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This Proposed National Right-to-Repair Law Is Great But Only a Start (US)

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This Proposed National Right-to-Repair Law Is Great But Only a Start (US)

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:46 pm

Story :

You may recall that there’s been a lot of effort on the part of big companies—carmakers, agricultural equipment makers, consumer electronics companies, and more—to make it not just difficult, but actually illegal for owners to repair or modify products they bought and own. We’ve thought that’s bullshit for some time, and while there’s been a temporary right-to-repair law for cars in place, so far there’s been no proposal for a real, national right-to-repair law. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has just proposed one, though it’s limited in scope to agricultural equipment. Still, it’s a start.

The reason the farmers are getting their right to repair and modify their machines first is that they’ve arguably been the biggest victims of corporate overreach when it comes to what they can and can’t do to the machines they own and rely on.

John Deere is one of the worst offenders here, and has attempted to re-define ownership of a tractor as “... the vehicle owner receives an implied license for the life of the vehicle, subject to any warranty limitations, disclaimers, or contractual limitations...” ...which really is more of a license than actual ownership, something that would be news to farmers who believed they were buying tractors. Look, you buy a tractor, it’s your tractor. There’s no weaselly “implied license” unless somehow that was explicitly stated at the time of purchase, which it was not.

Warren’s right-to-repair law is part of a larger plan to support family farms, but the key part that could possibly affect the greater gearhead community boils down to this, as Warren explains in a post on Medium:

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