You can’t just take and “reflash” your gadget

The enthusiast added a Wi-Fi module to the calculator and received a claim from the copyright holders.

We tell you about the project and understand the situation.

Photo – Alexander Andrews – Unsplash

But this is my calculator

At the end of May, an enthusiast and author YouTube channel Neutrino has modified the well-known engineering calculator. He replaced the solar panel of the device with an additional OLED display, and also built a Wi-Fi module there. As a result, the gadget was able to connect to nearby devices and to the Internet.

The appearance of the calculator has hardly changed, but it has acquired additional functions. It now allows you to display formulas and cheat sheets on an OLED screen and receive text messages over the network. The display is activated by magnetic sensors built into the housing and an external magnet. If you move it left and right next to the calculator, you can navigate through the menu. How it works, you can see here

The author posted the project code on GitHub, and large technology platforms like Gizmodo, Interesting Engineering and Hackaday… However, literally a few days later, GitHub closed access to the repository. due to complaint copyright infringement filed by REACT. It is a European anti-counterfeiting network with many technology companies and electronics manufacturers as clients.

REACT representatives statedthat Neutrino used the code of the gadget developer in his project. However, he claims that the accusations are false and that all the code is his own, written from scratch and uses exclusively open source libraries. The enthusiast has already filed an appeal and is waiting for the outcome of the proceedings.

If bought, I can do everything (well, almost)

But organizations do not allow their devices to be modified so that they are not associated with new products that can be built on the basis of existing gadgets. Obviously, they also protect the sources of income. Unfortunately, this leads to rather controversial proceedings.

In 2011, Activision accused in copyright infringement of the specialist who reverse-engineered their USB device to read RFID tags on stuffed toys.

They allowed you to unlock additional content in the game. The company was worried that the job of an engineer would make it possible to unlock virtual items illegally. Although the enthusiast did not even try to develop such tools.

Photo – Jungwoo hong – Unsplash

The Neutrino situation sparked a lively discussion on Hacker News. Residents offered make several changes in DMCA (US Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to avoid similar situations in the future. In particular, they propose to prohibit the transfer of the right to file complaints to third parties and impose high penalties for false accusations. In theory, such measures should protect those who do not pursue selfish goals, but only share interesting projects.

The situation around the calculator is close to that of Right to Repair. For a long time, large vendors have been trying to ban repairs his technicians by unauthorized workshops. New precedents can be expected to emerge until comprehensive regulation is worked out – steps in this direction already doing

What we write about on the blog:

Situation: Are AdTech Companies Breaking the GDPR?
“Cover up your tracks and leave for the weekend”: how to remove yourself from most popular services
Inspection of electronic devices at the border – a necessity or a violation of human rights?

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