Right to Repair

The Feds Are Finally Getting Involved in the Fight Over Right To Repair

Right to Repair has become a national policy issue.

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With 20 states considering Right to Repair bills this legislative cycle, the fight over who can fix the stuff consumers buy and own has become a national policy debate, bringing together an eclectic mix of advocates from across the tech, medical, and farming industries. Even presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) has addressed the issue, indicating that she would support a national right-to-repair law that applies to farm equipment. 

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop, "Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions," which focused on testimony from experts on how manufacturers limit repairs by consumers and independent repair shops. The event highlighted the growing momentum—and potential for more federal involvement—behind the issue.  

"The Nixing the Fix workshop was a big day for Right to Repair," says Nathan Proctor, the director of the Right to Repair Campaign for US PIRG, a consumer rights organization. "Perhaps manufacturers thought they could wait out our side—that eventually people would just become used to manufacturers deciding for people when they can fix devices that we own. But instead of petering out, calls for action are growing, drawing interest from more states, now the FTC. I wouldn't be surprised if Congress took note of the campaign next." 

Repair advocates are pushing for state measures that would require manufacturers to make tools, parts, and information more accessible to consumers and independent third-party repair shops. But major manufacturers like Apple and John Deere have pushed back aggressively against such legislation, often using copyright law to preserve their monopoly over the post-purchase repair market. As a result, consumers have fewer options to fix their own products when they break—for a period of time Apple was disabling iPhone 6s when the company detected work had been done at independent repair shops, and John Deere continues to force many tractor owners to travel hundreds of miles to authorized retailers for simple fixes to farm equipment. 

"The basic question is why is repair being monopolized?" says Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of The Repair Association, a trade association representing independent repair workers. "It is just money. If you dig in any one of these corners you will find a pot of money."

According to Repair.org, there are over 3 million repair and reuse professionals operating in the U.S. Those independent operators help people save money and prevent the pileup of electronic waste. But tech firms like Apple are quick to argue that passing right-to-repair legislation would put consumers and manufacturers at risk. George Kirchner, who attended the panel on behalf of the Rechargeable Battery Association, argued that customers could hurt themselves if they were allowed to replace their own cellphone batteries, and that manufacturers could be held liable for "mishandled" equipment. 

"The cure for unsafe products is more repair. The cure for getting rid of faulty parts is more repair, not less," responded Gordon-Byrne. 

Last year, Reason highlighted the case of Eric Lundgren, an e-waste entrepreneur, who was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for copying and selling CDs for restoring the Windows operating system on broken PCs—discs that Microsoft gives away for free.

"I've been telling these manufacturers: Right to Repair is happening," states Proctor. "It's time they got in front of it, instead of trying to stop it."

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102 responses to “The Feds Are Finally Getting Involved in the Fight Over Right To Repair

  1. You don’t have a right to repair. You do have a right to not buy products that aren’t repairable if that is important to you.

    1. Wrong. We are buying a product and the purchaser is the owner of said item at time of sell. But our more greedier company con-artists out their decided that buying and leasing are the same thing when they are not. If you are leasing a product to me. Then say ” Come and lease our products” , not ” Come and buy are products”. But do not try and convince me of being in some twilight zone of unownership.

      1. Government intervention in The Market is bad unless it isn’t.

        1. But the manufacturers use the government intervention of intellectual property laws to enforce restrictions on repair. Sauce for the goose…

          1. There are arguments on both sides of this, because by and large multiple complaints have been jammed in together on this.

            In general, IP law is abused in ways that are un-libertarian. The remedy is not some omnibus right-to-repair legislation, but to define stronger limits on IP law.

            However, numerous other complaints seeking remedy under the R2R movement are bordering socialistic command and control- requiring manufacturers to maintain spare parts for a certain time, requiring them to sell them to anybody, or requiring companies to publish detailed repair manuals. These sorts of things will make it harder for startups to compete with established players. They will decrease innovation and ultimately hurt consumers.

            1. The detailed repair manuals already exist – that is how “Factory Authorized Service Centers” do the repairs. The question becomes can a non-factory partner buy the manuals and tools to complete the repair.
              In the case of computers, can someone get access to the keys to log in or sign new software.

