We recently received this message from Abtin Amir, a clinical intern at the USC Intellectual Property and Technology law clinic:
"Our clinic recently submitted two petitions to the U.S. Copyright Office asking for an exemption in the law that would allow farmers nationwide to break digital locks that manufacturers use to restrict access to the software on small computers that control modern farm equipment (e.g., tractors). In short, this exemption would allow farmers to legally circumvent these digital locks so that farmers can diagnose, repair and/or modify their own farm equipment.
I was hoping to get in touch with you guys to find out if you know any farmers or mechanics that would benefit from this exemption. This would also be relevant to anyone involved in logging, running a vineyard, or growing rice (along with mechanics that work on that type of equipment).
It is critical that we get in touch with people who would be interested in repairing or modifying their machines that are protected by these "digital locks" as soon as possible. If you know anyone, or have any information to help us find people, we would really appreciate it."
If you'd like to be in touch with Abtin about this, please message me with your email address and I'll connect you!