What could possibly go wrong?
Doctorow wants no DRM on tractors. Or cars.
I can sympathise, to a degree. Pay big bucks for something, you don't want to be tied to a monopoly when it needs fixing. If you are then that monopoly can push prices to insane levels because there is no competition.
But then I think it through. When a mechanical part breaks or needs repairs or servicing, you can go to a qualified mechanic, or you can go to a back-street mechanic, or you can do it yourself. But most of us do not have the machine tools to manufacture new parts or do anything but trivial repair/replacement. Software is different. Open it up and any fucktard can mess with it.
Somebody tinkers with the mechanical bits in his engine to give his car more oomph and the engine blows up: that's sad for him and a good laugh for us. Somebody tinkers with the software to remove the speed limiter that is there only so the manufacturer can charge for an "upgrade" (yes, this really happens, at least in commercial vehicles, and it's on a par with Windows 10 home edition having everything that the business edition does but registry keys disable the business edition stuff) and it also buggers up the steering and the brakes under certain conditions: that's fucking dangerous.
So while I hate the idea of businesses using DRM to create a monopoly, I really hate the idea of the average fucktard being able to hook up his smartphone to his car, run a dodgy app, and play with stuff beyond his comprehension. That's because I know one fucktard who wanted to bypass the speed limiter on the commercial vehicle he drives. His boss would be happy for him to do it because the boss wants faster vehicles but without paying for the upgrade. This fucktard has, in the past, had mismatched wheels on his car. Not mismatched tyres, mismatched wheels. The odd one out wasn't very secure either. He got done for it. Drove to court to pay his fine in that same vehicle with mismatched wheels. He often has at least one bald tyre. I really, really, really don't want anybody like him having the ability to tinker with his car's software.
Tractors are another matter as they spend most of their time off-road. Somebody damages his printer without DRM by using a dodgy cartridge, that's hilarious. Cars are dangerous.