Fight to Repair Daily: August 22, 2022

Conservative Think Tank Opposes Right to Repair

The Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, recently came out with a report arguing against a right to repair with a number of arguments:

Federal copyright law has long protected the respective rights of creators, innovators, consumers, and the public.

State right-to-repair laws are unconstitutional because they directly conflict with the careful and time-tested balance of rights in federal copyright law.

The unprecedented success of the modern digital marketplace and the explosion of “smart” devices today confirm the policy merits and economic value of federal copyright law.

States should not waste scarce resources by enacting overbroad right-to-repair laws that are unconstitutional and are bad policy.

You can read the full report here. (Hudson Institute)

Apple adds M1 Mac notebooks to self-repair scheme

Promising repair manuals and genuine Apple parts and tools, the program currently applies to MacBook Air and Pro notebooks with the M1 family of chips. It follows a similar program for the iPhone launched earlier this year and will expand to additional countries – beginning in Europe – as well as additional Mac models later this year.

However, critics were quick to point out a few shortcomings of the program. Apple’s efforts to appease those wanting to repair their own devices was dubbed a marketing ploy by campaign groups.

In a blog post, Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of The Repair Association, said: “I’ll give their marketing team an A+ for retaining their repair monopoly while offering the pretense of cooperation without actually delivering on right to repair.”

(The Register)

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The Dark Side of Apple

Apple. It’s one of the biggest companies on Earth, period. The iPhone is one of the world’s most popular smartphones, and you probably know at least one person who’s a little too excited about Apple’s next event. But even though its popularity is through the roof, many of Apple’s core business practices are questionable at best.

Apple has a long history of limiting what options its customers can and can’t buy. Microsoft and Google still haven’t been able to bring their cloud gaming platforms to the App Store because of Apple’s strict rules around App Store purchases. Although sometimes it feels like Apple might be starting to listen to what users want, it’s still a long way behind the competition. (Make Use Of)

Right To Repair: What It Really Means For Users And Companies

Right to repair is a growing movement across the world that tries to ensure that users have the right to repair the products that they own, ranging from smartphones to automobiles to home appliances. With the growing advancements in technology, our lives are becoming easier and more comfortable with every passing year. There is a downside to this though – products become obsolete or outdated faster than ever, and consumers struggle to extend the life of products they own.

So, what does the right-to-repair movement and legislation mean for users and companies on the whole? Well, for users, the benefits are massive. Having an older phone that may simply need a new display would simply require going into a repair shop, paying a bit of money, and getting a new screen installed. Doing this would allow the user to continue using their phone without needing to buy a brand-new device. Companies, of course, may argue that in order to provide sleek designs and more features, some components would need to be permanent fixtures. However, with laptops such as Framework, which are slim and compact while also allowing for a fully repairable and customizable product, sleek and slim designs can be achieved without losing reparability. Companies may lose out on some profits due to consumers not needing to buy a new product every time something stops working, but they could make up the losses to a small extent by selling the official replacement parts. (Screen Rant)

Why Is Everything a Subscription Now?

These days, it feels like we’re juggling dozens of subscriptions for smartphone apps, PC software, news websites, TV steaming services, appliance features, audio books, podcasts, delivery services, car features, gadgets, and more. A 2021 poll conducted by West Monroe found that Americans on average were spending around $273 a month on subscription services. If you add rent to that list (subscription housing), it feels like we might not own anything ourselves ever again.

Sometimes, subscriptions can be a good thing. If you regularly purchase a consumable item, such as electricity or a magazine with continuously fresh content that you enjoy, it feels like a subscription makes sense. But recently, some products or features that were once one-time purchases (or were previously included with a one-time purchase) are getting locked away behind subscription models with no additional benefit to the customer.

Also, if you’re concerned about living in a world where fewer things are owned and controlled by consumers, consider supporting the Right to Repair movement, which seeks to allow people to repair and modify products they’ve purchased. Good luck, and stay safe out there! (How To Geek)

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