Saturday, April 25, 2015

John Deere Does Not Own Your Tractor.

WIRED magazine’s recent headline: “We can’t let John Deere destroy the very idea of ownership,” really got my attention.  The article’s premise is based upon John Deere’s recent comment to the US Copyright Office that farmers who buy a new John Deere tractor are granted an implied license to operate a tractor for the duration of its life.  Or as WIRED puts it:  “It’s John Deere’s tractor, folks. You’re just driving it.”  I decided to dig a little deeper.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Does Your Co-Op Own Your Farm Data?

Recently I was asked this question:  When a farm cooperative (a “co-op”) does work for a farmer and in the process generates agronomic data, does the co-op own that data or does the farmer?   Many in the ag industry like to say “the farmer owns the data,” but the co-op’s generation of farm data presents a more complicated problem. Of course, if the co-op has a written contract that addresses ownership, this is a non-issue. (See my previous post for more on this: Co-Ops and Custom Applicators: Are You Addressing Farm Data?).  But who owns the data if there is no written contract?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Drones at the Speedway: A Presentation to The Racing Attorneys Conference (TRAC)

On April 15, 2015 I'll be on a panel discussing hot topics in the law at The Racing Attorneys Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I'll be talking about the legalities of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) or "drones" in the motor racing industry. I've posted a link to my presentation here if you are unable to attend:

Drones at the Speedway: TRAC Conference Presentation

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Co-op and Custom Applicators: Are You Addressing Farm Data in Your Contracts?

Farmers will call up their local co-ops this year to help them fertilize and spray their fields.  These sprayers-for-hire will be recording what they do, but what happens to that data after that point?  Does the co-op have an obligation to provide that data to the farmer?  Does the co-op own the data generated on a farmer’s field? These questions need to be answered when farmers engage third parties to perform precision ag activities on their fields.