        2. “”Government intervention in The Market is bad unless it isn’t.””

          Yeah, so why should companies use the government to prevent you from repairing?

    2. These products are repairable, But the companies are saying that we have no right to repair them at all, after they sell to us or when they decide that the product is no longer supported. Even disabling the product from afar.

    3. Excellent observation by I am the 0.000000013%.

      As a rule of thumb, we don’t need the government to do anything for us that we can’t already do for ourselves, and the last thing we need is for the government to protect us from the negative consequences of our own bad choices. If repairing your own phone is an important consideration for you, then you should factor that into your purchasing decisions. If you didn’t, then you should suffer the negative consequences and learn from them. Make better choices next time.

      1. “If repairing your own phone is an important consideration for you, then you should factor that into your purchasing decisions. If you didn’t, then you should suffer the negative consequences and learn from them. Make better choices next time.”

        Your idea is that before buying something we fear might require repair at some point, we should obtain from the manufacturer, retailer, and any others, assurance that they will allow us to repair what we’ve bought if we think it’s necessary? It makes sense if we just borrow the thing. But if we buy it, that should make some difference, shouldn’t it?

        1. No.

          The onus is on you. You are the most powerful person here. You can choose where to spend your money. Don’t depend on someone else to protect you.

          1. ” Don’t depend on someone else to protect you.”

            I agree, basically. But I would add, ‘Don’t expect the choices on offer to be attractive or the choices that you’ve made to be satisfactory.’
            Might as well go whole hog existential on this.

        2. “But if we buy it, that should make some difference, shouldn’t it?”
          No.

          1. Just as well say, “You didn’t make that” — Screams Sevo.. Where have I heard that before.

    4. Whatever happened to, “It’s a private company. They can do whatever they want.”? Or does that only apply to social media now?

      1. Sure. So, level the playing field. The companies can surrender the “intellectual property” protections that allow them to enforce restrictions on repair, and owners of their products can do whatever they want with them. If the manufacturers use government intervention put restrictions on consumers, don’t be surprised if consumers fight back by seeking government intervention on their behalf.

        1. But you do need SOME IP protections to protect start-ups. It’s the entire idea behind IP, or patents in general: you might lose money during the time you spend developing this, and you have a right to profits resulting from your creation to help balance out the losses you incurred while developing something that wasn’t ready to sell.

          The issue is when IP gets abused, not the concept of intellectual property itself.

          1. No, the “concept of intellectual property itself” is also a problem. There is no such thing as “intellectual property”. Patents and copyrights are special privileges granted by government and enforced by force. They have nothing to do with property rights. To some limited extent, government enforcement of patents and copyrights can be argued to be sufficiently beneficial to society that they justify a limited abridgement of liberty, but they must be understood to be an abridgement that we tolerate because the benefits are worth it, and not protection of any right held by assignees of patents and copyrights.

    5. “You don’t have a right to repair”

      That is an anti-property rights and anti-libertarian statement. So the only ones allowed to repair, is who the manufacturer says may repair? I’ll give the manufacturer freedom to void a warranty under such conditions, but that’s about it. And you’d only be able to repair your car at the dealership under those rules. Plus many manufacturers would prohibit repairs at all, in preference to you buying a new one from them.

      When you buy something you own it, including the right to repair, reverse engineer, take it apart and put it back together. And restricting the work people can do, is considered a unnecessary restriction to the free market (but great for a manufacturer if they can get the government to enforce a monopoly for them). If manufacturers don’t want unauthorized people repairing their property, they should lease or rent their stuff instead of selling it.

    6. You don’t have a right to repair. You do have a right to not buy products that aren’t repairable if that is important to you.

      That’s not what this fight is about.

  2. “As a result, consumers have fewer options to fix their own products when they break—for a period of time Apple was disabling iPhone 6s when the company detected work had been done at independent repair shops, and John Deere continues to force many tractor owners to travel hundreds of miles to authorized retailers for simple fixes to farm equipment.”

