What is the right to repair?
9:35

What is the right to repair?

Tech Industry
Speaker 1: Are you allowed to fix the stuff you buy? Maybe that's why the right to repair movement is making waves. Let's talk about it when you buy something, do you own it as in, can you do anything you want to that object? Common sense says, yeah, of course I can. If I want to torture my phone by throwing it off of ridiculous Heights, I should be able to do that. But what if you want to fix that device, you should be able to take [00:00:30] that thing to anywhere and get it fixed. Right? Aha. That's where the sticky part comes in. Some companies who sold you an item still want control over that item. Even after it's in your hands. If you had a right to repair companies would have to share information with others. That would mean that users and third party companies would have access to the necessary tools, parts, and manuals to repair product they've purchased instead of relying on the manufacturer of the product. Speaker 1: [00:01:00] So let's highlight ause situations that got people talking about the rights to repair back in 2016, apple updated iOS, and some people found their devices weren't working now. Why was that error? 53. If iOS noticed that a home button with touch ID was repaired by an unofficial company or individual error, 53 would pop up and brick your phone error. 53 would also show up on damaged iPhones. If the iPhone worked fine with that repair before [00:01:30] the update error, 53 would put an end to that. Apple's official response was that an unauthorized home button with touch ID could compromise fingerprint data. Apple later issued an update, UNB, brick, iPhones, and apologize for any inconvenience. Then there's John Deere. John Deere's policies caused some issues for its customers. Farmers had to sign a license that meant only authorized repair shops could work on tractors. So if a farmer wanted to fix something [00:02:00] themselves, Nope, that wasn't allowed. Speaker 1: They wanted to get a mechanic to work on their tractor. That's not allowed either unless that mechanic is authorized for a tractor to get repaired, a technician would have to hook the machine up via USB to authorize the part. And then there's the medical community. COVID 19 put a huge stress on medical equipment and hospitals everywhere. A report by the United States public interest research group or us P I R G like in restrictions [00:02:30] on fixing medical equipment to tactics used by apple and John Deere, the us P I R G said that manufacturers refuse to provide access to service manuals and design machines to require Cal celebration software to activate new spare parts. That software wouldn't be available. So why won't companies just let you repair your own stuff? One argument manufacturers use is safety. Let's dive into apple statement on error 53. [00:03:00] It says we take customer security very seriously and error. Speaker 1: 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your devices. Other components. If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and touch ID, including for apple pay use is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent touch ID sensor from being [00:03:30] used. Here's John Deere's official statement on its policies, software modifications increase the risk. That equipment will not function as designed as a result, allowing unqualified individuals to modify equipment software can endanger machine performance. In addition to Deere customers, dealers, and others resulting in equipment that no longer complies with industry and safety slash environmental regulations, both are similar. If you get a re pair from an [00:04:00] unauthorized vendor, there could be safety concerns is this safety argument even true. The United States federal trade commission issued a report that breaks down the entire situation. Speaker 1: It's called mixing the fix and FTC reports to Congress on repair restrictions. The United States has the Magnuson MOS warranty act. It contains what is known as an anti tying provision. I'm gonna delve a little into the laws text because the text is super important. That provision bars manufacturers [00:04:30] from using access to warranty coverage, as a way to obstruct the consumer's ability to have their products maintained or repaired using third party and independent repair shops. Well, if that's the law, how are companies getting away with such a tight grip? The FTC listed the following ways companies manage to restrict repairs. Even with that law in place, there are product designs that complicate or prevent repair. There's the unavailability of parts and repair information. [00:05:00] There are policy or statements get steer consumers to manufacture repair networks. Sometimes there's disparagement of non OEM parts and independent repair. There could also be software locks and firmware updates or everyone's favorites and user license agreements. Speaker 1: The FTC report takes on the safety argument directly. The agency's said that quote concerns that the safety of users repair personnel and the public should not automatically justify restricting repairs to [00:05:30] authorized repair networks without further analysis. The FTC also said that manufacturers have not provided factual support that authorized repair people are more careful or that in the repair shops fail to take safety precautions. Now just think about your car. Do you trust your local mechanic any less than the dealership? The FTC report has a strong worded quote by Vermont state Senator Pearson about this matter quote. When we think about motor vehicles, I think we would all agree in automobile [00:06:00] is one of the more dangerous products that we own. And we control to say that consumers should not be permitted to take electronics to a repair shop is basically insisting that our cars have to be repaired at the dealer. Speaker 1: We've rejected this argument as a society. And this has to do with a ton of steel that we're hurdling down the road. You know, we'd be wise to do the same when it comes to lightweight electronics, heavy washing machines, everything in between end quote, the FTC also mentions that manufacturers [00:06:30] can choose to make products safer to repair by design. By the way, that's always an option. Then you've got your right to repair advocates and their arguments. Here's what they say. When you have restrictions to repair, these things can happen. Timely repairs are delayed. The price of repairs can rise. It can cause harm to the environment and threaten small businesses. A piece published by Smithsonian magazine weighed back in 2016, pointed out what incentives companies have to make their products hard to fix by [00:07:00] controlling repairs, the company can make money off the repairs. This can allow for repair prices to be higher. Speaker 1: The article pointed out it was more expensive to get an iPhone battery replacement from apple compared to other places at the time of publication, a difficult to repair device can have an environmental and impact. If you can't repair something, you'll likely buy a replacement. What happens to that broken device? It needs to be disposed of e-waste is particularly worrisome. The EPA says [00:07:30] it has serious concerns about unsafe handling of used electronics. And e-waste in developing countries that results in harm to human health and the environment. The EPA also mentions the danger of toxic materials leaching into the environment, which can lead to workers, having irreversible health effects, including cancers. So what legislation is happening now, there is an organization called the digital right to repair coalition, also known as the repair. So station that is [00:08:00] pushing the right to repair to states. The coalition explained that its primary intent is to lobby for repair friendly legislation on its site. Speaker 1: The repair association listed its milestones, pointing out all the different states that have filed repair friendly bills. According to the us P I R G 27 states have IED used or carried over right to repair legislation in 2021 as of April 22nd, 2021. But there's more a Huffington post article said that apple [00:08:30] has lobbied against right to repair legislation. This assertion was backed by public government filings the article also sites, Massachusetts representative play D Kronan of the rights to repair legislation. She said, quote, it has certainly come to my attention that apple is opposed to this bill end quote. So we've got states trying to get something done with the right to repair companies, have their arguments against it. Then we've got an executive order by president Biden. That order quote, encourages [00:09:00] the FTC to limit powerful equipment manufacturers from restricting people's ability to use independent repair shops or do DIY repairs such as when tractor companies block farmers from repairing their own tractor. What do you think? Should we be able to get our devices fixed by any person, including ourselves or third parties sound off in the comments? If and when any substantial movement happens, we'll have updates here. So subscribe and hit that notification bell. If you wanna [00:09:30] stay informed, I'm Maya Z Zach tar, and I'll see you online.

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