right to repair movement

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My personal crisis on this came when I found I could no longer take my garden shears to the hardware store and get them sharpened. Instead I was encouraged to throw them away and get a new pair. The cost of seeking out the increasingly hard to find knife sharpener , usually at a weekend market, to whom I would pay more than I cared to for indifferently sharpened tools, was becoming greater than what I would pay to buy a new one.  

 That was a simple problem compared with the more complicated one where you have bought something that has embedded software protected by copyright. You are not supposed to interfere with that. You either get the company who sold it to you to service it or you throw it away and buy a new one.

 In the US the group called the right to repair movement have been advocating for the right for owners to be allowed to fix things themselves, be it a tractor, a dishwasher or a smartphone. They had a major victory in 2018 with the Library of Congress and the US Copyright Office changing the rules to allow consumers to hack into embedded software to do their own repairs.

 In Australia there has been a win against Apple who were fined for refusing to do free fixes on devices that had been previously repaired by someone other than Apple.

 We also have repair cafes, also called fixer cafes, where you can get help to fix an electronic device.

Sue ButlerComment