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Commentary

Entered the House, YODA Has



On Sept. 19, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) introduced the You Own Devices Act (YODA) that could impact almost every American. It concerns embedded software that is increasingly prevalent in telecommunications and technology, from e-books to automobiles, from iPhones to refrigerators. YODA would prevent copyrighted software from limiting an owner’s ability to resell, configure or repair a specific device in which it is embedded.

Manufacturers claim the software is “owned” by them or by the device, not by the purchaser. The buyer is often unaware of the restrictions because the manufacturer is the licensee and few buyers read paperwork in advance, if at all. Sometimes hardware is shipped with the software already embedded and no limitations are evident.

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Wendy McElroy is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. Her books include the Independent Institute volumes, Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the 21st Century, and Freedom, Feminism, and the State.


From Wendy McElroy
LIBERTY FOR WOMEN: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-First Century
With its vision of individualist feminism, Liberty for Women boldly explores a wide range of issues that confront the modern woman, including self-defense, economic well-being and employment, sex and abortion, the family, technology, and much more.







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