Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Apr 2017 23:33 UTC
Legal

The right to repair movement is spreading. In recent weeks legislators in Iowa, Missouri, and North Carolina have introduced bills that would make it easier for you to fix your electronics, joining eight other states that introduced right-to-repair legislation earlier this year.

The bills would require manufacturers to sell replacement parts to consumers and independent repair companies and would also require them to open source diagnostic manuals. It would also give independent repair professionals the ability to bypass software locks that prevent repairs, allowing them to return a gadget back to its factory settings.

No-brainer laws in any functioning democracy. I hope these US states show the way, so other states - and hopefully, other countries - will follow.

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States' rights in action
by Morgan on Tue 11th Apr 2017 01:28 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

People not from the US like to bash on us (and rightly so) for how our federal government sucks and how backwards we can be, but this movement shows off one of the greatest things about the United States Constitution, the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


I wish my home state of Georgia was on the list of those taking action; sadly, Georgia is always behind the curve with innovation and progress. Our governor gleefully turned electric car incentives on their head, instead penalizing consumers who dared to buy fully electric vehicles.

Reply Score: 4

RE: States' rights in action
by acobar on Tue 11th Apr 2017 05:52 UTC in reply to "States' rights in action"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Don't get me wrong, USA is a great place, vast, beautiful and I like its educated citizens (i.e., the ones that are really educated), but on most of the world companies can not forbid owners and shops to fix things, this was an American greedy invention.

Granted, companies are not, usually, obligated to open the specs of their products except, of course, the ones related to security, recycle and interference, but anything that comes from reverse engineering is, usually, allowed for repair matters (even though selling product "clones" being considered illegal, of course).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: States' rights in action
by bryanv on Tue 11th Apr 2017 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE: States' rights in action"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

I think you need to remember that just being a citizen of the USA does not equate one to be a greedy asshat.

Are there greedy asshats in the USA? Yes.

Are all of us like that? No.

Are the majority? Probably not.

The greedy have engaged in corrupt activities to further fuel their greedy desires. Just like everywhere else.

Edited 2017-04-11 12:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: States' rights in action
by orfanum on Tue 11th Apr 2017 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: States' rights in action"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

I agree with you. My experience of the United States has been mixed, admittedly but that just makes it reassuringly like everywhere else. But people too easily forget why Bernie Sanders got the kind of support he did, forget that a lot of alternative technology and social movements originated in the US (how quickly folk have consigned the Occupy movement to less than a footnote in their avid current rush to bash Trump), as well as the role, for instance, the Beats have played in significantly informing and shaping counter- and cyberculture.

Europe (and I moved here to show my solidarity well before Brexit) neglects such aspects of US political culture at its peril.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: States' rights in action
by acobar on Tue 11th Apr 2017 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: States' rights in action"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

I think you need to remember that just being a citizen of the USA does not equate one to be a greedy asshat.

OK, I really think I should have worded better my sarcastic comment, I had no intention to offend anyone susceptibilities.

I truly understand that USA is a nice place and the constitution of USA was a master piece and a landmark for human societies but it has been, in my opinion, distorted and abused on its interpretation and applicability.

People usually forget, and I'm not saying you particularly do, that its inception is the result of the general acknowledgment of the asymmetrical power between the constituents of human societies and of the dangerous consequences of it. Being a mistreated end of colonialist policies certainly helped that.

I am, generally, critical of national, religion, race and gender "exceptionalism" and find it astonishing that even educated people fall for it. I recognize that exploiting it is useful for some classes, usually the worst we have on all societies.

Greedy knows no frontiers and definitively no political system, no matter how much some may like to paint itself.

I did not ascribe to general USA citizens a "greedy" intrinsic characteristic and was kind of surprised you interpreted things this way.

Reply Score: 2

RE: States' rights in action
by protomank on Tue 11th Apr 2017 16:29 UTC in reply to "States' rights in action"
protomank Member since:
2006-08-03

As from a country that have HUGE differences in demographics from north to south and concentrates almost all law in the federal level, I really envy the power given to states in USA.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: States' rights in action
by bryanv on Tue 11th Apr 2017 19:39 UTC in reply to "RE: States' rights in action"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

Sadly that's not as effective as you might think it is.
States rights, as well as individual rights, have been seriously curtailed over the last 20 years.

Because... you know... terrorists make people feel unsafe.

Reply Score: 2

You win some you lose some...
by cb88 on Tue 11th Apr 2017 01:41 UTC
cb88
Member since:
2009-04-23

NC has some of the most backward ISP laws...

I hope this passes though!

Even if it passes in a few states it will have a large effect on other states as well... as what you must provide in some states it is impractical to deny in others in many cases.

Reply Score: 2

I believe a response is being sent...
by cjcox on Tue 11th Apr 2017 02:45 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

Pretty sure Apple just sent 550 Tomahawk missiles out towards various legislatures.

My guess is that these bills won't get done...

