After several years investigating the market for agricultural machinery generally, in February 2020 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released a discussion paper looking particularly at how access to independent agricultural machinery repairs is limited and how agreements between manufacturers and dealers may limit access to repairs.
The ADA made a short submission in response to the discussion paper, highlighting the potential for technological protection measures (TPMs) and the anti-circumvention provisions of copyright law to inhibit independent repairers from undertaking repairs.
The ADA urged the ACCC to include TPMs in its consideration during the inquiry, and to:
- Seek evidence from farmers, independent repairers and other stakeholders as to whether TPMs are currently being used to restrict their ability to access software necessary to repair agricultural machinery; and
- Work with the government’s copyright team in the Department of Infrastructure to determine whether amendments are needed to Australian law to ensure our TPM laws do not have this unintended effect.