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Author Topic: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?  (Read 5352 times)

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Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« on: May 27, 2013, 07:48:13 AM »

Are you covered if you use Magic Lantern?

DIY Photography did a great article on third party firmware and whether or not it voids your warranty. They did it for various brands including Canon, Nikon and Panasonic. Of the three, only Canon is “okay” with you using third party firmware and your warranty will not be “voided”. The only catch is if you “brick” the camera and it’s related to third party software, Canon will not cover that repair.


Canon’s Response

“There is no such thing as “voiding” the Canon warranty, there are simply repairs that are covered, and those that are not.


For instance, the repairs for a failure of the buttons on the back of the camera within the warranty period, on a camera that does not show any evidence of mishandling or misuse, would likely be covered. Repairs for a camera that is “bricked” or otherwise having issues directly related to using a third party firmware would not be covered.”


EOS-1 Bodies

Canon doesn’t mention anything about EOS-1 bodies and third party firmware in the above story. However, I have been told Canon would take legal action against anyone publicly releasing unauthorized firmware for the EOS-1 bodies, so this is probably why we haven’t seen any development of such software.


You can read the entire article at DIY Photographer


cr


 


canonrumors.com

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Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« on: May 27, 2013, 07:48:13 AM »

J.R.

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 08:20:52 AM »

EOS-1 Bodies

Canon doesn’t mention anything about EOS-1 bodies and third party firmware in the above story. However, I have been told Canon would take legal action against anyone publicly releasing unauthorized firmware for the EOS-1 bodies, so this is probably why we haven’t seen any development of such software.

The inquiry was made with specific mention of a 5D Mark II so I don't know why Canon would have responded mentioning anything about EOS-1 bodies and third party firmware.

Any reason why you feel that Canon would treat the EOS-1 bodies from all their other cameras?

FWIW, ML website says this on the reason for not supporting the EOS-1 series -

Quote
The EOS-1D and Cinema series of Canon cameras fall outside of ML project scope because of their prohibitive price and narrow user base.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 08:34:29 AM »
Sounds like CRguy's reference to 1-series bodies is a separate communication from this one.  Also, it seems unlikely that ML would state, "The 1-series and Cinema bodies are out of our project scope because we're afraid Canon will sue our pants off if we touch them." (In fact, both reasons are probably true for ML.)
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J.R.

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 10:12:20 AM »
Sounds like CRguy's reference to 1-series bodies is a separate communication from this one.  Also, it seems unlikely that ML would state, "The 1-series and Cinema bodies are out of our project scope because we're afraid Canon will sue our pants off if we touch them." (In fact, both reasons are probably true for ML.)

I think I'm missing something here. From the original post it is apparent that Canon doesn't have a problem with ML being run on its Cameras ... why would Canon sue if only for the EOS-1 cameras and not the others? After all, a hack is a hack. 
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iKenndac

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 10:17:24 AM »
I think I'm missing something here. From the original post it is apparent that Canon doesn't have a problem with ML being run on its Cameras ... why would Canon sue if only for the EOS-1 cameras and not the others? After all, a hack is a hack.


Canon seem to be a lot more protective of the EOS-1 series. See the "Third Party Firmware?" section of this post, for example: http://www.canonrumors.com/2013/01/inside-the-canon-eos-1d-c/

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 10:25:01 AM »
From a legal perspective, nothing can ever "void" the warranty on a product per se.  However, this seems to be a commonly stated issue for many products.  For example, car dealerships often tell customers that if they don't perform the standard service work their warranty will be voided.  Absolutely untrue.   The warranty is a legal contract and can not be voided.  What is true, is that if damage is caused by user negligence the manufacturer can refuse to cover said damage.  So, continuing the car example, if you don't change your oil and the engine seizes because the oil has turned to equal parts syrup and sludge, they can refuse to cover the repair.

Therefore Canon's response is quite correct and honest.  If you install ML and the use of ML damages your camera, they don't have to cover.  But if ML is not the cause of the damage, they must honor the warranty.

As for Canon threatening legal action only for firmware hacks on a 1-series but not on other bodies that seems strange.   I seriously doubt that's their official position.  If ML is not supporting 1-series bodies it is far more likely that they just didn't want to put the work into writing code for 1-series bodies when for video the 5D2/3 is the much bigger market.

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 10:53:14 AM »


Therefore Canon's response is quite correct and honest.  If you install ML and the use of ML damages your camera, they don't have to cover.  But if ML is not the cause of the damage, they must honor the warranty.



+1

One thing I don't understand about the post: what does it mean that "only Canon is OK" with that? Other companies will refuse to even touch your camera if you installed a 3rd-party firmware - even if it has nothing to do with the damage?

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 10:53:14 AM »

Sella174

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 10:54:06 AM »
... Canon would take legal action against anyone publicly releasing unauthorized firmware for the EOS-1 bodies ...

Yeah, and Ford is going to sue Fiesta owners for fitting Regal tyres. Honestly, what's next ... the threat of legal action for the use of non-Canon lenses, unauthorised brands of CF cards and/or not "upgrading" within six months of the "replacement" model being announced.
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Meh

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 11:08:52 AM »


Therefore Canon's response is quite correct and honest.  If you install ML and the use of ML damages your camera, they don't have to cover.  But if ML is not the cause of the damage, they must honor the warranty.



