Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 30th Jan 2018 23:36 UTC

Third party phone repair shops say that phone makers like Apple and game console makers like Sony and Microsoft have effectively monopolized repair, using their size and power to drive smaller companies out of business.

Verizon and Apple have worked in union to thwart such bills in several states, but traditionally don't like to publicly talk about their lobbying on this front. They now have another state to worry about, with Washington State considering their own right to repair bill, created in the wake of outrage over Apple's decision to throttle the performance of older phones to (Apple insists) protect device integrity in the wake of failing battery performance.

I've said it a million times by now, but I see no reason why computers should be treated any different than cars: PC and phone makers should be forced to publicise the necessary information to allow third-party repair shops to repair their devices, all without voiding warranty.

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RE[2]: Comment by ahferroin7
by ahferroin7 on Wed 31st Jan 2018 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ahferroin7"
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I'm not saying it's simple enough to not require licensing. I'm saying there aren't any claimable intellectual property rights on the core design components (in other words, there are no patents or other intellectual property claims on what makes a car a car).

Anybody can design an internal combustion engine and not have to worry about getting hit with litigation, same with wheels, disc brakes, a transmission system, a steering system, etc. Mechanical components like that can't be copyrighted for anything other than decorative aspects (at least, they shouldn't be able to be, and in the case of automobiles they aren't), and they're sufficiently 'common knowledge' at this point that they also can't be patented unless they're a truly innovative reimplementation.

In contrast to that, pretty much everything inside an smart phone is protected by patents or copyright (yes, copyright, since apparently software isn't a functional component according to the US supreme court...). I can't go out and design a new smartphone from scratch without having to deal with either litigation or royalties from more than a dozen companies. Even if I were to go as far as designing the CPU, GPU, baseband processor, and other components all from scratch (which would take decades for what it's worth), I would still be dealing with litigation on at least the baseband processor and probably most of the other core components.

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