Source tells Motherboard that Apple will testify against Nebraska's "Right to Repair" law

Motherboard says a source told them that "an Apple representative, staffer, or lobbyist will testify" against the state's Right to Repair bill, which requires companies to make it easy for their customers to choose from a variety of repair options, from official channels to third parties to DIY.

Apple has previously taken versions of this position before US government agencies (for example, it repeatedly objected to proposals before the US Copyright Office to let electronic owners unlock their devices without risking civil and criminal reprisals under Section 1201 of the 1998's Digital Millennium Copyright Act), so it's not a stretch to imagine that they would take this position in Nebraska, as well.

Five states are pondering versions of Right the Repair legislation, but Nebraska is the only one holding public hearings on it. Manufacturers of motorcycles, ATVs and trikes have already weighed in on the Nebraska proposal, saying that bikers shouldn't be trusted to fix their own hogs.

AT&T is also reputed to be testifying at the hearing (AT&T notoriously took the position that only equipment rented from the company could be connected to the phone network, banning modems, fax machines, answering machines, and even a tin can you put over the phone receiver to stop sound from leaking to eavesdroppers).

They're joined by John Deere, the tractor maker who told the US Copyright Office in 2015 that farmers only licensed their tractors, and could never be said to truly own them, because of the presence of copyrighted software in them -- thus, farmers would have to comply with the license terms on the software and only get their tractors repaired by authorized John Deere agents.

The idea that it's "unsafe" to repair your own devices is one that manufacturers have been promoting for years. Last year, industry lobbyists told lawmakers in Minnesota that broken glass could cut the fingers of consumers who try to repair their screens, according to Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of Byrne said she will also testify at the Nebraska hearing and "plans to bring band aids."

"They should want to give people as much information about how to deal with a hazardous thing as they can," Gordon-Byrne said. "If they're concerned about exploding batteries, put warning labels on them and tell consumers how to replace them safely."

Source: Apple Will Fight 'Right to Repair' Legislation [Jason Koebler/Motherboard]

(Image: Apple ][+ schematics)

Notable Replies

  1. Given my tablet works because I got special screwdriver to open it up and tools to peel the case open and replaced the battery?

    My mom has a phone that's been repaired and an iPad that had a screen shatter when my sister had a siezure and smacked it out of her hand?

    And the fact my family has done renovations to every. Single. House. We've lived in?

    You can have my tools and tool chains when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

  2. Didn't car manufacturers used to publish DIY repair guides? Do those still exist?

  3. You raise a good counterpoint. I am still of the mind that instructions should be posted. Because while the parts should all pass cert, we should be able to obtain and install said parts and more importantly have a known good. Compare to so we can open phone up and go 'what the hell is that?' And know that black epoxy blobbed thing should not be there.

  4. That seems to be what the law is saying--whatever tools, parts, etc., that the OEM makes available to authorized service centers should be available to everyone.

  5. enso says:

    Good luck with that, Quixote. We live in a nation that can't even acknowledge climate change.

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