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The Videogame Industry Is Fighting 'Right To Repair' Laws (vice.com) 266

An anonymous reader quotes Motherboard: The video game industry is lobbying against legislation that would make it easier for gamers to repair their consoles and for consumers to repair all electronics more generally. The Entertainment Software Association, a trade organization that includes Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, as well as dozens of video game developers and publishers, is opposing a "right to repair" bill in Nebraska, which would give hardware manufacturers fewer rights to control the end-of-life of electronics that they have sold to their customers...

Bills making their way through the Nebraska, New York, Minnesota, Wyoming, Tennessee, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Illinois statehouses will require manufacturers to sell replacement parts and repair tools to independent repair companies and consumers at the same price they are sold to authorized repair centers. The bill also requires that manufacturers make diagnostic manuals public and requires them to offer software tools or firmware to revert an electronic device to its original functioning state in the case that software locks that prevent independent repair are built into a device. The bills are a huge threat to the repair monopolies these companies have enjoyed, and so just about every major manufacturer has brought lobbyists to Nebraska, where the legislation is currently furthest along... This setup has allowed companies like Apple to monopolize iPhone repair, John Deere to monopolize tractor repair, and Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to monopolize console repair...

Motherboard's reporter was unable to get a comment from Microsoft, Apple, and Sony, and adds that "In two years of covering this issue, no manufacturer has ever spoken to me about it either on or off the record."
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The Videogame Industry Is Fighting 'Right To Repair' Laws

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  • definitions? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <(kepler1) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Saturday February 25, 2017 @11:39PM (#53932257)
    ok, so you're going to require manufacturers to make repair manuals and parts available to the general public. What's to stop them from writing in the manual, "purchase and install Comprehensive Assembly #012934" and selling that part which is basically a replacement for the entire unit? Who's to contradict them if they say that the unit is not serviceable?
    • Re:definitions? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @11:59PM (#53932315)

      It's interesting to read the background on this. It's really about warranties.

      Federal law is that a company can't insist that you use a particular vendor for repair or servicing to maintain a warranty. Now, that's unusual to think about because that's not what we're used to seeing in reality.

      The reality is that if opening or servicing the electronics is so convoluted and difficult that damage is nearly certain when anyone without training opens it, then the warranty is voided by that damage. The training materials and tooling that are used by companies to train their own people in how to properly repair the electronics without damage would be made available to consumers in "right to repair" legislation.

      If a company decides to make something that cannot be repaired... well, ok. It may be that laws like this simply push manufacturers to shut down their internal repair groups and stop supporting any warranty or repair at all.

      • Re:definitions? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @12:23AM (#53932389)

        Much of that "difficulty" is artificially introduced by the console developer, to discourage experimentation and reverse engineering attempts, in order to keep the console "secure."

        EG, things like the E-Fuses in the 360 preventing the flashing of older firmwares over the top of newer ones, etc.

        They ONLY reason they exist, *IS TO BRICK CONSOLES*, when people attempt to gain control of the console.

      • Re:definitions? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @12:44AM (#53932425)

        No, they still want to sell their devices. So what if some people repair their own? Are they going to shut down the entire product line for a few malcontents? Have an unrepairable by any means product will drive most people away.

        • Re: definitions? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26, 2017 @04:54AM (#53932899)

          You're thinking direct computer hardware. Nebraska is thinking tractors and farm equipment. Locking farmers into long term hugely expensive repair contracts on absolutely critical pieces of equipment has become the norm for many "tractor" companies. When one piece of equipment costs millions and you need to spend thousands or more to recalibrate after some common mishap or loose your harvest then it's not so trivial.

          • Re: definitions? (Score:5, Informative)

            by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @12:15PM (#53933813) Homepage

            You're thinking direct computer hardware. Nebraska is thinking tractors and farm equipment. Locking farmers into long term hugely expensive repair contracts on absolutely critical pieces of equipment has become the norm for many "tractor" companies. When one piece of equipment costs millions and you need to spend thousands or more to recalibrate after some common mishap or loose your harvest then it's not so trivial.

            This. Why do you think it's starting in Nebraska?

