Associations Urge Government to Protect Consumer Choice With Vehicle Technology
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Associations Urge Government to Protect Consumer Choice With Vehicle Technology

AASA and MERA are asking the U.S. Copyright Office to protect consumer choice by allowing the independent aftermarket greater access to software-enabled components and parts.

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The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) are asking the U.S. Copyright Office to protect consumer choice by allowing the independent aftermarket greater access to software-enabled components and parts.

Commenting on the Copyright Office’s “Software-Enabled Consumer Products Study,” AASA and MERA noted that U.S. copyright laws currently grant exemptions for those vehicle owners who repair their own vehicles, or do-it-yourselfers. However, other current provisions severely limit the ability of consumers to have their vehicles serviced and repaired with the software-enabled component of their choice in the independent aftermarket, the associations claim.

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“The independent aftermarket has seen a growing number of replacement parts redesigned with sensors or micro-computers with alleged technological protection measures (TPMs) protection for vehicles five to 10 years old,” said Bill Long, AASA president and COO. “These are components that consumers may need to replace over the life of their vehicles. The U.S. Copyright Office should encourage policies that protect consumer choice and ensure convenience, affordability and a competitive market.”

John Chalifoux, MERA president and COO, added, “Vehicle owners must retain the freedom of choice regarding the servicing and repair of their vehicles. This freedom has existed for more than 100 years, well before the employment of TPMs in vehicles. In order to do this, the independent aftermarket must also have the freedom to repair or modify vehicles, which will include access to vehicle software and circumvention of TPMs.”

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In a statement to the Copyright Office, AASA and MERA urged the office to use this Software-Enabled Consumer Products Study as an opportunity to develop a future direction for copyright law that does not create roadblocks or rescind the freedom of choice for consumers to have their vehicles serviced and repaired as they deem appropriate.

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