The Woz Backs 'Right To Repair' Reform

from the this-isn't-going-away dept

We've repeatedly noted how the "right to repair" movement has been gaining a full head of steam as consumers, independent repair shops, schools, farmers, and countless others grow tired of corporations' attempts to monopolize repair. Whether it's Sony and Microsoft creating repair monopolies for their game consoles, Apple bullying independent repair shops, or John Deere making it a costly hassle just to fix a tractor, the more companies restrict access to cheap repair, parts, tools, and documentation, the more this movement seems to grow.

We're now reaching an obvious tipping point. The federal government and more than two dozen states have proposed new right to repair laws. The recent Biden executive order also urged the FTC to do everything in its power (which is limited under the FTC Act) to address the problem.

And last week, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak jumped into the fray to point out that after finally studying the issue at length (he insists his "busy schedule" prevented this until now), he's now a big fan of meaningful right to repair reform:

Ironically, the company Woz once founded has proven to be the most obnoxious player on this front. Apple's ham-fisted efforts to shut down, sue, or otherwise imperil third-party repair shops are legendary as are the company's efforts to force recycling shops to shred Apple products (so they can't be refurbished and re-used, harming consumers and the environment alike). The company also routinely lies about what right to reform legislation actually does, trying to conflate its desire to protect revenues with altruistic worries about public safety.

After researching the issue, Woz says he now "totally supports" the right to repair movement and that open-source technology and standards were absolutely instrumental in Apple's early successes and popularity, whether it was their ability to manipulate video input on older TVs, or shipping the Apple I with full design specs so users could tinker with the device once they got it home:

"I do a lot of Cameos, but this one has really gotten to me. We wouldn't have had an Apple had I not grown up in a very open technology world."

A broad coalition of companies like Apple have spent the better part of the last five years demonizing reform efforts. These attacks almost always attempt to dress up vanilla greed as some deeper concern about public safety and security (see claims that reform will embolden sexual predators or turn states into dangerous hacker meccas). But a recent bipartisan FTC report showed how the majority of these claims are absolute self-serving bunk, and the more the public understands the benefits of right to repair, the tougher it becomes for companies like Apple to fight upstream against reform.

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Filed Under: right to repair, steve wozniak
Companies: apple


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  1. icon
    ECA (profile), 14 Jul 2021 @ 11:21am

    Re: What about car repair?

    The new thing coming is that your cars are collecting All your data, tracking to where you are going, and Even sending the data wireless.

    A person bought a car in the EU, and discovered he could remote to his car, Over the internet. HE posted that he would like to find another person in another area with the same type/model of car. Found someone in Australia. Contacted them, traded abit of info. And did a test on the car, While he was in the EU, on his cellphone to the person.
    He had partial control of that persons car. And this is about 5 years ago.
    Dont tell me that things like Onstar, and soforth are only for emergencies. IT WILL BE ABUSED and USED against you.

    I can see a bank robber, running out and driving away. and someone checks the area for Wireless signals, find the car and tracks it home.


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