Totally In-Touch NH Lawmaker Blocks Device Repair Bill, Tells Constituents To Just Buy New $1k Phones

from the let-them-eat-smartphones dept

For years we've discussed the need for better and stronger "right to repair" laws in the United States. Were one to look for a pure example of legislative capture by corporate interests, it's hard to think of a better example than the way hardware makers of various stripes have managed to lock their own hardware behind various flavors of DRM and/or warranty restrictions to make it illegal for a person to get the thing they bought repaired. Arguing that such repairs fall within the scope of anti-circumvention laws, these hardware makers, including those of smartphones like Apple, have attempted to construct a world in which people don't just own what they bought, but are rather forced to continue to buy things they don't own when the hardware is damaged or fails them.

Despite how ridiculous this all is, few states have even attempted to enact right to repair legislation, in large part due to corporate lobbying efforts. One of the latest to make the attempt was New Hampshire, except that the bill was blocked by representatives who apparently look to the legend of Marie Antoinette as some kind of a guidebook.

The bill would have forced manufacturers such as Apple to share repair manuals and parts with independent repair stores. House members didn’t kill the bill, but sent it back to committee for a year of interim study, citing security concerns and, in the words of Rep. John Potucek (R-Derry) the ubiquity, cheapness, and—in his opinion—disposability of new smart phones.

“In the near future, cellphones are throwaways,” Potucek said, according to New Hampshire Business Review. “Everyone will just get a new one.”

Everyone? Nobody would want to repair their cellphone rather than spending the $700 to $1000 on a new one? The phrase "let them eat cake!" is said to be incorrectly attributed to Marie Antoinette, but we can certainly attribute "Cellphones are throwaways!" to Potucek. It's an absurd rebuttal on many levels, not simply that cellphones certainly aren't priced to be thrown away at the first sign of hardware trouble.

There is also the simple fact that people having to get a new phone when theirs malfunctions is exactly the problem this legislation is attempting to address. It's the device version of, "Why attempt to give children healthcare? Parents can just make another baby!" It also ignores that a huge reason companies like Apple lobby so heavily against these laws is so it can monopolize the repair market, purposefully making it so expensive that buying new devices is the only real option.

The comments also ignore just how many New Hampshire residents are already seeking to repair their devices.

“At our three locations throughout [New Hampshire], we serve tens of thousands of our neighbors and visitors each year,” Chad Johansen, president of NH iPhone Repair, said in an email. “Many of our customers are happy with their devices and would rather spend $100 to fix their current device instead of $1000 for a new one with little to no updates or added features. Now the [manufacturers] such as Apple and Samsung are making it harder for residents of NH to repair the devices they own.”

For purely greedy corporate interests, too. There is not a single thing about blocking this bill that benefits the NH resident. The only beneficiaries here are hardware manufacturers focused on stock prices that move with the waves of phones going out the company doors.

The tone-deaf comments aside, it would be nice if Potucek could articulate a single reason in the interest of the New Hampshire citizen for blocking this law. My guess is he cannot possibly do so.

Filed Under: devices, disposable tech, john potucek, new hampshire, right to repair


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:52pm

    Policiticans, much like phones, are replaceable

    Fixing a phone: $100ish.

    Replacing a phone: $700-1000

    Letting a politician know that you'll be looking for a replacement for them come next election, because they've either been bought out or are so out of touch they think everyone has a spare grand to spend on a phone: Several minutes of time.

    Some things money can't buy(though politicians certainly aren't on that list), for everything else, the voting booth.

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    • identicon
      David, 2 Nov 2019 @ 9:01am

      Re: Policiticans, much like phones, are replaceable

      Ah, but they are still working on making a smart phone that will as reliably fold over as a politician.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 9:34am

      Re: Policiticans, much like phones, are replaceable

      You'd like to think so, and yet the unwashed continue to repeat elect the same lying, criminal idiots, regardless the overtly obvious degree of corruption.

      The voting populace elects one subset of self-serving campaign planks from the party platform. They ignore any cognitively dissonant observations of their choices as dishonest, "Fake News" claims made by "The Evil Other Side."

      Note that the promises made by the bribed politicians may never be realized, but the fact that the claims are made and repeated again and again ensures the insanity of voter support. Temporary, verbal rejections of these professional, political scamsters by their supporting voters are later offset by the insanity of those same voters doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome, i.e., voting for criminals and expecting them not to continue being criminals.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 4:06pm

      This whole discussion is entirely too focused.

      Phones. Sheesh.

      Tell me that "In the near future, heavy farm machinery will be disposable" and I'll laugh in your face.

