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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

A spokesman for John Deere says he wants to make it clear that if a farmer buys a tractor from John Deere, they own it.

Barry Nelson, Deere's media relations director, tells Brownfield the question of who owns their equipment past the point of purchase has been in the news lately after a recent editorial in Wired Magazine.

"It was an opinion piece," Nelson says, "which inaccurately described Deere's position concerning the intellectual property rights of software code."

Nelson claims the headline also made it seem like John Deere was destroying the very idea of ownership. But to Nelson, the issue is with the equipment's computer software, "A lot of the software is protected and there are very good reasons for that: safety, emissions standards, and overall performance. We don't want just anybody to be able to go in there and hack the computer code."

He says that doesn't mean someone can't repair their own tractor or work with a dealer and uses the analogy of buying a book at a bookstore, "you own that book, but you still do not have the right to copy the book, modify the book or distribute copies to others."

Nelson says copyright laws also exist with other vehicles and computers themselves.

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