            There are quite a few electronic objects out there that having nothing to do with Microsoft or Sony. There is a huge outcry amongst farmers and small industries with the trend towards essentially leasing complex expensive equipment even if you buy it. Farmers have been sued for the temerity of trying to fix their own gear. For John Deere stuff, you could not even buy parts that just plug into the system - they had to be 'installed' by the dealer. When they could get around to it.

            IIRC, Deere got some really bad press about that a awhile back and at least lets you plug things back in (that you buy at the Deer store). It is a much larger problem than a dead X-box.

            There are more things, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy.

            • Re: definitions? (Score:5, Informative)

              by skr95062 ( 2046934 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @06:50PM (#53935541)

              Exactly.
              John Deere is using copyright and the DMCA to keep the farmers who spend 150K+ on their tractor or farm equipment from working on their own property.
              Or is it really the farmers property? Apparently not according to Deere.
              That is why these bills are in farm country, the populous of these states don't care about game consoles or Blu Ray players, a tractor, absolutely, a game console not so much.
              The farmers want to be able to work on their property, Deere says otherwise.
              Take a read here: https://www.wired.com/2015/04/... [slashdot.org]
              here: http://modernfarmer.com/2016/0... [slashdot.org]
              and here http://www.npr.org/sections/al... [slashdot.org]
              All because software is used in a number of places in the vehicle ...
              Automobiles, now also because of software, are covered under the DMCA , can Ford or GM now claim the same as Deere?
              Sorry, but you really don't own that Ford GT 350 or that Corvette Sting Ray you think you own.
              How long before Ford, GM or any other automobile manufacturer for that matter do what Deere has done?
              The fact that they can do this, should scare anyone.
              That is why this type of legislation is needed everywhere.
              It is not about game consoles, it is about much, much more.
              The DMCA was bad legislation 20 years ago when it was passed.
              This really proves it.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by nasch ( 598556 )

                the populous of these states don't care about game consoles or Blu Ray players

                Populace.

        • The problem they have with it is that people would repair the fault that their console only does what its manufacturer wants.

      • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @01:11AM (#53932501)

        MS used to ban people for useing there own hdd's (much cheaper ones) in the 360. And the 360 used Ext case ones. At the same time the ps3 was open to any 2.5 one.

      • Re:definitions? (Score:5, Informative)

        by msauve ( 701917 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @08:06AM (#53933227)
        "Federal law is that a company can't insist that you use a particular vendor for repair or servicing to maintain a warranty. "

        Federal law says no such thing. You're presumably referencing the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act [cornell.edu], which prohibits

        conditio[ing] his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty)

        If warranty work is provided free (i.e. parts and labor warranty), there's no issue. In fact, the Act refers to the use of authorized agents:

        Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent any warrantor from designating representatives to perform duties under the written or implied warranty...

        No, a car manufacturer can't require you to get oil changes from their dealer, unless they provide those changes free as part of the warranty. But if a belt breaks, they can require you get it repaired at a dealer if you want warranty coverage, since the warranty pays for both parts and labor.

        You're probably also under the false impression that a warrantor has to somehow "prove" a user modification caused an otherwise warranted issue in order to deny coverage. Nope - if they want to say your engine warranty is voided if you hang fuzzy dice on the mirror, they can. They just have to state so clearly.

        Read the Act, it's short and not a hard read.

        • You're probably also under the false impression that a warrantor has to somehow "prove" a user modification caused an otherwise warranted issue in order to deny coverage. Nope - if they want to say your engine warranty is voided if you hang fuzzy dice on the mirror, they can. They just have to state so clearly.

          Right, if you want protection under the act, you'll have to bring a lawsuit. It's not automatic, since district attorneys are useless fucks 99% of the time, chasing office and not justice.

    • Re:definitions? (Score:5, Informative)

      by lucm ( 889690 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @12:50AM (#53932457)

      What's to stop them from writing in the manual, "purchase and install Comprehensive Assembly #012934" and selling that part which is basically a replacement for the entire unit?

      What you're describing is using a RaW (Rules as Written) legal strategy, and in the context of this type of legislation, this is usually not a winning approach because it clearly contradict the intent of the law. A RaW approach is better suited to administrative matters, such as a DMV dispute.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )

      What's to stop them from writing in the manual, "purchase and install Comprehensive Assembly #012934" and selling that part which is basically a replacement for the entire unit?

