Companies like Apple maintain control over devices you purchase, even when they break. Major tech companies like Apple have trampled legislation that would have helped consumers and small businesses fix broken gadgets.
New York state legislation that would have required manufacturers to provide information about how to repair devices like the iPhone failed to get a vote, ending any chance of passage this legislative session. Similar measures have met the same fate in Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and, yes, even previously in New York.
Essentially, politicians never get to vote on so-called right to repair legislation because groups petitioning on behalf of the electronics industry gum up the proceedings.
Senate Bill S3998B (Summary): Requires manufacturers of digital electronic parts to offer for sale diagnostic and repair information in the same manner as such manufacturer provides such diagnostic and repair information to such manufacturer's repair channel; section does not apply to motor vehicles.
“We were disappointed that it wasn’t brought to the floor, but we were successful in bringing more attention to the issue,” New York state Sen. Phil Boyle (R), a sponsor of the bill, told The Huffington Post Friday.
Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of The Repair Association, a group of nonprofits and businesses that backed New York’s right to repair legislation, blamed the lack of a vote on lobbyists for major tech companies.
“They threw enough doubt into the minds of legislators that Fair Repair was not put out for a vote,” Gordon-Byrne told HuffPost in an email, referring to the legislation by its title, the “Fair Repair Act.” “Four companies against 19 million [New York] consumers.”
Gordon-Byrne said lobbyists from IBM, Apple, Xerox and Cisco were particularly active in working against the legislation. A variety of interests have opposed right to repair measures in the past, including the Consumer Technology Association, to which IBM, Apple and Cisco belong.
Advocates say right to repair laws would protect consumers and help the environment by insuring that devices last longer, thus reducing electronics waste. If you or a business can affordably repair a broken device, you may have less incentive to buy a new one, the logic goes.
But corporations typically oppose right to repair legislation because it would relax their total control over their products.
“The proposal could enable anyone posing as a repair shop to reverse-engineer such a device to create counterfeit devices,” the Consumer Technology Association once wrote in a letter opposing right to repair obtained by HuffPost.
Louis Rossman, an electronics repairman who makes informational videos, recently claimed on YouTube and Reddit that companies like Apple argue that third-party repairs destroy the integrity of their products.
“I just thought I'd add my two cents in here.
When I visited the Senate in Albany, I was allowed into many rooms I would not usually have access to, and able to speak to many highly qualified, intelligent individuals in politics. I was given a rare opportunity to be inside the "inner circle", and to hear what was going on.
It made me want to throw up in my mouth. Lobbyists opposing this bill literally told people that when I repair a Macbook using schematics I find online, that I am turning it into a PC when I replace a resistor or run a wire. Then I tell my customer that it is still a Macbook, which is misrepresenting the device to my customer, which is why they need to keep these schematics out of the hands of end users.
Apple says it does not comment on pending legislation, but maintains its products don’t contribute to an e-waste problem.
Regardless, New Yorkers, at least, will have to wait until next year before right to repair legislation has another chance.
Read Article (name | domain | 03/11/2016)
When a high-tech device breaks the manufacturer want it repaired only by them. As in the case of Apple, this is part of their revenue stream. And when the repair costs get too high for you, this prompts you to buy a newer version.
Normal electronic repair shops are quite capable of making these repairs at a quarter the cost and maybe the repair is better (and permanent).
This really does bring into question – “Authorized Repair Centers”.
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