Copyright and the Right to Repair
As digital technology has increased in complexity and expanded its reach, so too has the “right to repair” movement grown in visibility and enlarged its influence—posing fascinating new questions for our copyright-law regime. The goal of the right-to-repair movement is to make information, parts, and tools freely available to consumers and independent maintenance groups, so they can fix their stuff themselves. But isn’t a company manual protected by copyright? And embedded vehicle software the same? Isn’t the author perfectly free to issue only a narrow copyright license prohibiting unauthorized maintenance, as John Deere reportedly did with its tractors? (“Farmers Fight With John Deere Over Who Gets to Fix an $800,000 Tractor,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 5, 2020).
Our dynamic panel grapples with these questions daily—in practice, through public policy and legislative efforts, and by close analysis of existing legal doctrine. Come learn the fundamentals of the right to repair and its inescapable intersections with copyright law. Our speakers will provide an overview of the copyright landscape implicated by the right to repair, with real-world examples of copyright arguments triggered by individuals and third-party repair organizations seeking access to tools and information to service their products.
The Copyright Society is a Certified CLE Provider in New York and California. Program will satisfy 1.0 NY CLE credit and 1.0 CA participatory credit. 1.0 PA CLE credit pending approval by the PA Bar. The intermediate program is transitional and appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. Instructions for verifying attendance will be emailed to registrants prior to the program.