Apples to oranges. This all comes back to property rights and what you're actually buying. In your example I don't own the race track so I have no rights to it without the express permission of the owner, a fee may be involved. In this case, however, the discussion revolves around what one can do with property they own. Sharing information about that property is neither immoral nor unlawful. It would seem it is illegal under the DMCA but that seems rather ridiculous to most with rational heads on their shoulders. If the manufacturer wanted to sell added capacity they shouldn't sell the unit in a crippled state but make the add-on features available by way of additional/replacement hardware. A good example of this is the Roland synthesizer expansion cards that provide additional instrument patches. They're a little PCB that you pop in to a slot under an easily accessible panel. I don't really know a great deal about oscilloscopes but I suspect it's not beyond reason to expect that a company producing complex electronic devices do something similar. This is especially true given how technical the consumer base is for such products and the idea they're surprised by it is, quite frankly, ridiculous.