      Well, presumably the law stops them. I'm sure that the actual text of the law isn't a single sentence, "We hereby require manufacturers to make repair manuals and parts available to the general public." This is why these laws get into hundreds of pages, and sometimes set up regulatory bodies to manage them - to try and cover all of those sorts of loopholes and crafty ways which companies employ to try and wriggle around them. They're not always successful, but that's what it takes to have any chance of maki

    • Re:definitions? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @02:24AM (#53932635)
      What's happened for a very long time is third party manuals. My Grandmother's copy of "Book of The Ford" was a guide to repairing the Model T and was not written by the Ford Motor Company. That was in the early 1920s and was nowhere near the first edition. Ford had their own manuals but they were not that only ones, and apart from the DCMA there has been little to stop third party manuals since.
      So IMHO there's nothing wrong with them saying "purchase and install Comprehensive Assembly #012934" so long as third parties are allowed to publish alternative manuals and supply alternative parts.
      • Re:definitions? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26, 2017 @04:05AM (#53932809)

        Do you still have the book? If yes and it can't be found online, then scan it (or if you don't want the manual anymore then i guess you can send it) and contribute to http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          Another relative ended up with it but it was not rare by all accounts so is probably scanned and online already. I actually got to apply some stuff about the epicyclic gears and brake bands at University where the mechanical engineering department had a gearbox from a model-t to use in second year practical classes.

          I think the book was this one (published 1920, going now for ten Bristish pounds):
          https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=7791062620&searchurl=tn%3Dthe%2Bbook%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bford%
      • What's happened for a very long time is third party manuals. My Grandmother's copy of "Book of The Ford" was a guide to repairing the Model T and was not written by the Ford Motor Company. That was in the early 1920s and was nowhere near the first edition.

        Back then, it was reasonable to make repairs to a vehicle with nothing but basic mechanical knowledge. Today, it isn't. You need torque specs (which aren't just based on bolt sizes no matter how much people want that to be true) and the codes to instruct the computers as to what to do. Those codes are in the official documentation most of the time, for recoding the PCM and such. The only way they get into the Haynes or Chilton's (etc.) is if someone gets them out of the official book. Those codes are facts,

  • by ChodaBoyUSA ( 2532764 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @11:41PM (#53932267)
    ...is why you are not required to only have the dealer repair your vehicle. Consumers must have the same freedom with electronic devices.
  • I can still remember (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When you brought a Sony radio there would be a schematic sheet inside the case so you could repair the electrical device yourself.

    • Back from the days when Sony was actually a reputable company, innovative and consumer oriented.

      Yes, kids, back when we were young, they actually were. Almost impossible to fathom today.

  • by thundercattt ( 4205847 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @12:04AM (#53932333)
    When you make HUGE price tags to repair items, people are going to repair it themselves. I previously worked for Lenovo/Asus repair depot. To replace an LCD was over $300. Part on eBay is about$60 takes maybe 10 mins depending on the model. So when you flease the customer long enough, they attempt it themselves because the $300+tax or buy a new one for $400. Most think I'll give it a shot for $50.
    • The primary cost in repair is labor.
      There is no such thing as a 10 minute repair. It can take that long to unpack the box it's shipped in. More like 2 hours. Add to that all of the other people involved, receiving, shipping, etc.
      $60 part, $200 in labor and ancillary costs. And it's a business, they want to make a profit. You're at $300.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26, 2017 @01:11AM (#53932499)

        I had a user break a screen on a Lenovo T540p laptop. It was 2 months out of warranty, so I asked Lenovo for a quote for repair.

        They came back with 600$. We bought the laptop NEW for less than 900$.

        The cost of the screen from the manufacturer was 70$. There are 10 screws in total that hold both the plastic case, and LCD in place. Without a manual, and on the first try it took me less than 15 minutes is dissemble the display enough that I could replace it. Expecting 500+ dollars for what is 15 minutes of work, and MAYBE another 30 to get it shipped back out is utterly insane.

