John Deere promises to let farmers repair their own equipment. Believe it when you see it

Originally published at: John Deere promises to let farmers repair their own equipment. Believe it when you see it. | Boing Boing


Section III — AFBF Commitment to Manufacturer
A. AFBF agrees to encourage state Farm Bureau organizations to recognize the
commitments made in this MOU and refrain from introducing, promoting, or supporting federal
or state “Right to Repair” legislation that imposes obligations beyond the commitments in this
MOU. In the event any state or federal legislation or regulation relating to issues covered by this
MOU and/or “Right to Repair” is enacted, each of AFBF and Manufacturer reserve the right, upon
fifteen (15) days written notice, to withdraw from this MOU.

Full MOU here


This MOU shall not be interpreted or construed to require a Manufacturer to:
a) divulge trade secrets, proprietary or confidential information

looks(to my layman’s reading) to be pretty flexible. I understand that you wouldn’t sign an agreement to hand out trade secrets to everyone in Kansas whose combine is a touch wobbly; but when the behavior of concern has been taking advantage of the fact that everything these days is full of software and software is proprietary and enjoys substantial legal privilege to lock people out of making repairs; an agreement to mend your wicked ways so long as it doesn’t require divulging proprietary or confidential information sounds awfully non binding.

It doesn’t actively preclude a good-faith implementation where Deere doesn’t just hand out copies of expensive optional software upgrades to all comers; but refrains from jerking anyone around when it comes to whatever reset/re-pairing codes you end up needing in the course of diagnostics and maintenance; but if someone wasn’t feeling the good faith it sure looks like they’d have options.


Expect them to now go down the road that car companies have done. The latter are already required to let you repair them, so instead they lock everything down with diagnostic computers that require a speciality machine to talk to. By law you can buy that machine of course, but it’s $50,000.

Tractors don’t even have an equivalent to OBD, which helped a lot to defuse this specialty diagnostic computer problem. However OBD-II is very old now and car makers have pulled ahead again. Good luck diagnosing anything with higher end engine management systems (variable valve timing, cylinder shutdown, etc), antilock brakes, or AWD systems without the dealer’s $50k computer.

There’s a huge gap between legally allowing people to work on things, and actually designing things for the end user to work on. The latter requires the company to design differently and to give up rent seeking as a business model.


Let this be our weekly reminder that we need to have the DMCA repealed (or at least considerably weakened).


AFBF President Zippy Duvall said.

i know this is a serious subject but come on. Zippy Duvall? Best name for a president ever.


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