GM, along with other automotive companies, argued that although you may own your car, the manufacturer should retain the rights to the computer system inside it.
In an eight-minute audio clip, CBC reported that automotive companies in the U.S. believe that a car’s software should fall under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This means that even though you own your vehicle, you’re only licensing the computer system within it.
What does this mean for car owners and repair shops?
If the car’s computer system breaks, the owner of the vehicle may be required to go to a dealership to have it fixed. It could also have a negative impact on independent repair shops. Since repairs often involve a car’s hardware and software, independent auto technicians may be required to seek permission from the manufacturer before conducting the repair.
For now it remains a U.S. issue, but Canadians should prepare to face a similar battle when it comes to the licensing of vehicle software.