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 owners 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.