“Nebraska is one of eight states in the US – including Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee and Kansas – seeking to pass ‘right to repair’ legislation,” Olivia Solon reports for The Guardian. “All eyes will be on the Cornhusker state when the bill has its public hearing on 9 March, because its unique ‘unicameral legislature’ (it’s the only state to have a single parliamentary chamber) means laws can be enacted swiftly. If this bill, officially named LB67, gets through, it may lead to a domino effect through the rest of the US, as happened with a similar battle over the right to repair cars.”
“Big agriculture and big tech – including John Deere, Apple and AT&T – are lobbying hard against the bill, and have sent representatives to the Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska, to spend hours talking to senators, citing safety, security and intellectual property concerns,” Solon reports. “Squaring up to the corporates are grassroots activists like Kevin Kenney, 52, who has spent months educating fellow farmers and pounding the corridors of the Capitol building to counter the lobbyists’ fear-mongering.”
“The combination of the agricultural repair with electronic goods repair makes Kenney nervous: he thinks it’s going to be a harder fight with the attention and lobbying clout of technology giants. ‘Apple is going to throw too much money at it,’ he said,” Solon reports. “State senator Lydia Brasch, who sponsored the bill, described a meeting with the Apple lobbyist Steve Kester. ‘Apple said we would be the only state that would pass this, and that we would become the mecca for bad actors,’ she said. The Cupertino-headquartered company also argued there was a safety risk associated having untrained people installing unofficial components, particularly lithium ion batteries – as demonstrated by Samsung’s Note 7 debacle. Apple also told Brasch that there were plenty of authorized repair shops to choose from.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Using authorized channels is the only way to ensure you are getting genuine Apple parts and that the repair will be done to the right specifications. With so many second-hand smartphones, for example, being sold and re-sold, how are buyers to know their battery is the genuine part and that it was correctly installed? How safe are would these smartphones be to have on airplanes, for example?
Certainly it can be dangerous to mishandle/damage lithium batteries during DYI repairs and the results can injure not just the repairer.
What if somebody’s half-assed DIY battery installation burns down an apartment building at 3am or sets fire to a plane in flight? When even Samsung can’t fix their own batteries correctly, we doubt every single Joe and Jane Sixpack would be able to manage a perfect battery installation every single time. It only takes one mistake to cause a tragedy.
As for farmers’ John Deere tractors with computers that aren’t user-serviceable, this would seem to create the perfect opportunity for someone to create a fully-user serviceable tractor – you know, like they had for over a century – and begin marketing that to farmers.