The situation is a heavy machinery example of something that happens across most categories of electronics, from phones, laptops, health devices, and wearables to tractors and, apparently, trains. In this case, NEWAG, the manufacturer of the Impuls family of trains, put code in the train’s control systems that prevented them from running if a GPS tracker detected that it spent a certain number of days in an independent repair company’s maintenance center, and also prevented it from running if certain components had been replaced without a manufacturer-approved serial number.

The problem was so bad that an infrastructure trade publication in Poland called Rynek Kolejowy picked up on the mysterious issues over the summer, and said that the lack of working trains was beginning to impact service: “Four vehicles after level P3-2 repair cannot be started. At this moment, it is not known what caused the failure. The lack of units is a serious problem for the carrier and passengers, because shorter trains are sent on routes.”

Very good article, I’d recommend reading it. I hope the court rules against NEWAG and sets a precedent for right to repair.

  • FiskFisk33
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    7 months ago

    Modifying the software of a device YOU OWN, should never be illegal in and of itself.

    • Engineer@discuss.tchncs.deOPM
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      7 months ago

      Absolutely. Maybe an exception for video game multiplayer cheating, but that’s the only thing I can think of. Any other situation I can think of just enriches the computer to the massive detriment of the user.

        • The Hobbyist@lemmy.zip
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          7 months ago

          And allow selfhosting servers for (at least after) when the publisher/developer stops supporting the game.

          • JohnBrownNote [comrade/them, des/pair]@hexbear.net
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            7 months ago

            abandoned software should be public domain, including server code and the tools for maintaining and updating it.

            really the workers should own the means of production and all that stuff should be public from hello world, but we’re talking about some transitional steps i guess.

            • The Hobbyist@lemmy.zip
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              7 months ago

              I agree and I wish, I think the tricky part would be defining the criteria to what constitutes “abandomware”. Is it the stop of the sale? The shutdown of the attestation servers, the shutdown of the multiplayer servers (and in that case what about single player games)? I can only imagine the creativity of publishers pretending their game is not abandonware yet it practically being so.

              • Rom [he/him]@hexbear.net
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                7 months ago

                “Our 15 year old game has a single password protected server running that an employee connects to a few times a year so technically it’s not abandoned and we don’t have to make the code public domain, checkmate”

      • lunarul@lemmy.world
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        7 months ago

        No, that shouldn’t be illegal either. Against the rules of a server and getting you kicked out of that server, sure.

      • Is multiplayer cheating illegal? They have the right to kick you off their servers, but I’d be surprised if it’s a criminal offense or anyone has ever had a case brought against them.

      • FiskFisk33
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        7 months ago

        cheating is a problem but, actually making it illegal? nah man, I think that’s too far.

    • WindowsEnjoyer@sh.itjust.works
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      7 months ago

      I am not against you, but in case of warranty - how do you draw a line of where is user’s fault, and where is manufacturers fault?

      • FiskFisk33
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        7 months ago

        well, it doesn’t have to be illegal to void warranties. If you for example brick your device through software shenanigans you don’t expect the maker to fix it for free for you, but you don’t expect them to sue you either!

      • eskimofry@lemmy.world
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        7 months ago

        You gotta attach some base flat fee to send out the engineers that would deter fraudulent claims?