Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) just re-introduced their You Own Devices Act (YODA), a bill that aims to help you reclaim some of your ownership rights in the software-enabled devices you buy.
We first wrote about YODA when it was originally introduced back in 2014. The bill would go a ways toward curbing abusive End User License Agreements (EULAs) by making sure companies can’t use restrictions on the software within your device to keep you from selling, leasing, or giving away the device when you’re done with it by. The bill would override EULAs that purport to limit your ability to transfer ownership of the device (and its software) and would make sure that whoever ends up with your device has the same access to security and bug fixes that you would have had.
Making sure that you can sell and transfer your old devices isn’t just good for you – it’s good for everyone else as well. Resale markets for consumer products help improve access to affordable technology and provide a valuable resource for innovators [PDF].
We’re pleased to see some members of Congress tackling this issue, and there’s still a long way to go to make sure that outdated and unconstitutional copyright laws, like Section 1201, don’t keep you from controlling your own media and devices.