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  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 7:59pm

    He must be so flushed with lobbying money that $1,000 is just a drop in the bucket.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:33pm

      Re:

      If he isn't in the back pockets of these phone makers, he certainly is not attempting to give anyone reason to doubt he is.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 8:50pm

    Okay, the only defense I can think of is the fact that smart phones are so insecure and receive so few security updates that many should be tossed within a couple years after they ship out solely due to their security vulnerabilities.

    I doubt that was the reasoning behind his vote but there isn't a good reason there hasn't been a known secure smartphone yet.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:42pm

      Re:

      That, sadly, is not the security concerns.

      I've seen some of the testimony done by Lisa McCabe. They're all using hardware security concerns - that teh terrorists! might learn something that could kill us all if they had access to the parts and tech manuals.

      Also that they think people are so stupid that they'll be getting their phones blowing up because the high-schooler they paid to change their battery out doesn't know what he's doing.

      Ignoring, of course, that if people had access to the parts and schematics then we wouldn't be taking it to the high-schooler in the first place.

      LIke, seriously, she talks about the training 'Apple Certified Repair' receives. They don't get any training. From anyone, certainly not Apple.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 4:16am

        Re: Re:

        Ignoring, of course, that if people had access to the parts and schematics then we wouldn't be taking it to the high-schooler in the first place.

        They might, if they wanted to try a cheap repair, as it is take the chance or do without the phone. However if the manual and parts are available, that high-schooler is likely to do a good job, and go on to compete with the official repair centres.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 6:20am

        Re: Re:

        High schooler?
        Why not ask your kids to fix it?

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    • identicon
      David, 2 Nov 2019 @ 5:52am

      Re:

      Okay, the only defense I can think of is the fact that smart phones are so insecure and receive so few security updates that many should be tossed within a couple years after they ship out solely due to their security vulnerabilities.

      Are we talking about smart phones or politicians? Wait, that sentence looks like "smart" could apply to either. I mean, are we talking about politicians or smart phones? Huh, that sounds like politicians are the dumb kind of phone. Well, at least it's less confusing than the first wording.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 11:09am

      Re:

      there hasn't been a known secure smartphone yet.

      And there never will be.

      For one, it's impossible. Especially when those responsible for operating the damn thing demand to remain ignorant in their basic use, and even then perfection is not humanity's strong suit. Don't get me started on competing interests between the company that designs it and the company that builds it either.

      For another, corporate shareholders would kill such a device on the drawing board even if it could be made. Again, what's the motivation behind these laws? "Everyone can just buy another one." That won't happen often enough to keep a company's profits in the black if everyone already has a phone that doesn't need to be replaced. Having glaring security holes, although regrettable, is just an opportunity to make another sale to shareholders.

      Put simply, the reason you can't repair it is because forbidding that ability makes corporations more money. Corporations will do anything to make money and as such regulations are required to keep their greed from harming society. Blocking such regulations are in effect allowing corporations to gamble lives for private gain and socialized losses.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re:

        People act as though they can not live without a cell phone.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          bob, 2 Nov 2019 @ 3:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Obviously you don't require one to live. But in a 1st world country it is becoming harder to be productive and communicate (when not physically present) with others without a phone. But even in those situations you dont need a $1k phone. Many cheaper less apple-like phones exist that can get the job done.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 4:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Obviously you don't require one to live. But in a 1st world country it is becoming harder to be productive and communicate"

            Yes, and the GOP is working on fix for that. They are busy making it a third world country.

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            • identicon
              Dragunbayne, 8 Nov 2019 @ 9:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The GOP are making it a third world country? Is SF, Chicago, Austin, or any other literally shit filled city ran by the GOP? Nope, Dems... for decades in some cases.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 9 Nov 2019 @ 2:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'm not sure what's the best response here - point out that since they're among the most populous cities in the nation then of course they have problems, or a list of crapholes with Republican governors who don't have that excuse.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 5:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Obviously you don't require one to live.

          If you live in the UK, and have to rely on online shopping for you groceries, you need a mobile phone to authorize payments.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 7:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "If you live in the UK, and have to rely on online shopping for you groceries, you need a mobile phone to authorize payments."

            What is wrong with a credit card?
            Use of a cell phone for authorization of financial transactions is a very bad idea.
            Online shopping for groceries only? Why is this arbitrary restriction only on groceries?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 8:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Groceries was just an example, but rather critical to life.

              One authorization scheme uses a hardware token generator, with one of the inputs being a number sent by text.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 9:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Ok, however is one limited to the use of a cell phone in order to complete an online transaction? This seems a bit arbitrary.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 9:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Card issuers rely on text messages as a fast , independent communication channel to the card holder, and do not offer an alternative. No phone, no online banking or online shopping.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 10:55am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    This is simply stupid.

