May 14, 2014
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This was originally posted by Laura Sydell on npr.org. 

The iconic image of the American farmer is the man or woman who works the land, milks cows and is self-reliant enough to fix the tractor. But like a lot of mechanical items, tractors are increasingly run by computer software. Now, farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software.

Take Dave Alford. He fits that image of the iconic farmer.

"I do farming on the family ranch," says Alford, standing on a piece of grassy earth with a white barn behind him. "I've been farming for the past 30 years and obviously my family much before that." ... Continue reading

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