    I see a superior solution that doesn’t require any government involvement at all. For instance, you could refuse to buy Apple products that are being disabled by Apple because they were repaired at independent repair shops. That seems like a shitty thing for Apple to do, but for all I know, maybe there’s a good reason. Maybe it’s expensive for Apple to repair the damage to a phone after a consumer or independent shop did crappy work on it and made the problem worse. I don’t know. I know that Apple has restricted their products to only Apple certification since before Steve Jobs was forced out of the company’s orbit by John Sculley. That’s always been a “feature” of Apple’s products–they have to control everything that runs on their products so that they can control the quality. That strategy almost completely ruined the company at one point, before Jobs came back, but it also made their products highly usable back when Microsoft products would often crash and burn and ship with bugs. Maybe this strategy makes Apple strong. Maybe it will ruin them again. I don’t know.

    I just know that if you don’t want to be subject to Apple’s stupid repair restrictions, turning to the government, Elizabeth Warren or any other politician is a stupid, socialist “solution”, and it’s unlikely to succeed better than non-government solutions. There are far better options. I can think of at least one easy and inexpensive way to avoid Apple’s restrictions if you don’t like them–just don’t buy Apple’s products. That’s the great thing about markets. It’s one of the reasons why they’re so superior to government. I don’t get to choose not to be subject to the law, but if I don’t want to participate in the market for Apple’s phones, I can choose not to participate. As a general rule, you’ll find that we don’t need the government for much of anything. Defending our rights from foreign threats with a military, defending our rights from criminals with police, defending our rights from the police with the courts–every other great new innovative use you have for government probably sucks.

    1. You got that backwards. The companies ( Such as Apple ) are going to the government and saying we are not allowed to repair. Plus in some instance even trespassing ( sending unwanted instruction to smart phones ) to shut the device down. Now somethings being propose are stupid, such as make repair tool available to the end user. Their are all ready third party sellers doing that now.

      1. The solution remains the same. If you don’t want to be subject to Apple’s stupid rules, then don’t buy their products. Do you need a link to all the other unlocked options out there?

        1. Wrong Apple has to tell me that I am purchasing a lease, Not that I am buying their product when it is really a lease. Otherwise it is fraud. Leasing and ownership are two different animals here and they must say which we are purchasing. In short I do not have a right to fix what I lease, But I damn well have the right to fix what I own. The government few legitimate jobs is to enforce the property right of owners. Apple can not say we are getting one thing when it another. This kind of stuff already has happen in comic books when D.C and Marvel tried and stop collectors from reselling our comics. They said only license resellers could sell their comics and lost in court.

          1. “Wrong Apple has to tell me that I am purchasing a lease, Not that I am buying their product when it is really a lease. Otherwise it is fraud.”

            If Apple is guilty of fraud, then you need to take them to court. If isn’t worth it for you to take them to court, then why should the taxpayers waste their money and time? Again, you are responsible for the choice you make. That’s the price of freedom.

            1. Take Apple to court. Aaaaaand here is where the argument gets stupid.

              1. Dow Corning was in bankruptcy protection for nine years over breast implants due to class action suits. They paid out billions–despite the fact that no plaintiff was ever found to suffer from breast cancer or an autoimmune disease because of their breast implants.

                What about the tobacco industry giving up their rights and their future profits in order to get the federal government to protect them from class action lawsuits? Do you think they were afraid of nothing? Some of those tobacco companies ended up being owned by the plaintiffs attorneys who sued them.

                Have you been paying attention to what’s been happening with Monsanto lately?

                https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bayer-glyphosate-lawsuits/bayers-monsanto-sued-by-8000-plaintiffs-on-glyphosate-idUSKCN1L81J0

                All three of those cases, 1) breast cancer related to implants, 2) people thinking smoking was good for them because of advertising, 3) the connection between cancer and RoundUp, may be bullshit. That doesn’t matter. The courts are perfectly willing to bankrupt all of them.

                There isn’t anything stupid about the suggestion that the courts are the proper venue for charges of fraud against Apple.

                What’s stupid is the idea that the government should rearrange the market, like a bunch of socialists, so as to benefit people–who care so little about the alleged damages they’re suffering that a tiny sliver of them can’t even be bothered to file a class action lawsuit.

