I was in Montpellier, VT this week for R2R Task Force meeting, and one refrain that I kept hearing from the big corporate lobbyists was that the Right to Repair bill is “too broad.” They know legislators like to make everyone happy through negotiation, and tend towards incremental rather than broad steps. They hope to be exempted by over-complicating the obvious—it's all the same stuff on the inside.
As repair techs, we know that fixing a broken wire or replacing a fried processor is the same no matter shape of the box it came in. We often don’t need to know anything about the software to make repairs. We fix the broken bits and hand the equipment back to the owner in working condition.
Where the opposition sees differences between the same parts inside of different products, we see commonality. Shape, size and even age aren’t important. If we have documentation, tools, parts, and permission, we can fix anything.
Our modern problem is lack of permission. We’re now in a situation where manufacturers have asserted for themselves the rights that owners’ have traditionally had. They insist on being the one to grant permission to repair. That’s the crux of the problem. That’s why we need to restore our right to repair.
We need legislation making sure that equipment owners retain their rights, even when manufacturers try to stop them. Simple.