Home » Posts tagged "federal"

FTC 警告 Nintendo 與 Sony「拆封喪失保固」違反聯邦法

在「FTC Warns Companies ‘Warranty Void if Removed’ Stickers Are Flatly Illegal」這邊看到的新聞。FTC 的新聞稿則可以在「FTC Staff Warns Companies that It Is Illegal to Condition Warranty Coverage on the Use of Specified Parts or Services」這邊看到。

主要是因為美國的聯邦法 Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (在 STATUTE-88-Pg2183.pdf 這邊可以看到條文 PDF,雖然看起來是掃描的圖檔,但有透過 OCR 處理讓大多數的文字都可以搜尋)。

這套聯邦法保護消費者在接受保固時不受嚴苛的限制。法條裡面並沒有強制規定一定要有保固,但規定了如果有保固時,有哪些行為是受到規範的,以避免消費者受到不平等的對待:

The law does not require any product to have a warranty (it may be sold "as is"), but if it does have a warranty, the warranty must comply with this law. The law was created to fix problems as a result of manufacturers using disclaimers on warranties in an unfair or misleading manner.

其中這段條文讓 FTC 認為「拆封喪失保固」違法:

(c) No Warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if—
(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
(2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.

在 FTC 的新聞稿中提到他們發給六家警告,列出了其中三家的文字,在媒體的報導裡面也都找出來這些文字分別是從哪些公司出來的,包括了 Hyundai (現代)、Nintendo (任天堂) 以及 Sony (索尼):

“The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your… manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.” = Hyundai.

“This warranty shall not apply if this product… is used with products not sold or licensed by” = Nintendo.

“This warranty does not apply if this product… has had the warranty seal on the [product] altered, defaced, or removed” = Sony.

不過在另外一邊,Reddit 上 Nintendo 區的討論也蠻有趣的:「FTC Staff Warns Companies that it is Illegal to Condition Warranty Coverage on the Use of Specified Parts or Services : nintendo」,裡面就稍微扯遠了一些,提到了改機之類的保固問題...

另外值得一提的是,同一家媒體在 2016 年的時候就有報導類似的事情了,不過看起來當時沒什麼改善:「Microsoft, Sony, and other companies still use illegal warranty-void-if-removed stickers」,這次由 FTC 出手應該會再更有力道一些。

VENUE Act 對專利蟑螂的反擊

EFF 的「We Can't Keep Waiting: Pass the VENUE Act This Year」這篇寫的還蠻清楚的,VENUE Act (S. 2733) 是一個看起來頗有效的 workaround,先上這個 workaround 降低專利蟑螂的攻勢。

專利蟑螂 (通常是原告) 可以選擇任意一個聯邦法庭提出控告:

As the law stands now, patent owners have almost complete control over which federal district to file a case in. That’s a major problem.

而專利蟑螂會挑選對原告最有利的地區來提出控告,也就是美國德克薩斯東區聯邦地區法院 (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas),這對被告方很不利:

According to the Mercatus Center and George Mason University, nearly half of all patent cases are filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. That’s more than 70 times the average number of patent cases heard in other federal judicial districts.

Respected academics have identified evidence that procedures in the Eastern District of Texas unnecessarily favor plaintiffs and impose significant, unnecessary costs on companies and individuals accused of infringement, however questionable the patents and demands may be.

而 VENUE Act 則是拔掉這個武器,必須在與被告相關的主要地區提告。

在美國「製造槍枝的方法」是否受到管制?

有了 3D Printer 後,就有人用 3D Printer 設計槍枝,而 Defense Distributed 則是當中頗有名的藍圖,而作者把這份藍圖給丟出來讓大家用。

美國憲法第二修正案保障人民持有並攜帶武器的權利不得被侵犯,但「散佈製造槍枝的方法」是否也是被第二修正案保護,則還在打官司決定:「Does it violate federal export law if a website publishes CAD files of firearms?」。

目前看起來要打到巡迴庭...

Archives