                    In the us I can order whatever-widget from amazon via a desktop computer and I do not need a frigin cell phone to do it.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 1:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      So can I, but Amazon deals with orders in a different fashion to most other online sellers. If the seller directs you to a payment service when you place the order, the card service can add a security check. if placing the order does not take you to a payment service, then security checks cannot be added.

                      Also, Amazon is tied into the payment services as they take payment for third party sellers, so that only Amazon has your card details, rather than all the sellers that you deal with on Amazon.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 7:02am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "but Amazon deals with orders in a different fashion"

                        Ok - use of amazon is a bad example ...
                        In the us I can order whatever-widget from whatever-website via a desktop computer and I do not need a frigin cell phone to do it.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 2:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Ok, however is one limited to the use of a cell phone in order to complete an online transaction? This seems a bit arbitrary."

                  Rarely, in most of the EU. However, the convenience offered by having a security token client installed makes the alternatives extremely cumbersome, not to mention that those alternatives often place your card number and personal details in some database secured by whatever flimsy set of smoke and mirrors your online retailer saw fit to buy.

                  And in some cases - government communications, online tax returns, medical records and appointment access - accessing through a dedicated mobile token client is increasingly "encouraged" by the gradual removal of support options for the alternatives.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 7:12am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "the convenience offered by having a security token client installed makes the alternatives extremely cumbersome, not to mention that those alternatives often place your card number and personal details in some database"

                    I question if said convenience is a huge security problem. Cell phones these days are only slightly more secure that IOT devices and use of a cell phone to facilitate use of tokens looks to be a placebo as all it does is put all your eggs in some other untrustworthy basket. I am not a security expert nor am I a luddite, but considering how often cell phones are lost, hacked, access demanded from authority or given via stupidity - I doubt such a token/cell phone is trustworthy.

                    I would rather have one CC# in some db than have all my account access available on a cell phone.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 7:44am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The system used by the bank is based on an a separate card reader, so to validate I need the card, the reader, and the number sent via SMS. No account details are stored on the phone, it is simply being used to deliver a number entered into a separate device.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 8:12am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "No account details are stored on the phone"

                        That's good, as too many people are pushing for too many things to be stored on a cell phone.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 8:21am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I've used banks with such systems, but they're all able to call landlines and robo-speak the code. If the phone's busy, they'll even redial for a bit—in case you're on dialup and need to disconnect to take the call.

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Nov 2019 @ 1:06am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      " I am not a security expert nor am I a luddite, but considering how often cell phones are lost, hacked, access demanded from authority or given via stupidity - I doubt such a token/cell phone is trustworthy."

                      The security is a lot better since the token client on your phone also requires you yourself to enter a code for every transaction you want to validate. Unless you're dumb enough to write that code on your phone this provides quite essential security which remains even if your phone is stolen.

                      Credit card use online is, on the other hand, insecure by default, as you can order and pay using nothing other than personal and card details often kept all in one place. That, essentially, is why skimming is still a threat.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 5:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That isn't true in the UK I live in.

            Maybe you need to switch to a better supermarket!

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        • icon
          freakanatcha (profile), 3 Nov 2019 @ 8:54am

          Re: Live without a cell phone

          Right to Repair bills cover much more than cell phones. Farm machinery, for example

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 3:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "People act as though they can not live without a cell phone."

          I can live without a phone if needs be. However, I do remember a time before them and it's much easier to live with one device acting as my pay phone, address book, personal stereo, radio, flashlight, camera, wallet, map, compass, newspaper, book, notepad, etc. than it is to be concerned with making sure you have all the separate physical items to hand when you need them. That's even without the benefits of always having access to the internet wherever you go.

          Also, bear in mind that many people need to be contactable at all times for their employment, so those people indeed cannot live without one, at least not in the way they currently enjoy. Others could perhaps do their work from a fixed location at a pinch, but their day would be far more difficult.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 7:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Living w/o a cell phone does cause one problem, there are very few phone booths anymore. I do have a pre-pay cell phone for such occasions.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:03pm

    "Phones" are barely repairable now. Going to mandate for future?

    The -- insane in my view -- demand that these gadgets -- continually spying and sending location besides activities to GOOGLE and other mega-corporations -- be "thin" necessitates densest possible packaging, sticking them together internally rather than external fasteners, pretty both sides.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:03pm

      Re: "Phones" are barely repairable now. Going to manda

      Given that's the demand, are you going to mandate "repairable" designs?

