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Apple To Oppose Nebraska’s Proposed “Right To Repair” Bill

According to a report published by Motherboard, Apple apparently has plans to oppose legislation in the state of Nebraska and other states in America that basically would grant consumers the right to repair an electronic device outside of its maker’s channels. If passed, this bill would effectively force tech firms and manufacturers to provide instruction manuals and even components to third party retail outlets and repair service providers.

As told by a source inside the Nebraska legislature to Motherboard, Apple (as well as major US wireless carrier AT&T) are looking to send representatives or lobbyists to a hearing scheduled on March 9th, during which the “Right to Repair” bill will be deliberated upon. Both Apple and AT&T are planning to argue that this bill could lead to consumers not only causing potential damage to their electronic devices, but also harm to themselves when performing repairs on their own. The companies also plan to cite the case of exploding Li-ion batteries, as well as overheating issues such as those recently experienced by Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phablet.

To date, the “Right to Repair” bill is currently being proposed in at least eight states (including Nebraska), and for some time now has been an intensely debated subject. For years, consumers and repair shops have been claiming that tech firms have been monopolizing repair services with the way they make it harder for users and third parties to gain access not only to components, but to repair manuals as well. For instance, Apple has been known to design proprietary screws and even introduced software components checks in order to prevent repair shops (and even the consumers themselves) from tinkering with its devices.

The “Right to Repair” legislation is backed by the Repair.org trade organization, who is hoping that electronic device makers will not want to deal with varying laws, depending on which state in America, and therefore will be more receptive to the idea of a uniform countrywide policy, akin to that of the US automobile industry’s.

Source: Motherboard


Comment Page :
  1. yes let users be able to go to a cheaper repair shop, or do the repair themselves, to replace a broken screen, or battery, whatever, etc, without voiding the warranty.

    1. And likewise, distribution of the "secrets" of how your phone is made and what the parts are and how to fix them should be protected under the First Amendment, and not subject to snuffing by frivolous lawsuit.

  2. So this bills is not just about allowing third party vendors to repair but also forces the manyfacturer to give up its process of manufacturing it or just how to repair it?

    This seems strange.

    Is there any other industry out there where the manufacturer is being forced in releasing how one can repair their units? The gun industry, the automobile industry, the software industry? Etc.

    Whatever happened to be industrious and reaping the rewards of your labor?

    Allow others to figure it out, but allow them, and it will be at their own cost. If they mess up, then too bad on them.

    Wasn't the note 7 an isolated mistake in production in part of Samsung or was it due to outside tampering after the consumer purchased the unit? It would seem strange that the same problem happened to that same unit, meaning that different people were doing the same thing to that same unit. Which can be, but I also guess that thlse same people have been doing what they did, if they did anything, to the note 7 to other phones and without any incidence.

    So the problem was from Samsung's end?

    But if the problem was from the consumer's end, why did Samsung recall it? Just to make sure that there is no blame on the company?

    Apple should allow people to do as they wish.

    We can hurt our selves and others in many different ways, knives, bleach, water(drowning someone), cars, almost anything can be turned deadly and lethal, will we go and ban the sale of every thing and just chain every person to a wall with IVs attached and micro manage their lives?

    Apple should not be forced to reveil anything that they worked hard to develop, and people should not be stopped from fixing their property in any which way that they so choose either.

    I am all for Apple having full rights over their property.

    It smells of classic anti trust laws being used here.

    We need to be very careful when using those laws.

    If we are under utilizing them, we might end up with tyrannical corporporations dictating our lives, but if we over use them, we may be destroying the productive industrious spirit of America.

    What is your opinion on this?

    1. I see the issue as mainly one of a giant corporations vs small local businesses.

      Manufacturers of complex, expensive, non disposable products like smartphones, automobiles, farm machinery, appliances, professional grade power tools, firearms and laptops have traditionally provided replacement parts and service manuals to independent repair shops and part stores.

      Lately, companies including Apple, no longer sell parts or manuals giving themselves a monopoly on the repair business for their products.

    2. If you screw up a tractor or toaster repair, it won't cause an airplane fire and crash that kills dozens of other people. I agree with Apple, for the same reason that Samsung Note 7 phones were not allowed on flights.

      My iPhone 6S that I bought supposedly refurbished by a "certified tech" came without the plate holding down the battery and antenna connectors. One of the plates' screws was loose inside the phone (!). The replacement battery had a big dent in the back, and was only held in place by a 1" long, half " wide piece of double double-sided tape. I only know this now because I dropped it about 3 feet while in its case, and then the battery would only charge to 2%. Apple rightfully refused to work on it, even out of warranty, because it "had been tampered with" and could have other damage that was not obvious. Perfectly understandable; why should Apple accept liability for someone else's mistakes? Since they are a "giant corporation" anybody that was hurt by this phone later would try to collect $Millions, and Apple would probably make a large settlement to avoid even bigger legal fees.
      I fixed the iPhone with a iFixit battery kit and a used terminal plate. Used parts and repair videos and instructions are available now. "Right to Repair" laws will endanger public safety, make lawyers and their clients rich, and drive up the cost of phones. And the Chinese will steal even more IP, hurting cellphone designers from other counties.

    3. Who let the lobbyists onto the site??

    4. "Whatever happened to be industrious and reaping the rewards of your labor?"

      Apple already has. and they made a massive profit in the process of selling you your phone.

    5. " And the Chinese will steal even more IP, hurting cellphone designers from other counties. "

      You are lying and abusing words. IP is an odd term. the best term is "copyrighted material". And what you describe is not theft, it is duplication.

