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  1. #1
    dangerous floater Winehole23's Avatar
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    Last summer, when the Copyright Office asked if anyone wanted to defend the right for video game console jailbreakers to mod or repair their systems, no one had a formal legal argument prepared. A new association representing repairmen and women across all industries was just formed to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.


    Repair groups from across the industry announced that they have formed The Repair Coalition, a lobbying and advocacy group that will focus on reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to preserve the “right to repair” anything from cell phones and computers to tractors, watches, refrigerators, and cars. It will also focus on passing state-level legislation that will require manufacturers to sell repair parts to independent repair shops and to consumers and will prevent them from artificially locking down their products to would-be repairers.
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/a-n...air-everything

  2. #2
    dangerous floater Winehole23's Avatar
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    That problem—that manufacturers of everything are trying to control the secondary repair market—has two main sources, Gordon-Byrne said. First, manufacturers use federal copyright law to say that they control the software inside of gadgets and that only they or licensed repair shops should be allowed to work on it. Second, manufacturers won’t sell replacement parts or guides to the masses, and often use esoteric parts in order to specifically lock down the devices.


    These problems have been well known in the smartphone, computer, and consumer electronics for years, and it’s why groups like iFixit and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have been able to mount successful challenges to the DMCA in recent years. Increasingly, however, these problems are spilling over into just about every other industry.

    "They’re affecting literally everything in the world that is complex enough to have digital components"
    The Repair Coalition—which is also calling itself repair.org—includes members from the EFF, iFixit, PC Rebuilders & Recyclers, The Fixers Collective, Public Knowledge, and a series of other smaller industry groups.


    “All consumer appliances, from refrigerators to microwaves, very much have repair monopolies from manufacturers, even if you are able to buy parts,” Gordon-Byrne said. Customers who have dared to repair their refrigerator will get to a certain part of a repair and find that components for thermostats or valve controls are locked down via passwords that manufacturers only give to licensed repair shops that they themselves control. The problem is only going to get worse as the Internet of Things takes hold.

  3. #3
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    but but but, we're not fucked nor unfuckable.

    BigCorp loves us, and loves even more to suck every penny out of us!

  4. #4
    dangerous floater Winehole23's Avatar
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    Techdirt has been covering the fight for a "Right to Repair" for a long time -- Mike first wrote about it in 2009. Even though the idea seems a no-brainer -- you bought it, why shouldn't you be able to repair it? -- progress has been extremely slow, as successive Techdirtarticles have chronicled. One of the most important developments is a number of "Right to Repair" bills that are being considered by various state legislatures. These typically require electronics manufacturers to make service manuals available to the public, and to sell repair parts. The hope is that if even one or two of these are passed, manufacturers will find it simpler to comply nationally. However, an article on Motherboard suggests that the "Right to Repair" movement has a rather surprising enemy. Here's what an unnamed source told the publication:


    an Apple representative, staffer, or lobbyist will testify against the bill at a hearing in Lincoln on March 9. AT&T will also argue against the bill, the source said. The source told me that at least one of the companies plans to say that consumers who repair their own phones could cause lithium batteries to catch fire.

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