I'm a writer for a company called iFixit, which offers free open-source repair manuals for all kinds of electronics. We're doing research on technologies that have been limited by the DMCA, and—with help from some folks law students around the country—we've been specifically looking at farming equipment. Essentially, the DMCA is a massive copyright law that limits a person's ability to modify or hack the programming on a device or machine, if that hack involves getting around some sort of technological protection measure -- like say a password, or an encryption, or possibly even a proprietary interface.
We've been researching the ways in which this kind of law could affect a farmer's ability to tinker with, modify, or repair their farm equipment. In the course of our research, we came across FarmHack and thought you all have some insight for us. Has anyone here run across a situation where they needed to access, tweak, or repair the software on a piece of machinery, but couldn't because the software was "locked down" in some way? Or there was some sort of measure put in place by the manufacturer to keep the owner from looking at and/or fiddling with programming in farm equipment?