      Anyway, if you can't succeed in the cell phone business without trampling on First Amendment rights, you don't deserve to succeed at all. Apple is being pure evil here.

    6. "I am all for Apple having full rights over their property."

      This has nothing to do with this. This is about Apple asserting property rights over millions and millions of customers who paid Apple a pretty penny to become owners of iPhones.

      If I agreed with you that the phones were still Apple property, then of course it would logically follow that Apple should give each iPhone owner the $800 or so they paid for the phone.

      If Apple is not willing to do this, they should but out of what OTHERS do with THEIR property.

    7. "If we are under utilizing them [anti-trust laws], we might end up with tyrannical corporations dictating our lives"

      That actually ends up happening much more due to regulation. The free market is really not that friendly to monopolies and their dictates, as when there is less regulation that gets rid of the huge chunk of regulations put in by big companies to keep small companies from competing.

  3. But when was a corporation demanded to share their hard earned research with others?

    The fact that many have does not require others to follow suit and nor should it shame anyone from not continuing this tradition.

    America is an industrious countey built on freedom, this freedom should include freedom of property.

    If Apple does not want to share its secrets, then that is fine.

    But is Apple also fighting to make it illegal that noone but them can service their products?

    It might be that they are pushing their copyright rights to a limit. You see that screw, thats copyrighted, you can't make it. You see that wire, that too is copyrighted, you can't make that either.

    Or is Apple making every part so propriotary that the very fact that someone besides Apple fixed an Apple product proves it that the fixer has just violated Apple's rights? Even if this is so, it may infact be totally within the legality and in favor of Apple, inspite of that this may make a lot of people upset.

    But hey, learn your engineering, and make your own product, copyright it, and fight tooth and nail for your rights. Imagine if you did that and then someone just copies your products and makes your business absolete? How mad would you get? Yeh, its a two way street. Don't just say that you want your products to be copyrighted while noone else should have their products copyrighted.

    So then, if copyrights is what Apple is fighting to keep adhered to, then what objection do we have to their fighting the bill, and also, why woukd we even want the bill?

    This bill seems to be a stepping stone to allow many companies to just side step the very nature of copyrights.

    If copyrights can so easily be trampled upon with impunity then Apple will just liquidate all their assests, close their doors, fire ALL of their employees, and just retire.

    Who will now hire all of those workers?

    Copyrights need to be enforced.

    What do you think?

    1. Those "workers" are all welfare queens if they only have their jobs due to unwarranted intrusion/censorship by the government.

      "America is an industrious countey built on freedom, this freedom should include freedom of property"

      You really have no idea what you are talking about, do you?

      1) This issue is mainly freedom of ideas.

      2) IT is about property also, but not how you think: it is about property rights of those who actually own the property (those who spent $800 and have free and clear title to their iPhones).

      Apple has SOLD these phones, so they are not the property of others. Apple has no right to control others' property.

      ". Imagine if you did that and then someone just copies your products and makes your business absolete?"

      Silly hypotheticals. They would only make my business "obsolete" if they did a much better job at it. More power to them.

      "If copyrights can so easily be trampled upon with impunity then Apple will just liquidate all their assests, close their doors, fire ALL of their employees, and just retire."

      Or, imagine that, they would rely on building better products. Instead of harassing people, censoring, and trampling on the property rights of others.

      Apple's property rights over an iPhone ends when someone else buys that phone.

  4. just jack up the price of replacement parts to the point where no one would buy them

    1. 1. They could still get nailed for anti-trust.
      2. Depending on how open this law would require Apple et al to be, it might end up forcing them to provide the blueprints for aftermarket manufacturing. Worst case, larger manufacturers of 'generics' buy a replacement part, study it and reverse engineer it. Once they perfect it, smaller manufacturers buy the aftermarket part, study it, reverse engineer it, and so on.

  5. The company that brought us Error 53 is now opposing legislation that puts more power in the consumers' hands...shocking.

    1. >> this bill could lead to consumers not only causing
      >> potential damage to their electronic devices, but
      >> also harm to themselves when performing repairs
      >> on their own

      Apple can use as examples the chaos that has occurred when people have tried replacing light bulbs, pumping their own gas (except in NJ and OR of course), hooking up TVs, or even repairing cars.

      I'm sure that more people have already hurt themselves *using* iPhones (by not paying attention to where they're going or what's going on around them) than will ever hurt themselves repairing one. If they're so concerned for consumer safety, maybe Apple should sponsor legislation outlawing smartphones.

    2. "pumping their own gas (except in NJ and OR of course)"

      That's a sort of welfare system, giving what is in amount unearned money to these employees which wouldn't be given if the government butted out.

  6. I'd be happy if they just passed a law requiring all phones and tablets be built with removable batteries

    1. I disagree with this. But the market should be more responsive to customers' needs.

      Too often the companies act on their own whims, which are often customer-hostile.

      Like that no one wants a phone so thin that it bends and the battery only last 4 hours, no one wants a phone that you have to throw away when the battery gets bad.

      Smartphone buyers I guess lap up what the companies force them way too much. I can't imagine the same thing happening with TV remotes (where you had to throw them away when the batteries get bad).

  7. What I don't understand is why is AT&T involved in this?

    1. Like Apple, AT&T is also in the phone repair business.

  8. Even if the companies don't provide the manuals, I hope such laws would prevent frivolous lawsuits (DMCA claims) by Apple/etc to silence those who distribute this valuable information.

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