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Wednesday, 14 July 2021 16:22

Should You Have the Right to Repair Products You Own?

Written by Brad Bergan, Interesting Engineering
Should You Have the Right to Repair Products You Own? Avalon_Studio/iStock

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Whenever you buy a product---like a smartphone, a laptop or a gaming console---and it breaks, chances are you're not legally allowed to fix it yourself, and have to either send it in for repairs or buy a replacement. But what if you didn't?

The notion that consumers have the right to modify or repair their own electronic devices isn't new, but it's one many manufacturers like Apple have actively resisted.

 

Progress with 'Right to Repair' Rules Amid COVID-19

 

In the U.S., the movement behind "right to repair" concerns is working to prohibit companies from restricting the self-repair of electronics, or limiting the availability of parts you need to repair them.

 

Last August, Democrats introduced a bill in Congress to stop manufacturers' attempts to limit the repair or modification of medical devices amid the need for quick makeshift solutions surrounding the pandemic.

 

'Right to Repair' in EU Could Alter Long-Term Marketing

 

Months later, the EU's Parliament voted in favor of a new resolution on a "sustainable single market." The 2020 vote brought the region closer to the frontlines of the "right to repair" movement, which would not only enable people to self-repair or -modify devices, but also make them last longer.

 

Earlier, the EU Commission had declared aims to enact new "right to repair" rules for laptops, smartphones and tablets sometime in 2021.

 

Beyond the obvious consumer financial protection for "right to repair" laws, the movement's success in EU worked to encourage more sustainable consumer and business choices, in addition to more responsible and long-term marketing and advertising.

 

Planned Obsolescence and Modern Marketing

 

Since the 20th century, many companies have introduced "planned obsolescence" into the production of goods, which involves...


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