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[ROUGH IDEA] The Right to Repair

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Minoa
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[ROUGH IDEA] The Right to Repair

Postby Minoa » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:24 am

Category: Regulation
Area of Effect: Consumer Protection

The World Assembly,

OBSERVING that manufacturers of products (such as cars, computers and electronics) may impose legal or technical restrictions to frustrate or prevent consumer or third-party modifications, repairs or upgrades;

APPALLED that such restrictions pose a notable risk to consumer freedoms and the environment, by promoting unreasonable disposal of products that would otherwise work fine if consumer or third-party modifications, repairs or upgrades were allowed;

HEREBY enshrines the “right to repair” in all member countries, wherein manufacturers may not impose legal or technical restrictions on their products to frustrate or prevent consumer or third-party modifications, repairs or upgrades;

ALLOWS member countries to regulate third-party repair businesses, to protect consumers from substandard or dangerous repairs, or to improve the quality and safety of third-party repairs.

Category: Regulation
Area of Effect: Consumer Protection

The World Assembly,

OBSERVING that manufacturers may impose legal or technical restrictions to prevent consumers or third-party repair firms from repairing said manufacturer’s products, such as cars, computers and electronics;

APPALLED that such restrictions pose a notable risk to consumer freedoms and the environment, by promoting the disposal of products that would otherwise work fine if consumer and third-party repairs were allowed;

HEREBY enshrines the “right to repair” in all member countries, wherein manufacturers may not impose legal or technical restrictions that prevent consumers or third-party repair firms from repairing said manufacturer’s products;

ALLOWS member countries to regulate third-party repair firms, to protect consumers from substandard or dangerous repairs, or to improve the quality and safety of third-party repairs.

I thought I would get this out because I came across articles over time about the right to repair and I thought, it might be an idea for a resolution: you know, a small piece of legislation that could go a long way to reduce waste. But the question is: how simple can it get?
Last edited by Minoa on Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:08 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Kenmoria
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Postby Kenmoria » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:48 am

“It’s a nice idea you have here, but I think it ignores valid reasons manufacturers may have from prohibiting others from repairing their products. Something extremely technical using unique technology may only be safely repaired by the creator, and something that is particularly disparate from its competitors could be copied by someone under the guise of repairing it.”
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East Angria
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Postby East Angria » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:07 am

"The basic idea is excellent, of course. But I think we have to go further than that. Ownness is more important than freedom, after all. In other words, the right to repair a broken product is not enough. People also need the possibility to do so.

The common people must be allowed to repair things not only by our decree, but also by the product itself. The manufacturer must not prevent, for example, changing a phone's battery with simple tools. Neither should a manufacturer build a car in such a way that a whole wing needs to replaced if the headlamp blows out.

Enhance this proposal with regulation that prevents this form of planned obsolescence, and then we can talk."

Kenmoria wrote:“It’s a nice idea you have here, but I think it ignores valid reasons manufacturers may have from prohibiting others from repairing their products. Something extremely technical using unique technology may only be safely repaired by the creator, and something that is particularly disparate from its competitors could be copied by someone under the guise of repairing it.”


"None of those are valid reasons to build such preventive measures into the product itself. You can always have warning labels that exempt the product from warranty if the owner tinkers with it. People should be free to at least make an attempt to repair at their own risk.

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Minoa
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Postby Minoa » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:44 am

Kenmoria wrote:“It’s a nice idea you have here, but I think it ignores valid reasons manufacturers may have from prohibiting others from repairing their products. Something extremely technical using unique technology may only be safely repaired by the creator, and something that is particularly disparate from its competitors could be copied by someone under the guise of repairing it.”

I don't think I want to “Ryberg” it this time. I am aware of a scenario where someone makes a significant technological or cultural discovery that would not be possible without tinkering the device: you know, like the circuit bending community. So I have to tread on this idea carefully, because obvious copying is one thing, but a derivative is a different thing.
Last edited by Minoa on Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:51 am

OOC: I'm in full support of this if it became live. I mean, many a times you have restrictions IRL when you sent it to Apple, only to be told that it's screwed that you can't repair it and it will void your warranty.

One of my phone's warranty just expired and hey, I sent it to a shop for a repair. Only took ~ USD 60.

That aside, I think this is a brilliant idea on its own, but I was wondering if it could be expanded a little.
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Minoa
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Postby Minoa » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:47 am

Valentine Z wrote:OOC: I'm in full support of this if it became live. I mean, many a times you have restrictions IRL when you sent it to Apple, only to be told that it's screwed that you can't repair it and it will void your warranty.

One of my phone's warranty just expired and hey, I sent it to a shop for a repair. Only took ~ USD 60.

That aside, I think this is a brilliant idea on its own, but I was wondering if it could be expanded a little.

