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Thread: Right to Repair a Fundamental Right? Do You Own It?

  1. #1
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    Right to Repair a Fundamental Right? Do You Own It?

    The right to repair is as much about ownership as it is about right to repair. If you can't repair something, do you really own it or are you really just renting it while it works? Does a patent or copy write give the manufacturer total control over the device for it's lifetime? If so does the manufacturer assume all liabilities not only for the device, but the damages caused by the device not functioning right and denying use or causing damage? Maybe our transactions shouldn't be called purchases, but leases and even here things could get sticky. This is going to become a legal maze that must be figured out. Is Microsoft going to be held liable every time their operating system locks up? Any thoughts, comments or solutions solicited and welcome.


    Why Can't We Fix Our Own Devices?

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Hanson View Post
    The right to repair is as much about ownership as it is about right to repair. If you can't repair something, do you really own it or are you really just renting it while it works? Does a patent or copy write give the manufacturer total control over the device for it's lifetime? If so does the manufacturer assume all liabilities not only for the device, but the damages caused by the device not functioning right and denying use or causing damage? Maybe our transactions shouldn't be called purchases, but leases and even here things could get sticky. This is going to become a legal maze that must be figured out. Is Microsoft going to be held liable every time their operating system locks up? Any thoughts, comments or solutions solicited and welcome.


    Why Can't We Fix Our Own Devices?
    This is not a legal problem, it is a problem with certain fanatics refusing to accept reality.
    Do you have the "right to repair" a broken hard drive? Sure you do, it's just not worth anything, and it's worth even less if you want to repair your SSD or your Intel CPU or your DRAM chip.
    Not every problem (and even less so every non-problem) has a legal solution, and calling a fact about the world a "right" does not change reality, any more than claiming I have a "right to flight" when I jump out the window will repeal gravity.

    There is a massive difference between purely artificial legal barriers (eg locked ink cartridges) and physical facts about the world (eg that replaceable batteries or RAM take up space, or use more power, or limit waterproofing, or other such tradeoffs). But the "right to repair" crowd refuse to distinguish between these different sorts of cases, and until they do so, I have no patience with them. They're basically unwilling to accept that very few people prioritize what they care about over other dimensions like weight or styling, and, in the best tradition of American sore losers, they want to try to force their opinions on everyone else through abusing the political process.

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  3. #3
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    This is not about items or parts that cannot be repaired by a trained technician or a person with talent and tooling, but things that can be repaired or modified safely and the original maker deliberately putting up road blocks to this process or making information or parts deliberately unavailable when they should be under normal circumstances. It's also about where these various lines should be drawn. Just like any human endeavor, some will try to take advantage of others on both sides, this is not about that. Reasonable limits need to be put on both sides, especially where the safety of third parties is concerned. The only reason this issue is kept in check at all is the bad publicity a company can quickly muster if they abuse it. Also totally closing a platform, can over time severely damage it and drive people to the competition, it's a fine line.

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