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Apple Pushes Back Against ‘Right to Repair’ Legislation in the U.S.

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A quest taken up by farmers and independent repair shops to gain the rights to service manuals, diagnostic tools and parts for high-tech equipment has met opposition in Nebraska from corporations such as Apple and John Deere, reads a new report from Time.

Right to repair laws, also called fair repair laws, typically require manufacturers to publish repair manuals and sell the parts, diagnostic software, and tools needed to fix their products. The goal is to ensure consumers can repair their own devices, or pay an independent outfit to do so. Simply put, these bills argue that you bought the device, and you should be able to repair it.

Backed by the lobbying group Repair.org, Right to Repair legislation is currently working its way through eight state-level legislatures across the country: Nebraska, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, Kansas, Wyoming, Illinois and Tennessee.

Apple appears to be focusing on the Nebraska efforts at first, perhaps because Nebraska’s unique unicameral legislature (the state has no House or Senate, just one body known as “the Legislature”) makes it easier to consolidate lobbying efforts.

Manufacturers have lobbied hard against right to repair legislation in the past. Last year, a bill headed through the New York statehouse was killed in part due to lobbying from Apple and IBM, among other manufacturers.

Nationwide, however, the legislation appears to have much more momentum this year as more states introduce right to repair bills. Last month, the American Farm Bureau Federation, an influential political organization representing farmers, officially endorsed right to repair legislation.

Apple has opened up its closed repair system somewhat though, as a recent report by Reuters stated the company would be sharing its proprietary iPhone screen repair machine–known as Horizon–with 400 retailers worldwide.

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  • Chrome262

    I can see why electronics manufactures do not want this to pass, as the competition is already crazy, with knockoffs and copies all around. So a broad bill might not be good, sure its important for cars and tractors and other large equipment, but electronics? The good news is its is forcing apple to release the screen repair tech. Maybe one specific for electronic, one that helps with screen repair or other elements and not force them to publish details specs of their devices. Of course if you could fix it you wouldn’t by a new one every year lol

  • Olley

    just wanted to share my experience – in early March some cleaning solution got under the home button and immediately killed the fingerprint sensor. brought it to Apple Store and they advised not to replace the screen cause the phone might “die” on that calibration machine. brought it to some 3rd party repair shops and they couldn’t do a thing about it. really sad. until 2 days ago, Touch ID came back to life and functioned as if nothing had happened. im not sure how long it’ll last but I’m SO GLAAAD I didn’t spend a dollar on screen replacement.

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