Reply Score: 3

Heard about this (I'm Australian) on the radio
by garf on Tue 11th Apr 2017 03:48 UTC
garf
Member since:
2009-01-02
Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Tue 11th Apr 2017 08:42 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

There was a time when a service manual was included with all technical equipment purchased so that when something broke you could fix it by yourself at home.
Why does this only have to do with Apple? There are many more manufacturers that behave like this.
People buying into the Apple ecosystem usually know what they are signing in to and simply want to be treated by the manufacturer regardless the price they paid for.
I dare everyone to go find a service center that change the battery on a Nexus device or fix the pins on a broken motherboard.
Most will simply tell you that it's either not worth it, they don't have any parts in stock or simply go buy a cheaper model because it will cost less than what they will charge you in return.
This whole plan will only benefit judges in getting more money from lawsuits and service centers specific to mac that feel threatened by their future business model.

Edited 2017-04-11 08:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Sidux
by leech on Tue 11th Apr 2017 16:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by Sidux"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I bought a tablet a few years ago for 700 USD. It was the Galaxy Note 12.2 Pro. After 9 days of owning it, it had slipped off my lap as I turned my chair, fell and hit the chair leg, shattering the screen.

Broken screens of course aren't covered under warranty, so after 9 days, my tablet became 900 dollars...

That's right, 200 dollars to send off a brand new tablet to have a shattered screen replaced. If a law like this was in place, I probably could have bought a new screen and put it on myself, and it probably would have cost me 50 dollars to do so.

One of the main reasons they don't want to supply repair parts, is you could potentially build your own from parts and save a ton of money. At one point I was looking at all the parts for a Nokia N900, pretty sure I found everything for sale, except maybe the motherboard! But most devices, you can't even find a replacement screen, which is the most likely piece to break.

Our throwaway society really angers me at times, especially printers... where's it's cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to get new printer cartridges...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Sidux
by Alfman on Tue 11th Apr 2017 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Sidux"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

leech,

One of the main reasons they don't want to supply repair parts, is you could potentially build your own from parts and save a ton of money. At one point I was looking at all the parts for a Nokia N900, pretty sure I found everything for sale, except maybe the motherboard!


This seems contrary to what I've experienced. Often times I'm annoyed that buying individual components are a lot more expensive than buying finished products, haha.

I'm guessing what you mean is buying used/broken devices and reassembling components to make a new whole? If so, arguably the company shouldn't really complain because they already took their cut selling it the first time round ;)

Our throwaway society really angers me at times, especially printers... where's it's cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to get new printer cartridges...


Here here!

Reply Score: 2

Model legislation in the vein of UCC
by sydbarrett74 on Tue 11th Apr 2017 13:29 UTC
sydbarrett74
Member since:
2007-07-24

The fifty states should get together and craft model legislation just like what happened with the Uniform Commercial Code, and then introduce corresponding legislation in each individual legislature. That way, manufacturers wouldn't have to comply with fifty different laws, and they might not fight the movement as vehemently.

Edited 2017-04-11 13:30 UTC

Reply Score: 1

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

The fifty states should get together and craft model legislation just like what happened with the Uniform Commercial Code, and then introduce corresponding legislation in each individual legislature. That way, manufacturers wouldn't have to comply with fifty different laws, and they might not fight the movement as vehemently.


I see it going the opposite way. Show them what it would be like to have to comply with fifty different laws. Then maybe they'll be more likely to change their tune about a national right-to-repair law.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

I see it going the opposite way. Show them what it would be like to have to comply with fifty different laws. Then maybe they'll be more likely to change their tune about a national right-to-repair law.


I see it as an uphill battle.

Without federal laws, I suspect many companies will just ignore the state laws since they're only responsible for abiding by laws in which they're incorporated, the states have no jurisdiction to go after out-of-state companies. It's the same reason state sales taxes usually go uncollected for online purchases.

I wish right to repair could apply to software as well as hardware since we face very similar obstacles. Often times devices that aren't physically broken still have to be trashed because the software is not maintained and is vulnerable to increasingly widespread exploits. The result is the exact same: forced to buy new instead of repair.


This should not be allowed to happen.
http://www.businessinsider.com/googles-nest-closing-smart-home-comp...


It would be better if, when a company chooses to discontinue support of a product, the company also released the tool-chains to the customers so that they are able to continue support by themselves.

Reply Score: 2

Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

There is also the issues of companies buying competitors just to get rid of the competitors hardware/software. They shouldn't be allowed to do that either. If they buy a competitor and don't plan to use software that came with the company being purchased, that software should be put out into public domain.

Mergers often benefit only the stock holders and the heads of companies while "injuring" people that used the software or hardware which is not going to be sold anymore.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Sabon,

There is also the issues of companies buying competitors just to get rid of the competitors hardware/software. They shouldn't be allowed to do that either. If they buy a competitor and don't plan to use software that came with the company being purchased, that software should be put out into public domain.

Mergers often benefit only the stock holders and the heads of companies while "injuring" people that used the software or hardware which is not going to be sold anymore.


Yea, on a moral level it kind of makes sense that abandoned software should be public domain.