      Expect to get that passed into law and enforced against the mega-corporations? -- And against the wishes of nearly everyone, including you?

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:04pm

        Re: Re: "Phones" are barely repairable now. Go

        And while you're at it: mandate the same for cars! Those cost $25,000 and up, yet require trained mechanics? Sheesh! Everything electronic should be modular and just plug in, but no, they're practically irreparable too!

        Naw, Timmy, this is just a lame piece you concocted for last on Friday because could blame a "Republican", which you are careful to point out.

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Phones" are barely repair

          There's an easy and certain way to avoid spending another 700-1000 bucks. Don't buy the first.


          Much trouble getting in. Hope you don't mind it pieced up, only way worked!

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:58pm

            And you wonder why you keep triggering the spam filters.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Madd the Sane (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Phones" are barely re

            Much trouble getting in. Hope you don't mind it pieced up, only way worked!

            We do mind.
            If you had an account, it'd probably flag you less.

            Given that's the demand, are you going to mandate "repairable" designs?

            Nah. Just him them with sanctions for environmental waste.

            And against the wishes of nearly everyone, including you?

            Uh, you do know that some people do want at least the ability to try to repair their devices. As is being argued by this very article.

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          • identicon
            Rocky, 2 Nov 2019 @ 3:59am

            Take your own advice

            There's an easy and certain way to avoid spending another 700-1000 bucks. Don't buy the first.

            So I'm going to recommend you follow your own advice. When your computer fails, don't repair it and above all, don't get a new one. That way you can avoid spending 700-1000 bucks.

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            • identicon
              Dave P., 2 Nov 2019 @ 4:41am

              Re: Take your own advice

              Well, at least that would stop him leaving his inane, undesirable and unsavoury comments here! Jolly good idea, sir! :-)

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 7:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Phones" are barely re

            "Much trouble getting in. Hope you don't mind it pieced up, only way worked!"
            mission accomplished. You are pathetic.

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        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Phones" are barely repairable now

          [Asserts facts not in evidence]

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          • identicon
            Wild e-Beest, 2 Nov 2019 @ 12:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Phones" are barely repairable

            [Asserts facts not in evidence]

            I see no evidence of no evidence. Are you capable of making a point instead of just copy/pasting this? Becoming more tiresome than blue even.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 12:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why do you want to make things easier for corporations, blue? Do you support corporations?

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        • identicon
          Dan, 2 Nov 2019 @ 3:39am

          Re: Re: Re: "Phones" are barely repairable now

          What a stunningly ignorant post--maybe if you understood what "right to repair" meant before posting, you wouldn't have once again highlighted your ignorance. It's not about "any idiot with a screwdriver and a hammer can fix it." It's rather about "everyone has access to the information, parts, and materials to fix it."

          And, as it happens, that's exactly the case with cars. I'm able to buy, for a fairly nominal cost, the factory service manuals for my cars. Tools are standard and widely available at a broad range of quality levels and price points. There are very few parts that are single-source (the computer control modules are the only things I can think of, but they rarely fail, and even then they're available used). I've never had any formal training as a mechanic (I certainly don't have any certifications), but I'm able to do pretty much anything I've needed to do on any of my cars for the last nearly 30 years.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:15pm

    Capitalist dictatorship at work

    No bill is allowed to become law if it harms big corporations' obscene profits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Agammamon, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:38pm

      Re: Capitalist dictatorship at work

      Yes, socialist dictatorships have been so much better./s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 5:04am

        Re: Re: Capitalist dictatorship at work

        So why even bother?
        False dichotomy?

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 2:39am

        Re: Re: Capitalist dictatorship at work

        "Yes, socialist dictatorships have been so much better./s"

        Last i checked having the state guarantee a level legal playing field was actually a core requirement for capitalism to work in the first place. So no need to imply that consumers having rights equates to "socialism".

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 9:39pm

    In the grey

    Sounds muscular easier to just get the info though grey means like hack does with income when he says hhis donations are not lobby money.

    Money has no smell after all lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 10:21pm

    Just theow them away every six months, it's good for the environment and the economy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 12:12am

    Re: Best Leather Addicts Products For You

    holy shit normal spam

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 2 Nov 2019 @ 7:06pm

      Re: Re: Best Leather Addicts Products For You

      Did you see how that spam bot is even signed into an account! It's doing better than some of the well-known reported posters around here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 5:09am

    These morons in charge think that everyone has plenty of cash sitting around to just go out and purchase replacements for all the crapola that keeps crapping out. These idiots do not know who their constituents are, all they know is from where they get paid off.
    They want a Real Digital Identification to track your ass across the web so they can ensure you are doing them no harm, but they seem to not understand that a vast majority is not compensated enough to accommodate such silliness. What ... you say you can not afford your government mandated cell phone tracking device? Off to prison you go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin Hayden, 2 Nov 2019 @ 6:05am

    Environmental Concerns?