        In trying to replace the fans in a 2011 macbook pro this December, Apple quoted me about 150$, but they had to order the parts. I said go ahead, just so I could have some fans with an Apple warranty with them. I did tell them that I couldn't leave the laptop overnight, and work had to be done same day.

        3 weeks, and 4 phone calls later they couldn't fit me in with a tech and I'd have to leave the laptop overnight and they could 'probably' have it ready by the end of the next day. Instead, I spent 15 minutes online, got 2 replacement fans for less than 50$, had them delivered 2 day later and 16 screws and 7 minutes later had replaced both fans immediately after receiving them.

        • by swb ( 14022 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @12:19PM (#53933831)

          If you were running a shop fixing these things, you would have some process surrounding the job which took into account paperwork, getting the parts and laptop to the bench, opening the parts (which would no doubt be packaged up the wazoo), installing them, finishing paperwork, putting the laptop back and dealing with the old parts (electronics waste process) and putting the laptop back on the pickup shelf.

          You'd be crazy if you didn't bill this as a one hour job and covering your labor costs would make it a $200 repair pretty easily. And if you were a smart business person, you'd probably also survey the market and price according to market options -- ie, buying a new laptop for $900 -- and extract another $100 in pricing.

          Bam. $300 repair job. Sure, Lenovo's pricing is way out of line but they are in the business of selling new laptops, so they are going to structure pricing to motivate you to buy a new laptop.

          But in the bigger picture, people fixing things as a business have other costs to consider that have to met by their labor charges. There's no such thing as pricing a labor job based solely on the time to do the primary repair. The *process* takes longer and that process is necessary to run the business and that cost has to be covered. Your personal repair speed isn't the basis of a business process.

      • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 )

        Charging someone $300 to repair something worth $400 new is not a sound business model.

        • by dwywit ( 1109409 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @02:40AM (#53932667)

          You're correct about the morality of it, but it's been a sound business model since planned obsolesence was first thought of.

          It's a better long-term business strategy to keep selling another unit to a customer - frequently and repeatedly - rather than make a product that is 1. long lived (reliable), and 2. economically repairable.

          Farming hardware - tractors, harvesters, etc - has traditionally been *very* reliable and long-lived. In other words, what you might call "overbuilt". They have a hard time comprehending why their computers don't last longer than 3-4 years. I have to try to explain modern economics to them.

          • Farming hardware - tractors, harvesters, etc - has traditionally been *very* reliable and long-lived. In other words, what you might call "overbuilt". They have a hard time comprehending why their computers don't last longer than 3-4 years. I have to try to explain modern economics to them.

            Is there perhaps a larger moral to be learned from this? Is there something about farm equipment -- or FARMERS -- that's different?

            Just a thought, but farming is one job that actually requires long-term financial planning. I've known a surprising number of people who appear to live "paycheck-to-paycheck." Even smart people with advanced degrees -- some of them with advanced math skills. But they simply can't manage money enough to not spend basically everything that's in their bank account before the

            • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @04:38AM (#53932869)

              Is there perhaps a larger moral to be learned from this? Is there something about farm equipment -- or FARMERS -- that's different?

              Not really IMHO.
              They are at the same level as people who buy industrial plant and expect it to last for decades as well.
              They are buying commercial grade equipment and expect commercial grade parts availability instead of the cheap short lifetime stuff the retail consumer is expected to put up with. I once visited a foundry for an agricultural pump manufacturer. They had the patterns for up to 70 year old equipment and cast those parts every now and again to maintain their policy of "lifetime" support. While that's an extreme example that is what is sometimes expected of equipment that is used in production instead of the throwaway consumer items we are expected to put up with.

          • by trenien ( 974611 )
            'Modern economics'.

            Too bad the planet won't take much more of it, but hey, you gotta mind the next quarter's results, that's what is really important...

          • by tomhath ( 637240 )

            You have to explain to them why a $300K tractor lasts longer than a $600 laptop?

            Seriously though, consumer electronics are made as cheaply as possible. Whether it's planned obsolescence or consumer preference - that's the way it is. My assumption is that people look at a $600 bargain laptop and it seems to work just as well as the $3000 "professional" model, so they buy the cheap one, then complain when it conks out after a couple of years.

