Representative Farenthold Introduces YODA

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Washington, September 19, 2014 | Lee Towns (202-225-7742) | comments

Representative Farenthold Introduces YODA

U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) introduces the You Own Devices Act (YODA)

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold released the following statement upon introducing the You Own Devices Act (YODA).

“We like to buy things off eBay, sell stuff at yard sales, lend to our friends, and contribute to community donation drives. I believe – and the Supreme Court has agreed – that once we buy a physical thing, we can dispose of it how we wish.

“These days, nearly every electronic product we buy includes software essential to its operation. While this offers a lot of consumer benefits, such as the ability to control our security systems and lights remotely, or the ability to fine-tune how our cars perform, it has begun to add a new layer of complexity to truly owning the devices we purchase.

“Some manufacturers have started to include essential software as an impediment to selling, leasing, or even giving away devices we own. They claim the software that makes the device function – and therefore as a practical matter the device itself – was merely licensed and never owned.

“As we move closer to the Internet of Things, where more and more of our household items include software and are connected to the Internet, it is critical that we don’t allow this software which otherwise enhances our experience to fundamentally alter the concept of ownership. That is why I introduced the You Own Devices Act – or YODA. YODA would simply state that if you want to sell, lease, or give away your device, the software that enables it to work is transferred along with it, and that any right you have to security and bug fixing of that software is transferred as well.

“This straightforward and tightly-focused bill reinforces our First Sale rights and preserves our ability to truly own the products that we buy. It is in the same spirit as the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act which Congress passed and the President signed this past summer, protecting a consumer’s ability to use her phone on the network of her choice. YODA is a step forward to ensuring that we do not trade the technological advances of the digital revolution and the Internet of Things for our ability to own the devices we buy.”



FULL TEXT: You Own Devices Act (YODA)

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