Friday, July 15, 2016

The Fight for the "Right to Repair";, 7/13/16

Emily Matchar,; The Fight for the "Right to Repair" :
"The problem, Gordon-Byrne says, began in earnest in the late 1990s. Companies were increasingly embedding software in their products, and claiming that software as their intellectual property. Companies would argue that they needed to control repairs as a way of maintaining security and customer experience, reasons Gordon-Byrne calls “all fake.”...
The problem isn’t limited to traditional home electronics. A farmer may have paid for his or her John Deere tractor, a piece of farm equipment that can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But John Deere still owns the software that runs the tractor, and trying to fix it without going to an authorized repair center could put the farmer afoul of copyright laws. This means that, in order to make legal repairs, a farmer in a rural area might have to haul a broken 15-ton tractor for hundreds of miles to an authorized dealer or repair shop. In the harvest season, this could mean a crushing loss of revenue.
Nor does the problem only harm consumers. Independent repair professionals, from camera shop owners to computer technicians, suffer, saying the lack of access to repair parts and manuals makes them unable to do their jobs."

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