Activists and Organisations around the world have been advocating for the right of consumers to be able to repair their own electronics and other products as part of the ‘right to repair’ movement. The movement traces its roots back to the very dawn of the computer era in the 1950s.
The goal of the movement is to get companies to make spare parts, tools and information on how to repair devices available to customers and repair shops.
The Activists argue that these electronic manufacturers are encouraging a culture of ‘planned obsolescence’, which means that devices are designed specifically to last a limited amount of time and to be replaced. This leads to immense pressure on the environment and wasted natural resources.
Large tech companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Tesla, have been lobbying against the right to repair. Their argument is that opening up their intellectual property to third party repair services or amateur repairers could lead to exploitation and impact the safety and security of their devices.
US President signed an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission to curb restrictions imposed by manufacturers that limit consumers’ ability to repair their gadgets on their own terms. The UK, too, introduced right-to-repair rules.