    So, this guy would rather have all of these broken cell phones and other electronics going into landfills and polluting the environment. Maybe someone should bring that issue up alongside the 'right to repair' issue.

    Perhaps there should be an environmental tax on these things that varies based on a 'repairability' scale:
    1) Completely open repair process - close to zero.
    2) Closed or unrepairable process - 25% of cost.
    Dedicate the tax collected to environmental cleanup and/or green/renewable energy research, not general revenue.

    I'm sure it will piss consumers off, but once folks start buying 'repairable' devices from whoever supplies them first (yes, someone will - just to increase market share) instead of unrepairable stuff, the rest of the manufacturers will follow suit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 10:16am

      Re: Environmental Concerns?

      Tax the manufacturers for each device that goes into landfill.

      On second thought, that cost would just be passed on to consumers anyway. Yeah, no real way to fix this so long as our representatives continue to represent their corporate "donors" instead of their constituents who elected them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 2 Nov 2019 @ 9:53pm

      Re: Environmental Concerns?

      Environmental concerns?

      You know what that "R" next to his name is for, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 6:11am

    Its, bad for the environment ,any phone should be repaired ,if its financially viable .having millions of phones thrown away is a waste of energy, just because repairs are difficult or illegal because of laws
    written by apple or other companys .
    In the 90,s there were dozens of different chargers of various voltage
    and using various connectors which were thrown
    away once the phone stopped working.
    The eu brought in a law mandating a standard usb charger for all phone,s sold in europe .
    No all phones use micro usb or usb c .
    usually 5volt 1-2 amp .
    Most laptops made now use standard parts and can be repaired by anyone .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 6:35am

      Re:

      It is also a waste of earth's resources and bad for the environment, but what corporation in that sector gives two fucks? Their greed has hit an alltime high and any government who gives two fucks should be protecting both the resources and the environment, but that we don't see.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tim R (profile), 2 Nov 2019 @ 7:37am

    It's stupid that this is being framed as a "phone" issue. Does the farmer whose tractor stopped working just throw it away and but a new one?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Oninoshiko (profile), 2 Nov 2019 @ 9:45am

      Re:

      Funny you should mention that, John Deere has been at the forefront of novel ways to combat the ability to repair.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 9:08pm

        Re: Re:

        I have read both sides of the John Deere issue and believe John Deere has a good chance of winning.

        Their tractors are mandated to do certain things like your car and it is illegal to modify it. Emission standards/safety ect...

        John Deere has a reasonable argument that it is already illegal to modify a large portion of the tractor like it's illegal to put NOS in your street car and mess with the catalytic converter in many or all places.

        If/when the tractors become self driving, which they probably will, they will only have more and more legal regulation that makes it illegal to modify the tractor.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 3:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your are conflating repairing, which preserves legal requirements, and modifying which changes how the machine works. If somebody makes illegal modifications to a machine, hold them responsible.

          Why is the possibility of an illegal modification an excuse to stop them repairing their machine so that they can continue to use it?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 4:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Why is the possibility of an illegal modification an excuse to stop them repairing their machine so that they can continue to use it?"

            My guess is that they simply can not come up with anything better to rationalize their extreme overreach.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 10:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              For the same reason the "possibility of an illegal copy" is the excuse to not allow anyone to use the things they own in the way they want...

              Corporate control and greed is the only reason, and there is no answer as the public doesn't care

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 5:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            From what I have read John Deere already committed to provide enough to repair it without modification but wants to stop modification or installation of modified firmware/software.

            Assuming the website was accurate that is what the current split is over, at least in California.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 5:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That is being forced out of them by pressure for a right to repair law. Without such a law in your state you are out of luck if your machine breaks down.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 5:51am

                Adendum to prevoius comment

                Also, committed to providing means in the future, in an attempt to head off stronger right to repair laws.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 7:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "wants to stop modification or installation of modified firmware/software"

              It is understandable for the manufacturer to have such a position where the warranty on their product(s) is/are concerned. However, the same position is rather tenuous when applied to the maintenance of an out of warranty product.

              Can you imagine the outrage if a computer manufacturer were to proclaim users were not allowed to change/modify in any way the computer(s) they had purchased at full price ... LOL
              Some time ago there was a company that sold a pc computer at discount where they made up the cost via the subscription you agreed to .. the one most then cancelled. lol

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 2:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Can you imagine the outrage if a computer manufacturer were to proclaim users were not allowed to change/modify in any way the computer(s) they had purchased at full price.