I am interested in your ideas about how it could be expanded, although I do not think the resolution should have too many paragraphs to accomplish a simple goal.
Last edited by Minoa on Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:54 am

Minoa wrote:
Valentine Z wrote:OOC: I'm in full support of this if it became live. I mean, many a times you have restrictions IRL when you sent it to Apple, only to be told that it's screwed that you can't repair it and it will void your warranty.

One of my phone's warranty just expired and hey, I sent it to a shop for a repair. Only took ~ USD 60.

That aside, I think this is a brilliant idea on its own, but I was wondering if it could be expanded a little.

I am interested in your ideas about how it could be expanded, although I do not think the resolution should have too many paragraphs to accomplish a simple goal.


I'm not very sure on how to put it in exactly, but there's one thing that might be a little troublesome, or that I have completely missed it:

Say that you have a iPhone X, for convenience sake. What if you went to the "freedom to repair" country and repair it over there? The technical restriction was already present from Day 1, and you simply went to that nation to fix your phone. If you do that, is Apple in the wrong for the technical limitation, or no wrong because you bought it somewhere else?

Now that I did a triple take, I think it's fine the way it is. :)
Last edited by Valentine Z on Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sierra Lyricalia
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:10 am

OOC: There should be some acknowledgment that the first thing some of these companies say is "We're not restricting your right to repair your own stuff - we're just protecting our intellectual property! If you want to tinker with the like seven or eight parts out of a thousand pieces of this engine that don't require CPU tweaking to test and integrate correctly, go right ahead!" The point being that if all you outlaw is practices designed to stop backyard mechanics, every such practice will have an extremely noble and high-minded principle behind it that justifies, oops, sorry, well, sometimes we all have to live with some inconvenience in the service of universal values such as the Sanctity of Proprietary Information.

Optimistically I want to say there must be some way to handle this without having to repeal GAR #394. I'm not sure exactly what that is yet, five minutes after reading this OP. I'll ponder, though. :)
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Minoa
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Postby Minoa » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:03 am

Valentine Z wrote:Say that you have a iPhone X, for convenience sake. What if you went to the "freedom to repair" country and repair it over there? The technical restriction was already present from Day 1, and you simply went to that nation to fix your phone. If you do that, is Apple in the wrong for the technical limitation, or no wrong because you bought it somewhere else?

I believe the third paragraph should cover all repairs that take place in member countries. Due to the rule where WA resolutions may not apply to non-member countries, there is not much the WA can do control technical and legal restrictions in non-member countries.
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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:04 am

Minoa wrote:
Valentine Z wrote:Say that you have a iPhone X, for convenience sake. What if you went to the "freedom to repair" country and repair it over there? The technical restriction was already present from Day 1, and you simply went to that nation to fix your phone. If you do that, is Apple in the wrong for the technical limitation, or no wrong because you bought it somewhere else?

I believe the third paragraph should cover all repairs that take place in member countries. Due to the rule where WA resolutions may not apply to non-member countries, there is not much the WA can do control technical and legal restrictions in non-member countries.


Ahh, gotcha, thanks! In that case, please move on, then. :P

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Glory to De Sierlijke und Verwonderlijk Feline Utopia et its Heerlijk Autonomous Opperheerschappij ov Valentine Z !
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Imperial Polk County
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Postby Imperial Polk County » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:30 am

"I'm not sure I can support this if its scope is so broad. What if we are dealing with dangerous goods? Or sophisticated weapons? Perhaps Nation A doesn't want Nation B's engineers tinkering with the thermo-nukular devices that they have stationed there."
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Minoa
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Postby Minoa » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:56 am

Imperial Polk County wrote:"I'm not sure I can support this if its scope is so broad. What if we are dealing with dangerous goods? Or sophisticated weapons? Perhaps Nation A doesn't want Nation B's engineers tinkering with the thermo-nukular devices that they have stationed there."

I am concerned that adding such exception may backfire, when manufacturers try to justify restrictions under the guise of national security. Right now the main change was to include modifications and upgrades (such as a new hard drive).
Last edited by Minoa on Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:47 pm

I'm unclear with what you mean by technical restrictions in this context. For example, with something like a MacBook, at what point do design considerations having to do with cooling, miniaturisation, etc. interact with these technical restrictions? For example, Apple glues down their batteries (as do many manufacturers these days), in part because putting in the retaining mechanism à la a white polycarbonate MacBook would make the computer too heavy.

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Minoa
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Postby Minoa » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:24 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:I'm unclear with what you mean by technical restrictions in this context. For example, with something like a MacBook, at what point do design considerations having to do with cooling, miniaturisation, etc. interact with these technical restrictions? For example, Apple glues down their batteries (as do many manufacturers these days), in part because putting in the retaining mechanism à la a white polycarbonate MacBook would make the computer too heavy.

The technical restrictions in my context is how Apple has been accused of trying to sabotage independent repairs … like this. Another example is how HP and Epson tries to hinder the use of any third-party cartridges.
Last edited by Minoa on Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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