The Right to Repair movement is gaining so much ground that the corporations whose profits it threatens are making tiny, symbolic concessions in the hopes of diffusing the energy behind it.
Farm equipment manufacturers and their dealers created a "voluntary agreement to allow customers limited access to some of what we need to repair their equipment" while still retaining control over what could be fixed and on what terms. Samsung is increasing the number of "manufacturer authorized" service depots, and Apple has rescinded its policy of canceling your warranty if you get a third-party battery swap.
But all of these are less-than-half-measures, and do not address the fundamental question of Right to Repair: owners of devices -- and not their manufacturers -- should be allowed to decide who fixes their stuff and when it is unfixable and should go to landfill.
Progress has been slow. No state legislature has held a full floor vote on Right to Repair. Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to sow uncertainty and stoke fears about repair. Despite the fact that we line up against trillions and trillions of dollars worth of companies every day, we are making progress. And I know from corporate insiders who talk to us that the manufacturers have gone from dismissive to afraid.
That is why we are starting to see them co-opt Right to Repair.
Corporations Are Co-Opting Right-to-Repair [Nathan Proctor/Wired]
Documents from Apple leaked to reporters describe a program of support for third-party repairs, and the details sound like it was intended to comply with the requirements of a slew of new right-to-repair bills proposed in some 20 U.S. states.
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