                I am pretty sure you are describing cell phones (and current generation game consoles).

                Lots of devices are made hostile to the user already. However the blowback has, sadly, been rather limited

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 7:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                People already modify their catalytic converters and put nos in their street cars too. It's pretty common among a certain crowd. Over 20 years ago, I used to occasionally ride around in my friends 4 cylinder car with a nitrous oxide feed installed. The thing could barely go above 80 when he tried to race it but it sure got there fast.

                Anyway, it was entirely illegal the entire time so I still think John Deere will likely win on the issue.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 8:10am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I think the restrictions upon catalytic converter modification is at the federal level, nox restrictions iare probably at the state level and some states may allow it - idk, but it i suppose it is ok at a track.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 9:00am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Some of my friends have built race cars they run at the track. That particular person used the busiest streets in town to race on when he was a teenager.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 10:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Anyway, it was entirely illegal the entire time so I still think John Deere will likely win on the issue.

                  So, the logic is because a few people will break the law manufacturers are allowed to control all repairs and increase their profits; punishing the law abiding for the crimes of the lawless.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 9:28am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It is understandable for the manufacturer to have such a position where the warranty on their product(s) is/are concerned.

                Even then, by law they can only deny warranty for damage caused by the modifications. If your hacked engine controller blows up the engine, that's not covered, but they'd still have to fix a provided navigation unit that fails for unrelated reasons.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 12:35pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  They seem to want the law to prohibit any and all do it yourself maintenance.
                  I fail to see why a private business thinks the government is obligated to assist them in controlling a monopoly.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 2 Nov 2019 @ 7:08pm

      Re:

      The people trying to frame it as a phone issue are primarily trying to make people forget that farmers were at the forefront of the current wave of right-to-repair legislation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 9:32am

    I hate the fact that apple trends have made all phones now lose basic functionality. From removable battery to phone jacks in hardware, to backwards compatibility and settings being locked in software.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2019 @ 12:25pm

    Maybe everyone that has to buy a new phone instead of repairing it should just send the broken one to Rep John Potucek's office. Let him deal with the e-waste this bill generates.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 2 Nov 2019 @ 1:37pm

    So many comments, so little time..

    HOw many Older phones are still out there, waiting to be Bought?
    WASTE??
    If we do Sci math, and get rid of the top 10% and the bottom 10%.. what is the average income in the USA...NOT enough to pay for a new phone for Each person in your home every year..
    Update/update/update..Why?? and what is updated?
    GENERALLY, the os gets updated.
    The Camera gets updated(who needs 20-40mp)
    Display?? If you had the TV/Monitor EQUAL to the Phone display added up to fill a 23"-30" screen...it would be So high...20k screen??
    CPU gets updated, even if its just to make things faster, this is NOT a gaming machine..first it is a PHONE..the phone part isnt updated.
    But...What if they are trying to update you just to get a way to Track/unlock/... your NEW phone..its hard to do the old ones.
    What happened to the idea of being able to use Any phone on Any system?? NOPE..locked down.

    Now if you dont understand tech..
    They can install a Chip or encode in the Board, a Self destruct.. it can Turn off the phone to be reinitialized, or just trash the phone..not to hard. take a light sensor or spring to show it was opened..

    Who uses a phone as a phone?? Some companies are forcing user to smart phones.. I like a phone being a PHONE.. get a Tablet with a BIG screen(so you can see it), so it Stays at home and dont get broken, or you STARE at it while the Bus runs over you..(2-3 of those)
    Even those Old Phones are going up in price..the Non-smart ones.. Are they Afraid that IF' you can Fix a phone you can Change whats inside?? so you CANT be traced?? so you cant STORE information you use/want...Music and movies and a DIGITAL list of all your accomplices..

    To much, to keep listing.
    Good luck folks..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 2 Nov 2019 @ 10:06pm

    I've still got a Nexus 5. From 2013.

    A few months back, there was a short in the power button; apparently this is a common issue.

    I tried to fix it myself but didn't have any luck. So I took it into a local independent repair center and got the button replaced for $40. Fortunately, a power button is a dead-simple piece of electronics that just shorts two pins, and isn't typically protected by DRM.

    But there are more and more parts in more and more electronic devices that aren't so simply repairable or replaceable.

    Now, the article focuses mainly on the cost of repairing a phone, and that's fair enough. But there's a more fundamental issue here than a $40 repair versus the cost of a new phone: I should be able to get my phone fixed because it's my fucking property. Mine. Not Google's.

