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

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: Comment by ahferroin7
by Gargyle on Wed 31st Jan 2018 14:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by ahferroin7"
Gargyle
Member since:
2015-03-27

I think I understand what you are trying to say, but the distinction between mechanical being simple and electronical being complicated and thus having more valuable designs is a silly one.

If only multiple car companies did not pour millions or even billions into the design of a car. Granted, it's not the same level of cash compared to what top-tier electronics manufacturing companies use to drown their R&D departments, but it's still far from "so simple it doesn't even require patenting or licensing".

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by ahferroin7
by ahferroin7 on Wed 31st Jan 2018 14:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by ahferroin7"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by ahferroin7
by Gargyle on Wed 31st Jan 2018 15:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ahferroin7"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

You are right in that the core functionality of a car isn't patent or copyright encumbered, but you must realise that you need much more than that to be able to launch your new car onto the very strictly regulated markets of today.

Adhering to emission and safety standards isn't simple nor cheap to realise.

In the same way can you now make a product of the core functionality of a cpu, because the core x86 ISA patents (from the 386) have expired already. But being able to produce your simple and 'libre' 386 isn't anything meaningful in today's market where you need serious funds and a proper patent portfolio to actually get somewhere.

Edited 2018-01-31 15:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by ahferroin7
by zima on Sat 3rd Feb 2018 22:33 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ahferroin7"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

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

If it would take decades, you probably wouldn't be dealing with litigation at this point... ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2