Reply Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Without federal laws, I suspect many companies will just ignore the state laws since they're only responsible for abiding by laws in which they're incorporated, the states have no jurisdiction to go after out-of-state companies. It's the same reason state sales taxes usually go uncollected for online purchases.


Are they still allowed to sell in states if they ignore the law? If enough states pass the laws, then it would affect the sales and the state in which they're incorporated would get less tax revenue. That state would then see it is in their best interest to also get right-to-repair laws.

It would be better if, when a company chooses to discontinue support of a product, the company also released the tool-chains to the customers so that they are able to continue support by themselves.


I think this is one thing we're both 100% in agreement with.

I suspect, though, with the flack that all these IoT devices are getting for their lack of security, opening up their tool chains may open up to legal action for negligence.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

Are they still allowed to sell in states if they ignore the law? If enough states pass the laws, then it would affect the sales and the state in which they're incorporated would get less tax revenue. That state would then see it is in their best interest to also get right-to-repair laws.


I'm not familiar with the nuances, but yes out of state companies are still allowed to do business under federal interstate commerce rights. States aren't allowed to discriminate against out of state companies just because they're outside of local jurisdiction. Sometimes this creates weird incentives, like incoprorating in delaware for tax purposes.


I think this is one thing we're both 100% in agreement with.

I suspect, though, with the flack that all these IoT devices are getting for their lack of security, opening up their tool chains may open up to legal action for negligence.


Yea, I think we could come up with good technical solutions, but it's a bit futile if the companies that manufacture products aren't on board and don't follow through.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Sabon,

If states pass these measures/laws, what will happen is that cell phones and other devices will have to be made modular so that parts will be replaceable. This will lead to cell phones and other devices to be multiple times thicker and heavier than they are now.

Consider the first cell phones which were the size of bricks. Cell phones probably won't get back to that size but they will head that direction.

And what happens when they want to add funcationality to the devices. Since they can't make them integrated with each other it will mean that the device will get bigger. After all, how small can you make a part where you, by law, have to make it so that part can be replaced. The connectors will end up being bigger than the part itself.

And what about batteries? The batteries themselves will have to be replaceable but that isn't the main thing.

The main thing is that the more connections you have the more power loss you have the bigger the battery you need to have in order for the device to have power for as long as you had before when it was all integrated.

Being able to repair a vacuum cleaner is one thing. We don't carry those around in our pockets. And we won't be able to do that anymore with these bigger and heavier cell phones either.

Be careful of what you wish for. It just might come true with unintended consequences.



I realize you are probably just speculating without having read the bills, but taken in context of some of the bills, these fears seem unfounded.

https://legiscan.com/MO/text/HB1178/id/1542981/Missouri-2017-HB1178-...
407.651. 1. Manufacturers of consumer products sold or used in the state shall:
2 (1) Make available to independent repair facilities or owners of products
3 manufactured by the manufacturer diagnostic and repair information, including repair
4 technical updates, diagnostic software, service access passwords, updates and corrections
5 to firmware, and related documentation, free of charge and in the same manner the
6 manufacturer makes such information available to its authorized repair providers; and
7 (2) Make available for purchase by the product owner or the authorized agent of
8 the owner, service parts, including updates to the firmware of the parts, for purchase upon
9 fair and reasonable terms.




There's nothing about batteries, thickness, or anything calling for changes in how a device must be manufactured at all, only giving 3rd parties the "right to repair". I've been following this a little bit and the 3rd party repair shops pushing for this movement want manufacturers to provide the necessary information, parts, tools, etc. They're not asking manufacturers to change their products.


Assuming any of these can pass, a consumer will have more choices for repair, including authorized shops. It's similar to our right to repair our cars wherever we want without being forced to go to the dealer.

Edited 2017-04-11 16:56 UTC

Reply Score: 5

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

So part of the 'against this' thought line; actually being able to open up some of these devices without causing some sort of damage to them is a thing. Most tablets have no visible screws, and you have to literally pry open the back with something and hope you don't crack things.

An Asus tablet my mother had has stopped powering on twice for her, both times I had to pry the back off and re-seat the battery cable.

If I hadn't been curious, this would have cost money each time, even though it only needed the cable plugged in. The battery is held in loosely, so if the tablet is dropped, it pops out.

Reply Score: 2

We're missing something important
by darknexus on Wed 12th Apr 2017 17:54 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Even if we were to get right to repair legislation enacted all across the country and not just in a few states, that doesn't mean the parts themselves will be available. I have it on good authority from sources who would not wish to be identified that many major companies do not generally repair their own products at all. Rather they recycle them and get as much raw material back as they can. So what does a right to repair law, requiring that parts and specifications be available to everyone in the same manner as the original companies and/or authorized resellers, do when the OEMs themselves do not repair their products? There would be no information and no parts to be made available.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting
by BlackV on Thu 13th Apr 2017 05:47 UTC
BlackV
Member since:
2012-04-23

In Soviet Union it was mandatory for civilian electronic devices manufactors to provide complete electric schematics with marked part numbers and types of components, so anyone with enough skill could repair it.
All radios, TVs, etc really included these data printed (well duh, no internet available yet).

Reply Score: 1