                That’s stoopid. If your rights were violated, there’s a proper venue for that. If you don’t care enough about your own rights to do that, then why should anyone else care? We’re busy. We’ve got better shit to do than do things for you that you’re too lazy to do for yourself.

                1. So what you’re saying is, we need a massive movement with huge social support that spans decades to make any kind of impact via the court system?

                  1. The hearing of Alva and Alberta Pilliod vs. Monsanto started on March 28, 2019.

                    On May 13, 2019, the jury ordered Monsanto to pay them $2 billion in punitive damages.

                    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/pilliod-v-monsanto-trial/

                    If you can’t find an attorney to take your case against a defendant with deep pockets like Apple, it’s because your case sucks. It’s that way right now, and it’s been that way for decades.

                    If you think the problem is that companies like Apple get time for discovery so they can defend themselves against massive awards in court, then you’re just being childish.

                    If you think Apple having time to defend itself in court is a good reason to put politicians in charge of the economy–like a socialist scumbag–then go be a progressive. That’s what they’re all about.

                    Capitalism is more for people whose parents taught them that it’s childish and stupid to expect the rest of the world to rearrange itself for your benefit–certainly not just because you’re too pathetic and lazy to make better choices for yourself.

                    Make no mistake, people who are too pathetic and lazy to make better choices for themselves probably will starve to death in Libertopia–if they don’t learn to make better choices. It’ll be paradise precisely because people will suffer the negative consequences of their own bad choices. Losers really should lose for making losing choices. They sure as hell shouldn’t win a trophy from Apple for making loser choices.

                    Meanwhile, in a just and prosperous society, the courts protect successful companies like Apple from losers who think Apple owes them something because the losers made loser choices. Meanwhile, if Apple violates your rights through fraud, the courts are there to protect your rights–and regularly gives little people like you huge awards from big companies when that happens. It’s been that way for decades, that’s the way it is now, and that’s the way it should be.

          2. But you can get it fixed, take it to an authorized repair center. Apple is not saying – it’s broke – buy a new one (well sometimes).

            Now, what they are saying is that not just everyone can repair their stuff. Maybe you can try but will void warranty, which is fine. If you’re not trained or haven’t passed their certification and you try to fix your phone, why should they honor the warranty when you fail?

            But, you can, choose not to buy and Apple and buy a phone with a better support model.

            Does your computer ship with all the source code for the programs you install? No. Are we saying it should, no. Same thing if you ask me.

        2. The problem is that Apple is also working diligently to eliminate competition, so what happens when Apple is the only choice there is?

          1. Apple’s profits increase.

          2. I don’t how you came to believe that Apple doesn’t has insufficient amount of competition. Have you heard of Android? Meanwhile, Android isn’t owned by Google, which is probably why Google is moving to Fuchsia.

            More alternatives to Google’s flavor of Android are in various stages of coming out. One in the form of e foundation’s OS (which is already in beta) and based on the longstanding Lineage OS–which has been out for years. The Librem 5 is another non-Google/non-Apple implementation of a smartphone OS, which will be coming out soon.

            You have lots of choices. Use your freedom of choice.

            1. Well, part of the problem is excessive restraint of freedom via too many IP laws… When we can get a patent on a “cell phone with a glass cover and rounded corners”, we’ve got some problems… Apple (among others) is way happy to get on the patents (IP) bandwagon to fuck the rest of us over!

              1. Whatever problems that causes, it’s never risen to the level where I’ve felt compelled to use Apple’s products.

                “Victim of collision on the open sea
                Nobody ever said
                life was free
                Sink?
                Swim?
                Go down with the ship?
                Use your freedom of choice!”