+1

One thing I don't understand about the post: what does it mean that "only Canon is OK" with that? Other companies will refuse to even touch your camera if you installed a 3rd-party firmware - even if it has nothing to do with the damage?

They probably can take that position but not formally say "your warranty is voided".  Never underestimate the cleverness of people who want to take a self-serving position on an issue.  They could simply claim that part of their service process is to run diagnostic software and any unauthorised firmware would interfere.... blah blah blah.

The fun thing about our legal system is that anyone can do anything they want and your recourse is to sue them and that takes a lot of money and time with an uncertain outcome.   And referring back to my above point about being "clever for self-serving purposes", lawyers are the worst of the bunch.

The saving grace is that if you did sue them they would settle very quickly rather than spend the money defending and risk getting a ruling that they must change their policy.  If they settle with you and fix your camera/car/whatever they can keep on taking the same position with other customers and just deal with the few who scream the loudest.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 11:12:14 AM by Meh »

Sella174

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 11:10:17 AM »
Canon seem to be a lot more protective of the EOS-1 series.

Obvious. It's because all Canon cameras use (basically) the same processor, so if you decode/hack the firmware of the 1D-series, then you can enable all those nice things on Rebels ... like button re-assignment.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2013, 11:12:03 AM »
Sounds like CRguy's reference to 1-series bodies is a separate communication from this one.  Also, it seems unlikely that ML would state, "The 1-series and Cinema bodies are out of our project scope because we're afraid Canon will sue our pants off if we touch them." (In fact, both reasons are probably true for ML.)

I think I'm missing something here. From the original post it is apparent that Canon doesn't have a problem with ML being run on its Cameras ... why would Canon sue if only for the EOS-1 cameras and not the others? After all, a hack is a hack.

A hack to the 5DIII adds features without hurting Canon's bottom line.  A hacked 1D X that functions as a 1D C...Canon doesn't want.
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iKenndac

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2013, 11:12:17 AM »
Yeah, and Ford is going to sue Fiesta owners for fitting Regal tyres. Honestly, what's next ... the threat of legal action for the use of non-Canon lenses, unauthorised brands of CF cards and/or not "upgrading" within six months of the "replacement" model being announced.

Your analogy is fairly flawed. A more fitting car analogy would be Ford suing Fiesta owners for altering the software in the car's ECU.

The issue here isn't the users — Canon will never sue the users. The issue is with the developers of Magic Lantern. You enter some very tricky ground when you start reverse-engineering proprietary products that're covered by intellectual property laws. If you can prove that you've done a completely black-box reverse engineer (i.e., you did it completely on your own by observing the product(s) you have) then you're legally protected from lawsuits.

However, if there's even a whiff of some inside information being used - be it a confidential informant from inside the company or unearthing some leaked document and using the information therein, you get into very hot water very quickly.

I imagine Canon are happy to let things slide a bit for "lesser" cameras and Magic Lantern etc. However, if their stance on the EOS-1 is indeed what this thread is discussing, Canon's legal team will be looking for any possible way they can put pressure on the developers of Magic Lantern.

To be honest, I don't blame Magic Lantern's development team for keeping away from them. Sure, this all may just be smoke and mirrors from Canon, but from their point of view, it's not worth it. Someone posts a tip on their forum that helps development which later turns out to have been from an internal document? Bam - lawsuit.

Sella174

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 11:15:00 AM »
The fun thing about our legal system is that anyone can do anything they want and your recourse is to sue them and that takes a lot of money and time with an uncertain outcome.

The fun thing about the legal system where I live, is that (in this case) Canon must show monetary loss due to 3rd party firmware before they can sue.
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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 11:15:00 AM »

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 11:16:09 AM »
Sounds like CRguy's reference to 1-series bodies is a separate communication from this one.  Also, it seems unlikely that ML would state, "The 1-series and Cinema bodies are out of our project scope because we're afraid Canon will sue our pants off if we touch them." (In fact, both reasons are probably true for ML.)

I think I'm missing something here. From the original post it is apparent that Canon doesn't have a problem with ML being run on its Cameras ... why would Canon sue if only for the EOS-1 cameras and not the others? After all, a hack is a hack.

A hack to the 5DIII adds features without hurting Canon's bottom line.  A hacked 1D X that functions as a 1D C...Canon doesn't want.

Fair point.  The release of the 1DC opens up a nice little market for a firmware hack.   Still a tiny market though compared to 5D2/3 bodies used for video.... so maybe not worth getting into a battle with Canon.

Meh

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 11:18:43 AM »
The fun thing about our legal system is that anyone can do anything they want and your recourse is to sue them and that takes a lot of money and time with an uncertain outcome.

The fun thing about the legal system where I live, is that (in this case) Canon must show monetary loss due to 3rd party firmware before they can sue.

That's generally true in most jursidictions... if you are suing for damages you must prove the damages.  However, if there is any law, or interpretation thereof, that might disallow a third party from hacking their code they could seek an injunction without claiming damages.  And yes, it is fun :)

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Re: Will Third Party Firmware Void Your Canon Warranty?
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 11:18:43 AM »