John Scalzi Wrote A Science Fiction Story About The DMCA To Help EFF\'s Right To Repair Campaign

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“Winston Jones?”

“That’s me.”

“Hi, I’m Breanna, the mechanic that’s been looking at your car since it got towed in. Bad luck, that.”

“Tell me about it. One minute I’m in the fast lane, the next I have to swerve all the way across the freeway to get to the shoulder before I get rammed by a semi.”

“Well, glad you made out of there alive. It made it easier for our tow driver to get to you. So, Mr. Jones, I have some good news, and some less good news.”

“What’s the good news?”

“The good news is that the only thing wrong with your car is a snapped timing chain.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it. And that’s lucky too. A snapped chain can do a lot of damage. But the rest of your engine looks clean.”

“Well, hell. That’s the first piece of good news I’ve had all day. You have timing chains here?”

“Yes, we do. But... well, Mr. Jones, that’s the less good news.”

“What is it?”

“We don’t have your specific car’s timing belt here.”

“Is there something unusual about it?”

“Not really. Your car manufacturer standardized them across most its models. In fact, it’s pretty much exactly that one up on the wall over there.”

“Well, just use that one, then.”

“I’d love to, but I can’t. You have the sport model of your car, and so your manufacturer requires you to use the sport timing chain.”

“What’s the difference?”

“No difference, except they call it the ‘sport model.’ And they charge $60 more for it.”

“So if it’s the same then you should just be able to use the one up there.”

“I’d love to. But the chains have a small RFID transmitter in them.”

“So?”

“So if I put the wrong timing chain in, the car will know.”

“And then what?”

“Then it won’t start. Your information screen will tell you that you need a different part. And then it will just sit there.”

Source : https://boingboing.net/2018/05/15/copyrighted-timing-belts.html

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