Since our last blog on the right to repair movement during Covid-19, there has been substantial legislative effort in expanding the right to repair in North America. Right to Repair
(R2R) advocates are fighting to have OEM’s be required to make parts, tools, and information available to consumers and repair shops in order to, amongst other things, prevent these devices from ending up in landfills.
Repair.org, a not for profit based in the United States who specializes in this issue has the following mission statement: “It’s simple. You bought it, you should own it. Period. You should have the right to use it, modify it, and repair it whenever, wherever, and however you want. It’s our mission to make sure you can. We fight for your right to fix. Simple. Our goal is to advocate for repair-friendly policies, regulations, statutes, and standards at the national, state, and local levels.” - repair.org
In the United States Congress there are various bills being proposed and 25 of 50 states now have Right to Repair Legislation. In the Canadian province of Ontario a similar legislation package was recently narrowly beaten down. In fact, despite the legislation not making its way to law, an OpenMedia funded survey found 75% of Canadians want RTR legislation.
The opposing argument often used is in reference to the 1932 Paper “Ending the Depression through Planned Obsolescence” in which Author Bernard London wrote: “Furniture and clothing and other commodities should have a span of life, just as humans have,” he wrote. “They should be retired, and replaced by fresh merchandise.” He called on the Federal Government to put expiry dates on consumer merchandise to promote buying more and stimulating the economy out of the great depression. In the age of Covid-19 and downturned economies across the world it seems depression era attitudes towards economic stimulation from purchases is the next large hurdle the Right to Repair Movement needs to overcome.
So what do you think? Do you have the Right to Repair?