"Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

Started 4 days ago | Discussions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 12,310
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

Actually, foreign manufacturer's don't have to service anything.   US and state law doesn't apply to a company located in Japan.

Let's look at Nikon Cameras.  They are manufactured by a Japanese company named Nikon.   However "Nikon, USA", a separate USA based company imports the cameras to the USA, sells them to retailers, and provides service.

There's a big legal significance to two separate companies.

Consider someone who buys a current model Nikon today, and tries to get it serviced 6 months from now.  They may find that there is no one who will service the camera, and that parts are not available.  This may be the case even if the camera is still a current model.

It turns out that that Nikon USA will only service Nikon Cameras that Nikon USA imported into the USA.  If another company imported the camera, they won't service it.  Furthermore Nikon USA is discontinuing support for third party repair of Nikon cameras.

So, if the camera you bought was "grey market" (i.e. imported by someone other than Nikon USA), then you may find that service is not available for it, no matter what US or California law says.

My point is that a law requiring a manufacturer to provide service for 10 years, may not be as inclusive as you might wish.

Disclaimer: While I picked Nikon as an example, I do not intend to imply that Nikon is any better or worse than other brands in this regard.

I think that in the future this will be much more of an issue.  Many inkjet printers come with technology that is designed to prevent you from using third party ink in the printer. What happens when the manufacturer no longer makes compatible ink?  How will you fell when the manufacture's policy prevents you from using am old, but still working piece of gear because they won't license the patent that lets others make the necessary anti-third-party-ink chips?
About 15 years ago I bought a perpetual license for a software package.  While the license didn't expire, the software still periodically checked with the company to make sure everything we OK.  The company was bought by a competitor, and the product discontinued.   They kept the license server up and running, even though they no longer sold the product.  The product met my needs and I felt no reason to spend the time, effort and resources to move to a newer product, that would meet my needs just as well.

The license server finally crashed, and my software stopped working.  The company didn't care, and now I am scrambling for a replacement.  (Yes it's partially my fault).  The point of this story is that products have a lifetime, and the manufacturer can sometimes arbitrarily declare the product dead.

Welcome to the 2020's

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