Monday, March 6, 2017
A right to repair: why Nebraska farmers are taking on John Deere and Apple; Guardian, March 6, 2017
Olivia Solon, Guardian;
"Kyle is one of many farmers in the US fighting for the right to repair their equipment. He and others are getting behind Nebraska’s “Fair Repair” bill, which would require companies to provide consumers and independent repair shops access to service manuals, diagnostic tools and parts so they aren’t limited to a single supplier. They have an unlikely ally: repair shops for electronic items like iPhones, tablets and laptops who struggle to find official components and information to fix broken devices. This means the bill could benefit not just farmers but anyone who owns electronic goods. There’s also a benefit to the environment, as it would allow for more refurbishment and recycling instead of sending equipment to the landfill.
Nebraska is one of eight states in the US – including Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee and Kansas – seeking to pass “right to repair” legislation. All eyes will be on the Cornhusker state when the bill has its public hearing on 9 March, because its unique “unicameral legislature” (it’s the only state to have a single parliamentary chamber) means laws can be enacted swiftly. If this bill, officially named LB67, gets through, it may lead to a domino effect through the rest of the US, as happened with a similar battle over the right to repair cars."