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          Welcome to the disparity of paying an electronics bench tech a reasonable wage versus your subsidized game console price designed to get you to buy it and $100 each games.

          If you want minimum wage pay to the bench techs, then you must accept your own wages to be dropped to minimum wage as well.

        • What's more, most of the manufacturers (from phones to consoles to laptops) don't give a crap about your data and will likely replace your unit with a refurb rather than trying a direct repair. Your game saves? Gone. The photos of your kid? Gone. Your dissertation? Gone. Your accounts? Gone. Most independent repairers will care. Dead IPhone because you got caught in the rain? Your headphone jack broke? The charge connector broke? Apple (or any other manufacturer) don't care and will likely charge yo

      • It may be true that in a lot of cases it is no longer really economically viable to have manufacturers repair stuff. Especially if the customer isn't just paying for the repair guy but also for a bunch of bureaucratic overhead. But that's precisely why this is a good law: to ensure that small corner shops without all that overhead, or the handy customer who doesn't place a high price on a few hours of his spare time, are allowed and enabled to make those repairs themselves.
    • I picked up an old Asus netbook for like $50, and it it had a bios setup password. Asus refused to tell anyone how to clear it (pulling the cmos battery doesn't work) and insisted the only fix was to send it to a service center.

      I did eventually find a way to clear it using a command-line bios update though.

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        I would simply short the power pins of the flash chip on boot. Panasonic toughbook hada high security option in the CF-31 that you could lock the bios and not even panasonic could unlock it. I did on 30 of them by taking a 9V battery and blowing up the security chip on the board.

    • The repair vendors often also take the path of least resistance. Cracked Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, Samsung wanted $200 for the repair (they would have replaced the display assembly). Cornershop store wanted $140 (they would have replaced the display assembly).

      I bought replacement equipment for $10. Those $10 got me:
      1 Replacement glass for display assembly
      4 plastic picks
      2 prying tools
      1 metal razor
      3 cleaning cloths
      1 Philips screwdriver
      1 suction cap to hold glass
      1 tube of glue solvent
      1 replacement double sided t

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @07:32AM (#53933181) Homepage

      When you make HUGE price tags to repair items, people are going to repair it themselves. I previously worked for Lenovo/Asus repair depot. To replace an LCD was over $300. Part on eBay is about$60 takes maybe 10 mins depending on the model. So when you flease the customer long enough, they attempt it themselves because the $300+tax or buy a new one for $400. Most think I'll give it a shot for $50.

      I think the biggest issue for any repair shop is they can't deliver "I'll give it a shot" service. If it doesn't work, people aren't very likely to pay you $50 or even believe you really tried at all. If it turns out something else is broken too, they won't be very happy being stuck with a bill and a still broken machine. In fact you could end up in an argument about what was broke or if you broke it. If you do it yourself as a last-ditch attempt before throwing it in the trash you got nothing to lose, but deliver it to a repair shop and the customer will never accept that. They want a quote and a repaired machine for that price and you're burdened with the risk of delivering that. If those parts on eBay turns out to be faulty or shoddy knock-offs that don't quite work right or have quality issues that could become your problem too. Also if bad shit happens shortly after it comes from your shop they'll try to blame it on your repair, whether it's actually correct or not.

      All of this starts amounting to quite a bit of overhead, if someone comes in with a machine you probably can't make an off the cuff estimate. First you have to figure out roughly what's wrong, what parts costs, the time you'll spend and the risk you're taking then give a quote based on that. And very often the customer will say it's not worth it and go buy a new machine and that time is lost. And then you'll have customers who want time estimates or worse yet guarantees and you have supply chain issues you'll spend time dealing with customer complains and they might haggle or cancel their business and you might get stuck with the bill. And you will have all the ordinary business overhead of having a shop, maintaining an inventory and billing system, taxes etc. and people that don't ever come to collect or pay. And if you're shipping you will spent time wrapping and unwrapping, collecting and delivering, dealing with transport damage etc.

