private property being attacked by John Deere.

DRM isn’t access, it is permission that can be removed at the manufactures whim. That is something I’m sure he would recognise even if the technology is alien to him.

OK I didn’t explain myself well in that first post.

The key part is that private property is going nowhere as it currently stands, unlike personal property.

Yes, a John Deere Tractor is a means of production. However, many other things that used to be personal property are under attack because of reliance of remote servers controlled by businesses. Some of those servers have been closed down, stopping people using products they have paid for. What was personal property that could be used as we chose is now under the control of the people who own those servers.

John Deere is only different because they are doing this to something that isn’t considered to be personal property.

Oh, and if you don’t like socialism, can you just say so? That way I can know you aren’t just trolling me.


Ok. What the heck does that have to do with the article?

It is super confusing to comment about private property not being attacked for an article about private property being attacked.

My comments have to do with your apparent non sequitur. It was just… weird. If you want to talk about how personal property was also being attacked, then sure… we can take a tangent into socialism, but… we’re talking about a type of private property that even Socialists themselves would attack (albeit for different goals).

Edit: Hopefully this didn’t come off too confrontational. I honestly was just confused originally.

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We have no complaints over collective ownership. This is impossible with DRM, or anything that requires a remote server not owned by us, as it means that we cannot have full control over that device. We would need to collectively own the manufacturer as well. Collective ownership of the means of production means collective ownership of all parts of it, otherwise we may as well own none of it.

Sorry. Stress and dyslexia are not a good combination when you are trying to explain things.

Maybe I should have said that private property is safe in the hands of the billionaires who are giving you permission to use their property. Everyone else won’t even own the clothes on their back (an exaggeration, I hope).

If you still don’t understand what I am trying to say, then I doubt I will be able to explain better before the topic closes. Too much stressful stuff going on that will only be over at the end of the week (hopefully).


Okay, this might seem like a REALLY trivial thing, but it does touch on how manufacturers tweak products in the attempt to produce ‘new’ sales: I have this electric shaver. A Remington MS3 1000. After the first five years or so of use and replacing parts as needed, I noticed that the appearance and (more importantly) effectiveness of the MS3’s replacement foils (direct from Remington) changed dramatically. Goodbye close shaves. The original foils were incredibly thin, delicate, and pocked with very closely packed, tiny holes. But the new replacements just don’t cut it. (Sorry.) The foils are most definitely thicker, and the openings look like something you’d see on a small cheese grater. I can only conclude that Remington doesn’t give a fuck up a cat’s ass for users of their older products and expect those users to just… switch over to another one of their shavers, as if they wouldn’t notice? Man!

Lotta agricultural models from other heavy equipment manufacturers.

at this point pretty much every vehicle has a computer in it somewhere. even when it’s not needed manufacturers are adding software so it’s wifi accessible. heck, even fridges.

if all manufacturers do this, and they will, it means nothing you buy is owned.

let’s slap an ambio like rfid tag on something, and maybe some rom: instant computing device.

resale and modification becomes tacitly illegal.

regardless of the exact definitions of private or personal property, socialism or capitalism, it’s a very bad road.


No software or software license in stock. Guess they’ll be ok.