Right-to-Repair is a no-brainer. You bought a thing, you want to fix it — or nominate someone else to fix it for you — and the manufacturer doesn’t. How ever can we resolve this intractable difference of opinion?
80 pounds’ worth of malicious compliance in two Pelican cases.
A Feature, Not a Bug
Apple CEO Tim Cook rang in 2019 with his annual shareholder letter, fulfilling his legal requirement to warn his investors about the risks the company saw on its horizon. One of Apple’s leading risks for 2019? Repair.
Apple makes a lot of money from the absence of repair. The transition from desktop PCs to laptops and then tablets and phones was a fantastic opportunity for hardware companies. A desktop PC might go obsolete, but it’s rare for your iMac to suffer a broken screen, fall into the toilet, get run over by a city bus, or fall down a sewer-grate.
It’s been a pretty great week. Ever since Apple announced that it would sell its customers spare parts and tools to affect their own repairs, and supply them with the documentation to do so, I’ve been thrilled to do my comrades’ online victory laps. For a decade, I’ve fought alongside my pals in the Right to Repair movement against a coalition of the best-capitalized, most powerful multinational companies in the world, who used their incredible might to trample all other considerations: fairness, climate justice, safety, and security.
We introduced dozens of state right to repair bills — bills that set out the principle that when you buy a product, you should get to decide who fixes it — and watched as, time and again, a coalition of big business, led by Apple, used lies and scare-talk to convince lawmakers to vote the bills down.