    Rep. Potucek belongs to the Republican Party, which claims to be the party that respects private property. "It's disposable, just buy a new one" is not the sentiment of a person who respects private property.

    It's my phone; I paid for it. Who are you to tell me what I can or can't do with my own property? Don't tread on me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 2:30am

    Is anyone here familiar with the term “market demand”?

    If people really wanted repair over convenience or cost, someone would offer it and people would vote with their pocketbooks.

    If nobody offers it, maybe it’s not actually important to enough people to justify the extra expense.

    Oh wait, I remember now. This site is about “free” everything.

    Idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 3:01am

      Re:

      We found another free idiot over here.

      FREE STUFF

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 3:16am

        Re: Re:

        Are you running for office?

        Maybe the Democratic idiots will start to respect us after we put them in stocks and humiliate them in public.

        Worked for my pilgrim ancestors.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 3:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          How's that Shiva Ayyadurai election fund coming along, Hamilton?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 3:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Better than the Beto campaign.

            Let’s bring back dueling.

            You up for it, pussy?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 5:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The duel is to prove that Shiva Ayyadurai invented email.

              Oh wait - a judge ruled that he couldn't prove it, didn't he?

              OH SNAP!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 10:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You’d get shot up just like the guy you pretend you’re related to bro.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 7:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "start to respect us"

          Pro Tip: Don't hold your breath

          Myth: Everyone knows respect is earned and not given

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe the Democratic idiots will start to respect us after we put them in stocks and humiliate them in public.

          All you've got to do is mobilize the rest of the illiterates, get them transportation to/from the trailer parks, and your plan might actually work.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 3:30am

      Re:

      For somebody the set up in the repair business they have to be able to get manuals and spare parts. The latter becomes a big problem when companies uses DRM to make repairs illegal, and get ICE to interdict the import of spares by independent repairers. In other words companies are preventing a repair market from developing by ensuring only they have the tools and parts to carry out repairs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 3:35am

        Re: Re:

        Right. This is called capitalism.

        Are you Chinese?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          When the government controls the marketplace via laws and regulations that prevent competition it is called socialism, not capitalism.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 8:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You are really close to the generally used US definition of socialism but you didn't quite get it right.

            When the government controls the marketplace via laws and regulations that I don't like it is called socialism, not capitalism.

            Changing the commerce clause is also socialism or communism somehow too because the US is capitalist by definition so it's capitalism when we do it until I'm a different political party.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 2:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Right. This is called capitalism."

          No it isn't. Capitalism has as a requirement that consumer rights are protected in law, ensuring that socialist stuff like monopolization, state.corporate conglomeration, cartels, racketeering and price fixing remain illegal.

          And a corporation which introduces restrictions ensuring that what you bought will not become your property is, in fact, as far from capitalism as you can get.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 4:46am

      Re:

      "Is anyone here familiar with the term “market demand”?"

      • Are you referring to the common terminology "supply and demand"? Yes, I think most everyone has heard of the very simple model used to introduce high school students to the subject of economics.

      "If people really wanted repair over convenience or cost, someone would offer it"

      • This is correct ... in an ideal competitive market place. Again, this is a model and this particular model is not applicable to a market that lacks competition, ideal or not.

      "If nobody offers it, maybe it’s not actually important to enough people to justify the extra expense."

      • Why would "it" be more expensive? "It" should be less expensive.

      Those who question authority and call out the bullshit are idiots? Exactly why this is - is left as an exercise for the reader.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 4:58am

        Re: Re:

        And by that “exercise” you mean you have no argument.

        Questioning authority with no actual argument is childish.

        How old are you?

        Ever had a girlfriend?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Apparently you have not read any math or science textbook proofs

          "Questioning authority with no actual argument is childish."

          • Appeal to Authority fallacy, might work in an authoritarian environment.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      freakanatcha (profile), 3 Nov 2019 @ 9:00am

      Re: Market Demand

      The point of the article is that there is a market demand to repair devices. t's politicians, bought and paid for by the manufacturers, that are stopping it, not "market demand"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Nov 2019 @ 8:43pm

      Re:

      Is anyone here familiar with the term “market demand”?

      If people really wanted repair over convenience or cost, someone would offer it and people would vote with their pocketbooks.

      People do want it, it's government protectionism blocking those who wish to provide it. Seems sorta the opposite of your claims.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 10:43pm

      Re:

      Did you read the article, or follow this issue over the last, oh...10 years or so?
      Because there ARE people trying to provide this service, to what must be a large enough clientele that they could turn a profit doing it. And the manufacturers are blocking any such sub-industry developing, in a transparent effort to enforce a profitable version of planned obsolescence.