                —-Casale, Mothersbaugh

                No politician can make choices for me better than I can make them for myself, especially when taking my qualitative preferences into account, and that’s why their power to make choices on our behalf should be mostly limited to questions of war, treaties, and a few other things. I certainly wouldn’t expect any law that requires companies to offer their customers more than their customers demand to be good for the market, the economy, or the people within it. The great irony of economics is that idiots start behaving as if they possessed knowledge they don’t have when they participate in markets. There’s no good reason to believe, for instance, that smart phone makers aren’t making products the way the consumers want. 20 years ago, the market didn’t even exist. Everything we have now has been served up these companies all jostling with each other to give the people what they want. I wish the people wanted more privacy than perhaps they do, but even I’m not willing to use the government to force that on consumers against their will. It’s the same thing with the right to repair. I’m now a Manjaro guy. My OS is based on Arch because, despite the pain in the ass of setting up everything myself, I want the freedom to build and repair everything myself. People who think they don’t have other options just don’t realize what’s out there. People who think the government will give them more options than they have now are incredibly naive. Elizabeth Warren does not want to give people more choices because she cares about people. She wants the power to dictate what the people who start and run companies can and can’t do.

                P.S. The tractor thing is another interesting example. Old tractors from the ’30s and 40s are hard to find on the market. It isn’t because they’ve worn out and rusted away. It isn’t because they’ve become collectors items. It’s because they’re still in use–because they’re so easy to repair. Go to any county fair in a rural area, and they’ll have an area for farmers to display their tractors. They’re still in use.

                1. “People who think the government will give them more options than they have now are incredibly naive.”

                  Comrade Bernie’s opinion on (you) having choices is already on record.

          3. Here’s a link to where you can load the e foundation’s iteration of Android. The services are up–so you don’t need to use Google services for anything. If you want a free email address to log into their anonymous services, just send them an email and ask for one. They gave me one for free as a beta tester.

            https://e.foundation/products/

            Slide down that page, and you’ll see how can buy a phone from them with the OS preinstalled, or you can install the OS yourself. It’s a great project. Started by the same guy that started (and sold) Mandrake Linux, one of the first consumer desktop Linux distributions, and still lives on as Mandriva, which I understand is still an ongoing concern in Brazil. So far, their products have been great. It should go to alpha soon enough–they’ve done everything on schedule so far.

          4. Here’s almost everything you need to know about the Librem 5.

            https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/

            Two predictions I feel really confident about:

            1) I will never need Elizabeth Warren or any other politician to save me from Apple.

            2) Every time Elizabeth Warren or some other politician thinks up a “solution” to a real problem in the market, someone else in the market will already have a better solution to offer.

          5. “The problem is that Apple is also working diligently to eliminate competition, so what happens when Apple is the only choice there is?”

            Making up silly hypotheticals only shows you have no argument.

          6. “The problem is that Apple is also working diligently to eliminate competition, so what happens when Apple is the only choice there is?”

            Do you have any examples of when this sort of thing happened?

            1. “Do you have any examples of when this sort of thing happened?”

              This sort of thing happens every time you buy an Apple product. They call it a walled garden, wall being necessary to protect against unauthorized software.

              1. And yet, Apple still has competition. If you don’t like walled gardens, don’t go in.

                1. “Apple still has competition”

                  It doesn’t, though. Apple goes to great lengths to prevent users from accessing software from competitors. It prevents software competitors from accessing Apple customers. This happens whether you buy the products of not.

                  1. So unless I commit to the Apple ecosystem, I have no way to use a cell phone, send texts, or access the internet?

                    You don’t seem to understand competition.

                    1. I mean, I just got an S10…

                      Great example of a competitive market there.
                      For Prime Day, Amazon list S10s for $150 off. Best Buy jumped in and dropped $200. Then Walmart undercut them and advertised $300 off, so Best Buy had to drop it further.
                      Got to Best Buy when it opened on the 16th, walked out with a S10 for $500.
                      I was a happy consumer.

                    2. That’s trueman; sophistry or bullshit. He’s got nothing else.

                    3. The problem with the competition argument is that someone needs to have a reason to compete. Competition typically works because the contested aspect, such as price, can yield positive returns. What incentive is there for a company to offer a repairable phone? Or a computer that respects your freedoms? Even if most people want freedom, there’s no market incentive to break the oligopoly and restore user freedom. You’ll just invite a price war.

                  2. “It doesn’t, though.”

