Why are companies trying to make it illegal to repair our electronic devices?

Posted by on July 14, 2017 3:20 pm
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(Because they want to milk everyone for every cent that they can… it’s all about profit. Who would have thought.)

Traditionally, when a car breaks down, the solution has been to fix it. Repair manuals, knowledgeable mechanics, and auto parts stores make car repairs common, quick, and relatively inexpensive. Even with modern computer-equipped vehicles, regular people have plenty they can do: change oil, change tires, and many more advanced upgrades.

But when a computer or smartphone breaks, it’s hard to get it fixed, and much more common to throw the broken device away. Even small electronic devices can add up to massive amounts of electronic waste—between 20 million and 50 million tonnes (22-55 million tons) of electronic devices every year, worldwide. Some of this waste is recycled, but most—including components involving lead and mercury—goes into landfills.

Bigger equipment can be just as difficult to repair. Today’s farmers often can’t fix the computers running their tractors, because manufacturers claim that farmers don’t actually own them. Companies argue that specialized software running tractors and other machines is protected by copyright and patent laws, and allowing farmers access to it would harm the companies’ intellectual property rights.

Users’ right to repair—or to pay others to fix—objects they own is in jeopardy. However, in our surveys and examinations of product life cycles, my colleagues and I are finding that supporting people who want to repair and reuse their broken devices can yield benefits—including profits—for electronics manufacturers.

Via Quartz: Why are companies trying to make it illegal to repair our electronic devices?

8 responses to Why are companies trying to make it illegal to repair our electronic devices?

  1. Nanook July 17th, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    I’m still carrying my Iphone 4s from 2009. The battery has been driving me nuts, won’t hold a charge for more than 4 or 5 hours. I tried to upgrade through ATT, but they wanted over $700 for a #7. I went on u-tube to see about changing out the battery & found a very informative video on how to do it and even where to get the needed parts. You can also get a new screen & how to’s. The location I used was iFixit.com

    Reply

    • Nanook July 17th, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      forgot to mention the battery & parts kit is about $16 plus shipping.

      Reply

  2. mrmouse July 15th, 2017 at 7:25 am

    The link to Quartz isn’t correct. Here’s the actual article: “https://qz.com/1028356/why-are-companies-trying-to-make-it-illegal-to-repair-our-electronic-devices/”

    Reply

  3. Docj July 14th, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    MD, my DGD dropped her smartphone and cracked the screen. Was told the screen cannot be fixed. Need to buy a new one. This one is not paid for yet. Still works with cracked screen so no new one for a while! The price of a new one is rediculous!!!!!

    Reply

    • JP in MT July 14th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Docj:

      We actually have places here who can replace the screens on phones and tablets. I think it is Batteries, etc. Might be worth a search of your area.

      Reply

  4. JP in MT July 14th, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    My 1st reaction to the title was “Planned Obsolescence”.

    Reply

    • JP in MT July 14th, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Look at activation fees, or the new device activation fees (for upgrading or changing just the device); Verizon charges $40. It’s all pure profit.

      The same goes with your voicemail. After how many years do you no longer need to spend 1:02 minutes learning how to leave a message? Notice the average length. Now most people have unlimited voice time, but not all, and billing is either in 6 second or 1 minute increments.

      Reply

      • deborah harvey July 15th, 2017 at 9:25 am

        it isn’t profit.
        profit is something earned.
        these fees are purely thievery.

        keep it in mind next time you have money to invest in needed machinery.
        some smart people buy old items and restore them. i am specifically thinking of tractors now.
        if you have smart kids it might be nice to school them in mechanics.
        excellent to barter those skills for necessities.

        Reply

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