      I have some friends that are in the construction industry, they say pretty much the same. If you take away all the overhead, preparation and cleanup and just look at the time the handyman actually does this craft the hourly rate looks bizarre. But after dealing with "everything else" it's not like they walk away with that much per hour worked. It's the cost of doing it as a business, if they were just working on their own house they could do it way, way cheaper. It's simply a matter of trust and risk management, like I rented an apartment from an ex-classmate some years ago. Even though we weren't exactly friends he'd much rather rent to me than to some stranger, simply because he knew I'd be a no fuss tenant. The money is in easy business, dealing with complex and unique situations lie half-broken machines is often unreasonably time consuming and thus expensive. Getting a "known good" one off the assembly line often wins on simplicity.

  • An industry that makes bank on people buying replacement consoles and software titles to replace "damaged" product, fighting to prevent end users plugging that revenue stream!?

    SAY IT AIN'T SO! /s

    For those that dont understand how software can be an issue:
    Suppose that Nintendo or Microsoft or Sony decide that they want to not tie software downloads to a user account, but instead to a hardware unique key. Now when your console dies, that's all she wrote.

    Another possibility is that they fear that tools to rec

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      That they would be terrified of right to repair is a no-brainer

      Indeed. Isn't it funny when companies like Sony scream "let the market decide" and then put barriers in the way of capitalism when that market decides that repairing broken Sony stuff is worthwhile?

  • by zenlessyank ( 748553 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @12:17AM (#53932371)

    Always your best friend until they get your money. Soon we will just be a rat getting a food pill in a cage.

  • by magusxxx ( 751600 ) <magusxxx_2000@yahoo . c om> on Sunday February 26, 2017 @01:13AM (#53932507)
    This reminds me of a true story that keeps rearing it's head up ever few years. A certain computer company charged their clients thousands of dollars to upgrade each of their mainframes. Sure enough the upgrade worked great. Without flaw. The Problem: All the technician did was flip a switch inside the machine. While this discussion is about repair service, it falls under the same logic. A lot of the little tweaks to fix something could be done with little or no cost.
    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      IIRC, that was Big Blue - the memory board already had the capacity, and the "upgrade" was a tech removing a jumper allowing access to the second bank - It must have been cheaper to manufacture a board with full capacity and a jumper, than to manufacture two boards with different capacities.

      • More like today's per-core software licensing, I would say. I bet the price of the additional hardware was negligible in this case (but, a not fully populated board would still have been a lot cheaper to make).
        Maybe manufacturing a whole new mainframe was expensive, but not nearly as much as what they charged in sales/rent/leasing/charges. Rather than with a Nintendo or a home computer, I think it should be compared with a jet fighter program. Spend a zillion on R&D then only build a few hundreds or tho

        • Back in the early days of IBM mainframes, any software you wrote on it belonged to IBM. Things have changed a lot since then, but you can still pay someone to flip a switch. Only now the switch is virtual and has DRM to prevent you from flipping it yourself.

          • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

            Except you cant use Microsoft WORD to write anything that says anything negative about Microsoft.... it's in the EULA.
            Oh and they own your docx files because it is in their format.
            Oh and you had better read the EULA of their Visual Studio as to what they own of yours.....

            Nothing has changed except that they hide it better in a wall of text written by the scummiest people on the planet. Intellectual Property Lawyers.

  • Do you want $100+ oil changes at the dealer ship?

    DRM'ed tires that need an dealer install and maybe even an max miles limit?

    • Sounds a lot like ink cartridges.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Anyone that owns a performance car has been paying $100 oil changes at even a quickie lube for a while now. MY dealer oil changes are $160.00 If I buy the oil and filter myself it comes out to be $65.00 to do it in the driveway.

      I'm guessing that you have not owned a car and taken it in for an oil change cince 1980? Even my Honda Civic was $70 for an oil change just yesterday at a Valvoline quick lube.

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @02:00AM (#53932595)
    I can't tell you how many Atari joysticks I've broke — or fixed — back in the day. I even tried building my own light pen on a few occasions, but those things never worked.
    • Yeah I remember those. Broken cables or bent metal plates on the "switches", easy fixes. And walkmans! The 3.5mm jack in those would inevitably work itself loose from the PCB; another easy fix that not many people were able to carry out. In other words: great ways for a high school kid to make some extra money...