                    I have a smartphone. It is not an Apple. How do you explain that, if Apple doesn’t have competition?

                    1. “How do you explain that, if Apple doesn’t have competition?”

                      Buy an Apple product and see for yourself. Or just learn what I mean when I say ‘walled garden.’

    2. You had me at “you could refuse to buy Apple products.”

      1. The problem is more fundamental but, as others have indicated, assuming equality before the law, the judicial system is already the remedy.

        Essentially what’s happening is the customer goes into the Apple store to buy a phone. Apple’s lawyers have worded the contract such that the customer “buys a phone”. So long as the product works like “A phone” the customer and Apple see eye-to-eye. It’s when the phone no longer functions as a phone that the customer says, “I bought a phone.” and Apple says, “You ‘bought a phone’.”

        Even if you solve the problem with Apple there’s still a potential underlying issue with bait-and-switch and we have countless laws on the books and across the country against similar shady business practices (e.g. Lemon Laws). I’m not saying they’re right, just that there’s plenty of evidence that shady business practices can and do get past the judiciary.

  3. So, if I take my stuff apart and try to fix it, when do I get sued or arrested?

    1. You don’t, but after fixing it the manufacturer may remotely disable it, thus denying you use of the property you took the time and effort to fix, on top of the money you paid to buy it in the first place

      1. Couldn’t I sue them, then?

        1. You can (and they did) in Australia, but their consumer protection law includes a right to repair. It might not fly here in the US

          That’s how they get you with all the fine print, you don’t fully “own” the product, you only get to use it as long as such use is approved by the manufacturer, anything else and you’re in violation of the license agreement and forfeit your rights to the product

          They pulled the same sort of thing ~15 years ago when people were hacking Xbox and Playstation 2 consoles to run Linux

          1. The problem with the ownership exception is that it will just incentivize everyone to move to a EULA model where nothing is owned and everything has terms, from an apple to a supercomputer. It’s bad for freedom when ownership isn’t actually ownership, private property ceases to exist, and everything is leased via the corporate state.

            In other words, Rollerball. Let’s not work towards that dystopian future.

  4. I’ll repair your rights, asshole!

  5. We don’t want owners of driverless cars ‘repairing’ the software to make their trips quicker or more convenient. The manufacturer remains the owner of the software even after the product has been sold. Prohibition against unauthorized tinkering will probably get stricter and stricter.

    1. Back in the day many people did their own brake work plus many other repairs.

      Seems to me if you pay to own something you have a right to work on it. If the seller subsequently damages (disables) the product then there ought to be tort liability.

      1. I agree, and perhaps the makers should not be able to sell products with backdoors and other such intrusive features. Still, I think there are risks in giving every driverless car owner admin access to the software that runs the thing.

  6. What about my right to repair our supposedly broken environment?

    I do not know HOW many times I have heard from the enviro-do-gooders… “Oh, yes, we could seed the deep-blue oceans with iron oxides, to stimulate the plankton growth and pull in and sequester more carbon dioxide… OR we could reflect more of the sun’s rays with high-altitude sulfur dioxide injections, or reflectors at the Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun… But, ***IF*** we did so, it would be just a BAND-AIDE to protect us from the fruits of the SINS that we Earthlings have committed against Gaia, the Earth -Goddess!!! The ONLY permissible way that we can HEAL the Earth, is to SUFFER horribly, and REPENT for our sins!!! NO home handy-man unauthorized repairs are ALLOWED, not even experimentally!!!”

    WHERE is my “right to repair” the Earth?!?!?!

  7. Not so simple, when most devices now contain both hardware and software, and the software “property rights” do not pass to the buyer.

    If you buy a video player with recent movies loaded in memory, would you really expect that you now own those movies?

    1. Yep, I can cut and paste to my hearts content.

    2. For those of us who are EFF/Stallman Libertarians, yes, you should own everything. Software must respect the four basic freedoms.

  8. Seems to me basic contract and tort law is enough.

    1. Yeah, if you’re so wealthy that spending $100,000 on a lawsuit to get your $1000 phone turned back on seems worthwhile to you.

