I find both sides of the “right to repair” debate to be a bit extreme. Probably my Swedish perspective as usual.
I mean, I can totally see that there is a benefit to having devices that are easily repairable and serviceable. I’m a modern hippie if anything, and I would much rather see reuse rather than recycling first hand.
But if one makes the assumption that regular people either can or want to repair their devices, we are nothing short of delusional. Most people only what something that works, they don’t want to fuck around with it. Modern electronics are painfully integrated, components are few and specialized on a tiny PCB. Does the average person even know what they are looking at if they were to open the case of any contemporary device?
Besides, it looks like most of the vocal proponents of the right to repair are more interested in having access to cheap repair performed by sketchy people down the street, rather than doing the dirty work themselves. Swapping out whole interior components does not a repair constitute in my book, but I have worked as an electronics repair technician so I probably think in different terms.
Those of us who so loudly demand the right to repair, which is a broken term in and of itself, need to understand that we are the edge case and not the standard.
But large companies are equally silly in their arguing against the laws that give people the right to repair their stuff. Although given the propensity for class action law suits and for money-horny lawyers to go after a big-name company in a milking attempt, I can kind of see why.
A smarter company would not lobby to stop the rights and liberties of their customers, from a PR perspective alone. If one were so concerned about regular people cracking open their wares and potentially injuring themselves, there are better solutions. Perhaps a course that people could take, educating on the ways of the electronics and giving spare part access to those who pass a test or something along those lines.
Think; certification for individuals to perform repairs. I’m sure this will sit just as poorly with most of those who hate the most on companies who lobby against right to repair laws.
But can we find some other middle ground? I’m not trying to necessarily piss on either camp, because I can see sensible arguments from both. A good compromise, on the other hand, seems far away.
Not that I really give a shit per se. Where I normally reside I intend to acquire industrial level repair equipment at some point and actually be able to repair my stuff. No law is currently able to stop me from that in my neck of the woods. An access to components, on the other hand…