The Fight for the “Right to Repair” 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/fight-right-repair-180959764/

There are too many devices today that are intentionally made unrepairable by the owner – trying to repair can be even illegal. We should have right to repair or even modify things we own.

6 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jason Koebler / Motherboard:
    Nebraska state senator warns that Apple is opposing the state’s proposed “right to repair” bill; similar bills are making their way through 7 other states — Apple is inventing new and interesting arguments to prevent you from fixing your iPhone: It’s lobbying Nebraska lawmakers to kill …

    Apple Tells Lawmaker that Right to Repair iPhones Will Turn Nebraska Into a ‘Mecca’ for Hackers
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/apple-tells-lawmaker-that-right-to-repair-iphones-will-turn-nebraska-into-a-mecca-for-hackers

    Inside Apple’s absurd lobbying strategy.

    Apple is inventing new and interesting arguments to prevent you from fixing your iPhone: It’s lobbying Nebraska lawmakers to kill “right to repair” legislation, telling them unauthorized repair will turn the state into a “mecca” for hackers.

    Right to repair bills, which are currently making their way through eight states (Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Wyoming, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, and Massachusetts), would require electronics manufacturers to make repair parts and diagnostic and repair manuals available to independent repair professionals and consumers, not just “authorized” repair companies. Electronics right to repair legislation is modeled on a 2012 Massachusetts law that preserved the right to repair cars.

    The most logical reason for manufacturers to oppose the bills is that it would democratize the repair economy, making it possible for consumers to fix their own things and cutting into the profits of repairs done at, for example, the Apple store.

    “They said that doing this would make it very easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska.”

    “Apple said we would be the only state that would pass this, and that we would become the mecca for bad actors,”

    Brasch said the representatives made two other main arguments: They said repair could cause lithium batteries to catch fire, and said that there are already enough authorized places to get iPhones repaired, such as the Apple store.

    “When you’re talking about safety, there’s a greater chance I’ll fall down and hit my head. I told them until you have an app that defies gravity, I don’t think we have to worry about safety. There’s always a risk and there’s always a disclaimer,”

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware
    https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/03/22/0535242/why-american-farmers-are-hacking-their-tractors-with-ukrainian-firmware

    Tractor owners across the country are reportedly hacking their John Deere tractors using firmware that’s cracked in Easter Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums. The reason is because John Deere and other manufacturers have “made it impossible to perform ‘unauthorized’ repair on farm equipment,” which has obviously upset many farmers who see it “as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time,” reports Jason Koebler via Motherboard.

    A license agreement John Deere required farmers to sign in October forbids nearly all repair and modification to farming equipment, and prevents farmers from suing for “crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment [...] arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software.”

    Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware
    A dive into the thriving black market of John Deere tractor hacking.
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-american-farmers-are-hacking-their-tractors-with-ukrainian-firmware

    To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.

    Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

    “When crunch time comes and we break down, chances are we don’t have time to wait for a dealership employee to show up and fix it,” Danny Kluthe, a hog farmer in Nebraska, told his state legislature earlier this month. “Most all the new equipment [requires] a download [to fix].”

    The nightmare scenario, and a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn’t be anything a farmer could do about it.

    “What you’ve got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market”

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jason Koebler / Motherboard:
    Lobbying records in New York state show Apple, Verizon, and tech trade orgs oppose the Fair Repair Act that would prohibit software locks that restrict repairs

    Apple Is Lobbying Against Your Right to Repair iPhones, New York State Records Confirm
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/apple-is-lobbying-against-your-right-to-repair-iphones-new-york-state-records-confirm

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The European Parliament believes that the Commission, EU countries and manufacturers of goods should ensure that only products that can be easily repaired and upgraded are available to consumers. Especially electronics, mobile phones and software are now in the focus.

    Members of the European Parliament want goods and software to be easier to repair or upgrade. They called for the EU to intervene in intentional short service life and to offer spare parts to consumers more economically.

    According to reports from the EU a couple of years ago, 77% of consumers in the EU would prefer old products instead of buying new ones. According to MEPs, new “Minimum Standards for Sustainability” should be introduced for product groups from design.

    In Parliament, French Green Pascal Durand said: “We must make all the products sold to be repaired. We need to make sure that batteries or batteries are no longer glued to the product but fixed so that the phone does not have to be discarded when its battery stops working ‘

    The European Parliament asks the Commission to consider a ‘voluntary European label’, which should make it clear, in particular, how product is sustainable, ecologically designed, able to change parts through technological development and product remediation.

    Source: https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2017/07/05/kannykkaakkujen-oltava-helpommin-vaihdettavissa-eu-vaatii-parempaa-korjattavuutta/

    More: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/579000/IPOL_STU(2016)579000_EN.pdf

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Bit Of Mainstream Coverage For The Right To Repair
    https://hackaday.com/2017/10/02/a-bit-of-mainstream-coverage-for-the-right-to-repair/

    Entitled “A ‘right to repair’ movement tools up“, it lays out the issues and introduces the Repair Association, a political lobby group that campaigns for “Right to repair” laws in the individual states of the USA.

    You might now be asking why this is important, why are we telling you something you already know? The answer lies in the publication in which it appears. The Economist is aimed at politicians and influencers worldwide. In other words, when we here at Hackaday talk about the right to repair, we’re preaching to the choir. When they do it at the Economist, they’re preaching to the crowd who can make a difference. And that’s important.

    If it’s broken, you can’t fix it
    A “right to repair” movement tools up
    https://www.economist.com/news/business/21729744-tractors-smartphones-mending-things-getting-ever-harder-right-repair-movement

    From tractors to smartphones, mending things is getting ever harder

    AS DEVICES go, smartphones and tractors are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. And an owner of a chain of mobile-device repair shops and a farmer of corn and soyabeans do not usually have much in common. But Jason DeWater and Guy Mills are upset for the same reason. “Even we can no longer fix the home button of an iPhone,” says Mr DeWater, a former musician who has turned his hobby of tinkering into a business based in Omaha, Nebraska. “If we had a problem with our John Deere, we could fix it ourselves. No longer,” explains Mr Mills whose farm in Ansley, a three-hour drive to the west, spreads over nearly 4,000 acres.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why We Must Fight for the Right to Repair Our Electronics
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/conservation/why-we-must-fight-for-the-right-to-repair-our-electronics

    The Consumer Technology Association estimated that residents of the United States bought 183 million smartphones in 2016. There are already as many TVs in this country as there are people. That’s a lot of electronics, and these numbers are just going up.

    On balance, all this technology is probably making our lives better. But there’s a downside, too: The stuff often malfunctions. Unlike the 30-year-old mixer on your kitchen counter that refuses to die, new technology—especially the smart devices with fancy, embedded electronics—breaks more quickly. That trend, confirmed by a recent study by the German government

    Manufacturers would prefer to sell you their latest models rather than repair your old electronics, so they work to make fixing their products too expensive or too impractical. It’s a global problem

    Tossing things out instead of fixing them has far-reaching consequences—for consumers, for the economy, and for the environment. Indeed, a future in which nothing ever gets repaired isn’t bright for anyone except the people trying to sell you new products. And many of us are not prepared to accept that future without a fight.

    In 2013, a group of concerned consumers, recyclers, refurbishers, environmentalists, digital-rights advocates, and repair specialists in the United States teamed up to found Repair.org

    Over the past few years, this battle has been heating up. In 2017, twelve states introduced “right to repair” legislation that would make it easier for consumers to fix broken digital equipment. With grassroots support, Repair.org is leading the charge to turn these bills into laws.

    Reply

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