      1. Good point, but one big class action suit might do the trick.

        1. Seems like that’s how class actions are supposed to work, even.

  9. I’m sure Reason will do a piece on this OT: Investigators are looking into the US govt and military being responsible for Lyme disease by intentionally breeding and releasing ticks in the NE fifty years ago for study purposes.

  10. As usual, freedom is the answer. No one should have to share “how to repair” information with competitors or customers if they don’t want to. If it stops people from buying their stuff, they will allow it without any legislation.

    Congress should be disbanded for a hundred years or so, or reconvened every few years only to repeal bad laws we don’t want anymore.

    1. Its not a “how to repair” situation — Its a password security LOCK-OUT or should I say a “banning” owners from being able to repair or even touch their own stuff beyond what JD dictates.

      1. A better way of describing what John Deere is doing for those unfamiliar with the situation is. GM, Ford, Dodge all got together and decided to put a “dealer key” on the hood of all new cars.

        Then demanding…..
        $800 to check the engine oil.
        $300 to open the gas lid and ONLY John Deere gas at $10.50/gal can be put in which they will charge on top of the price to “open the lid”.
        $2000 unlock key charge + any repair only done by John Deere.

        You get the picture………… Its crooked.

        1. “You get the picture………… Its crooked.”
          We get the picture: You can’t read.

          1. No matter what the article says — As an owner of John Deere equipment… That is really what the “right to repair” issue is all about.

        2. “You get the picture………… Its crooked.”

          You’ll find this place is full of libertarians champing at the bit to defend this kind of malicious rent seeking.

  11. And the REAL ISSUE here is………, “often using !!!-copyright law-!!! to preserve their monopoly over the post-purchase repair mark”.

    Its not good Patent and Copyright legislation when it goes beyond protecting the !!!-theft-!!! of research and development and turns it into a hostage situation.

    Saying people chose to buy from John Deere deserve to be held hostage is like saying they chose to “buy” a house so should be taken hostage. Its deceitful of JD to brew dependency and even claim they sold you anything. They’re basically saying *ALL* we really sold you is scrap metal because that’s all the real OWNERSHIP we decided to transfer from our product. If ANYONE dare try to FIX their “rented” scrap metal JD will sue them for “hacking” their hostage situation.

    That is the part of Copyright / Patent legislation that needs addressed.

    1. Car Dealer, “I’ll sell you this car $3000.”
      Buyer, “OK.” – Pays the dealer
      Car Dealer, “Well, we have a $3000 Title Doc Fee.”
      Buyer, “I don’t want it then.”
      Car Dealer, “Sorry… All sales are final unless you have $3000 for the doc fee you can’t get the title or drive it.”
      Buyer, “B.S. there has to be some fraud law to keep you from swindling me like that.”
      Car Dealer, “Nope.. They have a law that keeps you from driving your (final purchase) car until you pay us another $3000.”

    2. ^This^ is the kind of post I expect to see from Ken Schultz instead of the tired “Don’t buy Apple products.”

      Not that buying Apple or John Deere products is wrong, but there’s something more fundamentally broken with property rights. Denying access to ongoing updates or remote access to parts of a product ecosystem or ‘walled garden’ I can understand, but the pretense that you bought a hunk of gorilla glass and some polished aluminum, and nothing more, for $1200 is pretty patent fraud.

      1. “Not that buying Apple or John Deere products is wrong, but there’s something more fundamentally broken with property rights. Denying access to ongoing updates or remote access to parts of a product ecosystem or ‘walled garden’ I can understand, but the pretense that you bought a hunk of gorilla glass and some polished aluminum, and nothing more, for $1200 is pretty patent fraud.”

        It’s nothing of the sort.
        It’s a filtering mechanism to show everyone who can read and who can’t.

  12. Jeff Horn makes his eagerly awaited return to the Ring when he takes on Michael “Pretty Boy” Zerafa. The biggest Boxing event Bendigo has ever seen will take place at Bendigo Stadium, Saturday 31st August 2019
    Horn vs Zerafa

    1. Who the fuck cares?

  13. Jeff Horn makes his eagerly awaited return to the Ring when he takes on Michael “Pretty Boy” Zerafa.
    Horn vs Zerafa

  14. The frustration I feel is that market choices in favor of right to repair are extremely inconvenient and companies keep making things worse. Also, as more people buy in, the anti-repair market gets to the point where right to repair companies can’t compete and we don’t really have any choice. By that point, the damage is done and it’s almost impossible to go back because of the barriers to entry.