      I still always try to fix something myself before tossing it or calling a repair guy, from cars to washing machines. And it's still a great way to save money.
  • We don't need a right to repair law. All we need is a law that says if a manufacturer adds something to a product to make it harder for the end-user to fix, then they must fix the product for free forever.

    The rationale being that if the end-user is not free to fix the product, then the end-user is not the owner. The end-user has merely rented the product. The manufacturer is still the owner, and thus is responsible for the cost of repairs.
    • No--

      Say they are responsible for disposal of the unit.

      If the end user is NOT the owner, they do not have legal right to destroy or dispose of the product after it reaches end of life, because they are only renting.

      That means that in order to be responsible with their product lifecycle, they have to plan for disposition, and provide a mechanism for the end user to return old product for proper disposal.

      That is more expensive than you realize, because it basically doubles the costs of shipping on a product's

      • Where I live stores already have garbage bins for light bulbs, batteries, small electronic and electric devices like phones and toasters, routers, hair dryers and so on.
        A busted Xbox 360 would easily fit in there. Some tiny "recycling" tax, maybe European, is advertised on high tech crap.
        So while your idea is likable, the problem is it's already done, and it's too easy.

  • If you built your own PC this is a non-issue.

  • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @05:10AM (#53932925) Journal

    I sure am happy that I can repair my old pinball machines, that every nut and bolt has a part number so I can find a replacement part.
    Addams Family Pinball Repair - Part 1 of 2, The Transistor [youtube.com]
    They sure wouldn't have lasted for 30 years without repairs.
    They still fulfilled their role and made money for the original owner somewhere.

  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @05:24AM (#53932951) Journal

    Now shut the fuck up and send more money.

    Signed - Microsoft, Apple, Sony

    • Now shut the fuck up and send more money.

      Signed - Microsoft, Apple, Sony

      Corporate Arrogance is very real today, and because of that, you're being far too fucking polite with your wording.

  • >require manufacturers to sell replacement parts and repair tools to independent repair companies and consumers at the same price they are sold to authorized repair centers

    It so happens Apple does NOT sell any parts/tools/manuals to their "authorized repair centers". What they do is let you use the name, and in exchange get paid $18 per item you ship to Apples Texas facility for exchange, all while charging your client $149-1299.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • by inflex ( 123318 ) on Sunday February 26, 2017 @06:49AM (#53933087) Homepage Journal

    Being able to get *access* to schematics and boardviews in a timely, and legal manner would be a real nice thing and one of the big pushes behind trying to get this "Right to repair" bill through. Seems a lot of the counter-fight is trying to detail how "poor dumb consumers" shouldn't be near this stuff in the first place ( and to a degree they're right ) as opposed to techs already skilled in the processes involved in the repair work., In reality what a lot of people such as myself and Louis Rossmann (who'll be there speaking in favour of the bill) would like to have is the ability to obtain the information required directly from the manufacturer, even at a fair-and-reasonable price.

    In the old days (80's~90's) you could call up the service dept of most equipment manufacturers and for $15~$20 they would mail you the documents you wanted. These days you have to hope someone leaks it out to the internet. The businesses claim "trade secrets" but in reality there's nothing secret in those schematics, almost every section is pretty much a lift from the 'suggested/example layouts' from the part/chip manufacturer in the first place.

    Ultimately it's all about preventing people from holding off buying a new product, but rebuffed under the guise of "safety" or "secrets".

  • The US Government (the UK's too) says "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" [epa.gov] to save the planet.

    Conspicuous by its absence is "Repair", despite the fact that it would have made a nice 4th "R". A lot of the problem is that politicians are the sort of people (PPE graduates mostly) who have never repaired anything in their lives and regard repairing as doing something dodgy and disreputable

    This is how politicians see DiY repairs [jantoo.com]

  • The Entertainment Software Association, a trade organization that includes Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, as well as dozens of video game developers and publishers, is opposing a "right to repair" bill in Nebraska, which would give hardware manufacturers fewer rights to control the end-of-life of electronics that they have sold to their customers...

    Typical Rick and his buddies must be against this. I'm just surprised that there aren't video game development studios against it. ;)

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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