Some quick misconceptions I want to get out in front of:
- Right to Repair is NOT about asking people to repair their own devices. Customers should be able to repair their own devices, but they should also have the options to purchase new devices or seek repair services from a third party.
- Right to Repair is NOT just about a few companies. Most major manufacturers in most industries fight against consumers being allowed to repair their devices or seek repair from an independent third party.
- Right to Repair is NOT about making manufactures re-design products to be easier to repair. The onus is on owners and independent repair providers to acquire the equipment and skills required to perform repairs. Right to Repair seeks to protect owners and independent repair providers from legal recourse for repairing a devices.
- Right to Repair is NOT about making manufacturers provide parts or repair services. It seeks to protect consumers and independent repair providers from legal recourse for distributing parts and schematics essential to support repairs. Those parts and schematics may be purchased from the manufacturer, purchased from a third party supplier, developed independently, or sourced from used devices.
- Right to Repair is NOT a partisan issue. Neither the Democrat nor Republican party have strong stances on the subject and lawmakers on both sides have objected and supported it.
- We do not currently have Right to Repair just because independent repair shops still exist. Most shops in the US/Europe can only offer very limited services due to the existing legal landscape. Some of them have to perform questionable or even outright illegal actions to secure the parts and schematics necessary to facilitate all but the simplest of repairs. Right to Repair seeks to undo this problem by granting legal protection for repairs.
- Authorized repair programs (ARPs) are not a substitute for Right to Repair. Such programs do not exist for the benefit of device owners. The FTC has found no evidence that ARPs improve quality or safety of repairs. ARPs usually put cumbersome restrictions on independent repair providers in exchange for meager parts catalogs at exorbitant markups. They exist to extract money and control from independent repair providers and encourage consumers to seek alternative services or replacements directly from the manufacturer.