      Their novel theories about "security" and "ownership" are pretty dubious, but have no flaws a few wheelbarrows full of cash dollah, rolled into the offices of our elected officials, can't fix.

      Is your closing comment as devoid of knowledge and thought as your main point?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Fencepost, 3 Nov 2019 @ 8:51am

    Poster printing costs?

    Every repair shop in his district should have a poster with his official legislative photo and a caption "John Potucek (your current Representative) says you should just throw away your broken phone and buy a new one. We'd prefer to be able to fix it for you... But if you have an extra thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket let us know and we can give you our 'State Representative' rates."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 10:38am

    And this is where a lot of people do not understand the anti-circumvention DMCA law.

    The felony provisions only apply it if is for some kind of financial gain, meaning you have to be doing it for the purpose of making money for it to be a felony.

    So bypassing DRM for personal use is not a felony, since yo are not doing it for the purpose of making money.

    One big argument 14 years ago in the flight simulator newsgroups was then Flight Simulator X had product activation, and one poster was shooting off his mouth saying that downloading the crack files would be a felony.

    He was wrong. Downloading and using the cracked DLL files is only a felony if you do it for the purpose of making money, which is what financial gain is. Also, those cracked files also get rid of other bugs that DRM causes in FS X

    Downloading the cracked DLL files for your own private use is not a felony crime, even though this poster kept saying otherwise. As long as you are not doing it to make money, it is not a felony crime

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 6:03am

      Re:

      You say that like copyright enforcement has ever cared how much money was made.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wyrm (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      1. I'm not sure this "profit motive requirement" is in the law, can you cite it to be sure.
      2. There is a specific board that meets once every three years to decide which specific exceptions can apply. I don't remember anything said about profit in these meetings. In particular, an exception for "security research" has been requested - and denied - multiple times, despite the lack of profit motive in most cases.
      3. Anti-circumvention law is an aberration by itself. It consecrates that the protection layer is protected by law instead of the protected software - which is already protected by copyright law. It's like passing a law stating that I can't break the don't-murder law in order to assassinate someone. There is already a law against murdering someone, so adding a law against breaking the law against murder is ridiculous.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re:

        https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/techftc/2016/10/dmca-security-research-exemption-consumer-devi ces

        The security research exception has been in place for a number of years. A lot of people use it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re:

        For a felony conviction, there has to he "commercial or private financial gain", meaning making money.

        That is why, for example, when I take road trips to Mexico, it does not break US laws for me to plug in to my VPN om my computer at home to, say, listen to iHeart while I am down there. Just have my phone log in to my home VPN and then connect to iHeart and listen while I am driving.

        Since I am not doing it for any kind of "commercial or private financial" gain, I am not committing a felony under the DMCA

        And don't get me started on CFAA. In order for it to be a felony under CFAA, two things must occur

        1. You used a hacked or otherwise illegally obtained password. In order words, you have to attempt to break into the system.

        AND

        1. You intentionally caused damage to equipment on their network. Since bypassing geographic restrictions does not rise that that level, that does not apply

        Since neither happens when I use my home VPN to access US only content when I go to Mexico on road trips, I cannot be prosecuted under felony provisions of the CFAA>

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2019 @ 5:04pm

    I hope constituents tell Joe Blow where to stick it next election cycle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 7:19am

    Odd

    So the politician's arguement is badly flawed. If no one does this then why not pass the law (no harm no foul)? If everyone does it why not pass the law (helps people)?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 10:20am

    This is only a symptom of the disposable socity

    Honestly, this is just a symptom of society's larger issue: way too many people think everything is disposable.
    Your Blue-ray player breaks? Just get a new one at Best Buy for $25! But a $25 Blue-ray player isn't designed to last? So, what- just get another one.
    Your 60" TV broke? Just get a new 70" TV for less than you paid for the 60".

    So we can call this lawmaker a fool, but I think he's simply saying what most people are already doing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 10:53am

      Re: This is only a symptom of the disposable socity

      "everything is disposable"

      Including politicians - lol

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 4 Nov 2019 @ 11:40am

      Re: This is only a symptom of the disposable socity

      If you think "most people" have purchased multiple Blu-Ray players and 60" TVs, I think perhaps you are misinformed about most people's purchasing habits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 10:02pm

      Re: This is only a symptom of the disposable socity

      How's that measles infection coming along bro?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2019 @ 12:51pm

    Well then

    Hmm... I don't think I like what I hear; let's just get a different politician!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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