The reason is because John Deere and other manufacturers have "made it impossible to perform 'unauthorized' repair on farm equipment," which has obviously upset many farmers who see it "as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time," reports Jason Koebler via Motherboard.
As is the case with most modern-day engineering vehicles, the mechanical problems experienced with the newer farming tractors are often remedied via software.
From the report: The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn't be anything a farmer could do about it.
A license agreement John Deere required farmers to sign in October forbids nearly all repair and modification to farming equipment, and prevents farmers from suing for "crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment [...] arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software."
The agreement applies to anyone who turns the key or otherwise uses a John Deere tractor with embedded software.
It means that only John Deere dealerships and "authorized" repair shops can work on newer tractors.
"If a farmer bought the tractor, he should be able to do whatever he wants with it," Kevin Kenney, a farmer and right-to-repair advocate in Nebraska, told me.
"You want to replace a transmission and you take it to an independent mechanic -- he can put in the new transmission but the tractor can't drive out of the shop.
Deere charges $230, plus $130 an hour for a technician to drive out and plug a connector into their USB port to authorize the part."
"What you've got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market," he added.
Kind of like itunes music.
You think your buying music but you don't actually own your copy of the music.
When agreeing to download songs on the iTunes Store, users are paying for the license to listen to the song on an Apple device; they are not purchasing the song itself.
Apple is not the only digital distributor that restricts users from limitless sharing or transferring of legal downloads. Amazon and Google Play have similar jargon in their terms and conditions.
Clinging to the industry of distribution, record labels devised these terms in the digital era to ensure that future generations would pay for new formats.