The Your Own Devices Act (“YODA”) bill

farentholdThe Electronic Frontier Foundation picked up on this bill tonight. The idea is that you should be not encumbered with copyright restrictions when selling physical devices. Interestingly, the bill is called the Your Own Devices Act (“YODA”). What state elects geeks like this to the House? Texas???? I’m confused — why is this not coming out of California or Washington?

Here’s the text of the proposed legislation:

To amend title 17, United States Code, to provide that the first sale doctrine applies to any computer program that enables a machine or other product to operate. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘You Own Devices Act’’. SEC. 2. FIRST SALE DOCTRINE AND CERTAIN COMPUTER PROGRAMS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 109 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(f) TRANSFER OF CERTAIN COMPUTER PROGRAMS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 106 or section 117, if a computer program enables any part of a machine or other product to operate, the owner of the machine or other product is entitled to transfer an authorized copy of the computer program, or the right to obtain such copy, when owner sells, leases, or otherwise transfers the machine or other product to another person. The right to transfer provided under this subsection may not be waived by any agreement.

(2) SECURITY AND ERROR CORRECTION.—Any right to receive modifications to the computer program described in paragraph (1) relating in whole or in part to security or error correction that applied to the owner of the machine or other product described in paragraph (1) shall apply to the person to whom the machine or product and the copy of the computer program are transferred.

(3) TREATMENT OF UNAUTHORIZED COPIES.—Nothing in this subsection should be construed as permitting the owner of a machine or other product to retain an unauthorized copy of the computer program described in paragraph (1) after transferring the machine or other product and the copy of the computer program to another person.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to transfers of computer programs occurring on or after such date.

By the way, the legislative geek in question is Blake Farenthold from the 27th District of Texas. Please tell me that the 27th encompasses the patent rocket docket of the Eastern District federal court or at least Austin.The bill is not even on OpenCongress as I write this.

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