Fight to Repair Daily: August 17 2022

Maine’s right-to-repair initiative would likely face legal challenge

A right-to-repair proposal that a group of independent Maine auto repair shop owners hopes to put on the statewide ballot next year closely mirrors a Massachusetts law that has been mired in litigation since voters there passed it overwhelmingly in 2020. Maine’s proposal, if it succeeds, would likely face some of the same challenges from automakers, who argue that individual states have no authority to pass such a law.

The Right to Repair Coalition submitted initial paperwork Wednesday to the Maine Secretary of State’s Office and plans to begin collecting signatures in the coming weeks. The group has until Jan. 26 to collect more than 63,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2023 ballot.

Advocates say the Maine ballot initiative would give car and truck owners access to all the diagnostic and repair data generated by their vehicles, and allow them to give it to any dealer, repair shop or automaker that they choose.

Kate Kahn, spokesperson for the Maine Right to Repair Coalition said in an email Thursday. “This issue is about choice.  Consumers want the ability to choose where to take their cars or trucks to be repaired. They do not want to be told they can only take their autos to expensive dealerships.”

Kahn dismissed the arguments made by the manufacturers. “They simply do not want to give up their monopoly on the repair market as they stand to make trillions of dollars by shutting out the aftermarket,” she said.

(Portland Press Herald)

Why You May Regret Buying An Expensive Laptop Down The Line

The definition of expensive laptops may vary from person to person, but on average, an “expensive” ultrabook, convertibles, or gaming laptop could cost anywhere from $800-$1600 or sometimes over $2000. But what if we told you that you don’t need expensive laptops?

Were laptops really meant to replace PCs? Yes and no. Yes, because a lot of people use laptops as their primary machines. No, because they can’t match the raw compute power of PCs. You know where I’m going with this. If I were given a chance to start over my previous buying decisions, I’d pick an inexpensive laptop and build a PC keeping future upgradability in mind.

Although movements like “Right to Repair” have made people understand the importance of repairing their gadgets, a significant part of the world still doesn’t care about it. To give credit where it’s due, many companies have put forth their self-repair programs. However, it mostly feels like they exist for the sake of it and to take away consumers’ confidence that they would never be able to repair their devices. (Fossbytes)

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EU to Expand its “Ecodesign Directive”

In line with its green objectives, the EU is seeking to extend the scope of the existing “Ecodesign Directive” which lays down rules for improving the environmental performance of certain products, and to implement additional requirements aimed at ensuring more sustainable products.

The Proposal is expected to have a broad remit by extending the scope of the existing Ecodesign Directive and establishing a more extensive framework beyond the Ecodesign Package’s focus on energy-related products. Relevant elements of the Proposal include:

Creating a set of requirements tailored to the particular characteristics of the product groups concerned, acknowledging that one set of rules cannot uniformly apply to all product groups;

Covering areas such as: product durability, reliability, reparability, and ease of maintenance; energy use; resource use; minimum recycled content; life-cycle environmental impact; and the prevention and reduction of waste;

Implementing a digital product passport for product groups covered by the Proposal to help businesses and customers make informed choices through access to transparent environmental information.

Preventing the destruction of unsold goods by requiring businesses to disclose the amounts of and reasons for the products they discard each year and how they are environmentally processed.

(National Law Review)