Consumers, product owners, and independent professionals must have the right to repair, resell, and reuse their products. The Repair Association advocates nationally for a competitive repair market, as well as improvements to the quality and longevity of products.
All too often, usable products and device components are shredded or tossed away instead of being salvaged, fixed, and reused. We need to make our products last longer. That includes optimizing electronics not only for the first owner—but also for the third, the fourth, and the fifth owner through formal and informal reuse and repair.
Guaranteeing Property Rights
Product owners need the right to repair their products or have them serviced at the independent repair facility of their choice.
Many manufacturers make it impossible—whether inadvertently or intentionally—for consumers or independent repair technicians to fix their products, leaving consumers with few other options than to buy new.
Modern repairs involve electronics: any product that can have embedded electronics, will eventually have embedded electronics. Repairing those electronics requires information, parts, firmware access, and tooling specifications from the product designers.
The knowledge and tools to repair and refurbish products should be distributed as widely and freely as the products themselves. In contrast to centralized manufacturing, reuse must be broadly distributed to achieve economies of scale.
Creating an economy around extending the lifespan of manufactured goods will create jobs and benefit the environment.
Products should be designed to have their lifespan extended by regular maintenance and repair.
Independents need access to the same diagnostics, information, and parts available to the dealer's facilities.
Manuals: Make publicly accessible standardized service manuals in an electronic format.
Schematics and circuit diagrams: Make semiconductor diagrams and data sheets publicly accessible.
Software updates: Allow owners and independent service providers access to machine code and firmware patches and fixes.
Licenses: Make all contracts clearly identify which elements of the machine are not included in the sale. Do not allow companies to create contract language (End User License Agreements) that modify or limit support options in the future.
Parts + Tools: Make service parts and tools available at non-discriminatory pricing to equipment owners and third parties.
Patents: Encourage patent licenses to produce repair parts and tools available under fair licensing terms.
Diagnostics: Make troubleshooting and diagnostic tools, codes, and service software available.
Unlocking: Legalize unlocking, adapting, and modifying any part of the machine, including software.
Design: Integrate Design for Repair principles into eco-design product design practices.