    I don’t know if it’s part of copyright law, but I would ban all EULAs. They’re cancer and all they destroy the concept of ownership and private property.

  15. Libertarians for a Right to Repair! Libertarians for a Right to Health Care! Libertarians for a Right to Free Housing! Libertarians for a Right to Free Food! It’s the New Libertarianism, kids! It’s like progressivism but with a less tainted name!

    1. Libertarians for a Right of PAYED FOR property OWNERSHIP!! Kind of like a OWNERSHIP of earned money. Trying to compare that stance “as if” it was granting free stuff or a hand-out or taking from someone else is just ridiculous and a common democratic stunt..

      Next you’ll be telling us how tax cuts are somehow immoral since it supposedly “takes” money from lazy welfare leaches..

  16. Hints for those capable of reading:
    If you want to own only those things which you may repair, read the label before you buy it.
    If you want to sound like some whiny adolescent, buy it first, then come here and tell us how unfair the world is.

    1. Things you can’t do without putting up with insane copyright/EULA restrictions:
      1. Use any electronic devices or internet
      2. Work in an environment that uses electronic devices or the internet
      3. Drive newer cars

      You basically have to live in the 19th century. This suggestion isn’t even remotely practical.

    2. The Label doesn’t say — all repairs must be made by John Deere. That cookie comes later in the game. Perhaps that is the law that should exist — A very clear label stating exactly what dictation the manufacturer is putting on what they’re selling.

      1. John Deere Label — “Since we encoded all parts and service on this vehicle we retain OWNERSHIP of all devices of this vehicle we’re pretending to sell you except the metal. NOTICE — you’re purchasing scrap metal and “renting” operation whether or not it operates or not. We (John Deere) retain the rest of it for ourselves.”

        I could go along with that.

  17. Best Buy home computers on sale $2500!!! Oh, sorry… We forgot to mention all Best Buy computers operate on the Best-Buy Domain with a Best Buy administrator so you won’t be able to install anything you want or USE IT. Best Buy computers only allows you to buy Best Buy software that’s 100x the cost of any competitor or turn it on and watch it display Best Buy ads all day long.

    We don’t need to mention that though – you’ll figure it out when you get home. There is a no return policy in place too.

  18. Right to repair is just the first step. We should demand that the
    software in products be free, so the purchasers can change it,
    individually or in whatever groups choose to cooperate in this.

    See https://gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html.

    Trade secrecy is an antisocial practice. I don’t suggest prohibiting
    anyone from keeping secres, but when secrecy in conjunction with a
    commercial activity harms the public, that secrecy must yield to the
    public interest.

    1. After considering the discussion here. I think Sevo has a point to be made although I think his/her assumption that such details are well documented is mistaken. At the root of the issue is deceit. The biggest upset is believing one has purchased/owns X,Y and Z and companies allowing buyers to believe such. Yet later the buyer finds out he/she only got ‘X’ and Y and Z weren’t included.

      I believe software developers deserve compensation for their work so I don’t support legislation demanding “free software” – but also believe it shouldn’t be used as a tool to LOCK-OUT Y and Z ownership unless such malicious acts are VERY WELL documented and known to said purchaser before the sale. I would’ve NEVER bought JD knowing the monopoly they enforce through software encryption on their tractors.

      1. Actually the company should be brought out on Antitrust issues for locking up there parts monopoly with technology. They’re purposely encoding as many parts as they can with security chip activation so the tractor won’t run unless the part was purchased from John Deere. I don’t know a lot about Antitrust law but I’m pretty sure it addresses such behavior.

  19. U.S. Constitution (Article I, Sec 8, Clause 8) — “….securing for limited Times … the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”

    I didn’t know manufacturers were the ones who “discovered” the act of repair.

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