Sunday, December 22, 2013
Using copyright to keep repair manuals secret undermines circular economy; Guardian, 12/20/13
Kyle Wiens, Guardian; Using copyright to keep repair manuals secret undermines circular economy: "Perhaps it was characteristic of a generation touched by the Great Depression, but in my grandfather's era, repair information was practically public domain.... Ironically, we now live in an age where information has never been more abundant, and yet every day more repair manuals disappear. It's not an accident. Manufacturers of computers, mobile phones, appliances, and cars still create repair manuals for every product they ship. You're just not allowed to have them anymore. And that gap in repair information is hindering our efforts to create a circular economy.... It's unclear whether companies like Toshiba and Apple are within their rights. No one can legally copyright facts or procedures but you can copyright any form of creative work, like writing. Manuals, despite their lack of creative or artistic merit, are a form of writing. Companies aren't going out on a limb by hiding them behind the shield of copyright."