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posted by janrinok on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:26PM   Printer-friendly

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/08/hell-freezes-over-as-apple-supports-right-to-repair-bill/

Somewhere, ol' Beelzebub is putting on his thickest coat because Apple has endorsed a right-to-repair bill, suggesting hell has frozen over. In a letter dated August 22, Apple showed its support for California's right-to-repair bill, SB 244, after spending years combatting DIY repair efforts.

As reported by TechCrunch, the letter, written to California state Senator Susan Eggman, declared that Apple supports SB 244 and urged the legislature to pass it.

[...] The bill has been praised by right-to-repair activists like iFixit, who says the bill goes further than right-to-repair laws passed in Minnesota and New York. Minnesota's law was considered the most all-encompassing right-to-repair legislation yet. Some activists, though, lamented that companies aren't required to sell parts and tools for devices not actively sold. California's bill, however, keeps vendors on the hook for three years after the last date of manufacture if the product is $50 to $99.99 and seven years if it's over $99.99.

The bill also allows a city, county, or state to bring a related case to superior court rather than only a state attorney general, as noted by iFixit's blog post Wednesday.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Revek on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:34PM (1 child)

    by Revek (5022) on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:34PM (#1321970)

    To be sure apple has no interest other than to mitigate what could be legislation that would take all choice about repairability from them. With them bribing/lobbying to keep them in control of the situation. The current support time frames don't hurt them. Apple already has a longer life cycle than most other manufacturers. Those support numbers should be ten years minimum though.

    --
    This page was generated by a Swarm of Roaming Elephants
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by driverless on Sunday August 27 2023, @10:28AM

      by driverless (4770) on Sunday August 27 2023, @10:28AM (#1322047)

      Came here to say exactly the same thing. If they're supporting it then you know they've figured out one or more means of nobbling it so it no longer has the effect that people want it to have.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:49PM (7 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:49PM (#1321971)

    Apple supporting right to repair is like John Deere making farming equipment farmers can repair themselves: it's a completely impossible 360.

    Nobody has figured out what Apple's angle is exactly yet, but you can bet a shiny dollar it's exceptionally devious and designed to utter gut any right-to-repair effort in California or anywhere else. And I'm willing to be even pro-right-to-repair activists will be in awe and admiration when they finally discover how devious and clever Apple's scheme had been all along.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by looorg on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:56PM (2 children)

      by looorg (578) on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:56PM (#1321973)

      > Nobody has figured out what Apple's angle is exactly yet ...

      Really? I think it was in the last sentence of the third paragraph in the summary above: "... keeps vendors on the hook for three years after the last date of manufacture if the product is $50 to $99.99 and seven years if it's over $99.99."

      So if they endorse this it could be cheaper for them, or someone else, to repair it then to have to replace the whole unit. So they either have to have very very short manufacturing cycles or they will be on the hook for repairs and replacements. Cycles are probably not viable to make shorter, I guess they could if they just change one little detail and then claim it's a new product, so that leaves repairs or replacements then. Most Apples products are in the $99.99+ market (seriously do they sell anything below that?) so that would be a seven year hook then. Which is definitively longer then the normal manufacturing cycle.

      So it's not cause Apple found God, or Beelzebub, it's just the cheapest and most viable solution for them and the almighty $.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Saturday August 26 2023, @05:17PM (1 child)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Saturday August 26 2023, @05:17PM (#1321974)

        I still don't buy it. That's not enough of a reason for Apple to perform such a radical about-face. Not to mention, if Apple accidentally develops a reputation for being friendly to right-to-repair, they might find themselves stuck with it long term, with the risk of pissing off a lot of people if they backpedal. I highly doubt they want to go down that route.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:26AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:26AM (#1322012) Homepage

          Probably the promise of some tax shelters. /cynical

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RS3 on Saturday August 26 2023, @05:39PM (1 child)

      by RS3 (6367) on Saturday August 26 2023, @05:39PM (#1321975)

      I'm sure there's language in the bill that Apple's sharks lawyers have already figured out has loopholes, can be circumvented through clever language games, posturing, postponing hearings, and delaying judgements if any happen.

      What really bothers me, much more, is that Apple, or any corporation, has so much influence in government, and essentially swamps the legislators such that they're clueless about what We the People want.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Saturday August 26 2023, @09:04PM

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Saturday August 26 2023, @09:04PM (#1321989)

        Apple, or any corporation, has so much influence in government, and essentially swamps the legislators such that they're clueless about what We the People want.

        You assume the legislators cares about what We The People think. How naive.

        All they know is who lines their pockets and who contributes to their campaign come the elections. Politicians could very well tell lobbyists off and decide to serve their constituents instead, but they choose not to.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by maxwell demon on Sunday August 27 2023, @07:25AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday August 27 2023, @07:25AM (#1322032) Journal

      it's a completely impossible 360.

      In other words, while apparently making a turn, they end up still going in the same direction?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:27PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:27PM (#1322057)

      The 180 is inconceivable, the 360 is what I expect. When you can't just tell 'em "F you, I own the place; I'll park anywhere I damn well please." then use the well proven playbook of: embrace, extend and extinguish.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:51PM (5 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday August 26 2023, @04:51PM (#1321972) Journal

    The Right to Repair is about more than reducing e-waste (and waste) and consumer expense. It's about the right to be more self-sufficient, the right to explore, the right to learn from others. Without this right, corporations can make us more dependent than ever, more vulnerable to price gouging, and most damaging of all, more passive. Trying to dumb us all down.

    l have disliked Apple for years, for this very reason. Their whole "ease of use" selling point was too much mere infantilization. I don't trust this report that seems to suggest Apple has had a huge change of heart. And reading the article more closely, they've loaded their agreement with all kinds of conditions, such as, the "genuine parts" crap that auto manufacturers have been pulling for years.

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Saturday August 26 2023, @08:52PM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday August 26 2023, @08:52PM (#1321988)

      If it's about decreasing e-waste down the road, it could be Apple noticing the European Union putting down spike strips [europa.eu] near the next exit. So they're preemptively, er, "slowing their roll".

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:37PM (3 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:37PM (#1322059)

      >It's about the right to be more self-sufficient,

      That plays well in Peoria, but it's the opposite of business interests. Have you checked who owns your legislators, lately?

      >the right to explore,

      O.K. - now, you're getting into fringe territory. I'd wager that the majority of voters don't even want their fellow citizens having "the right to explore," since they feel, deep down, that a lot of those people are a lot smarter than them and if those smarty pants upstarts are let run loose they're gonna mess up everything for us conservative types and we're gonna fall behind. Can't keep up with the Joneses if the Joneses are profiting from disruptive innovation and you're not smart enough to copy them.

      >the right to learn from others.

      That part about not smart enough to copy them... also, have you seen the direction DeSantis is taking indoctrination (PC label: education) in Florida? He's minority, but he's not fringe - there's a good 1/3 of the U.S. that actually wants to go in that direction.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:49PM (2 children)

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:49PM (#1322065) Journal

        Ditch self-reliance in every matter that it can be ditched, in favor of avuncular care from the biggest and baddest, out of deep insecurity of not only not being capable of self-reliance, but also projecting, wrongly, that neither is anyone else nearby, does not increase security it merely shifts from one risk to a different and arguably bigger risk-- the risk of being horribly exploited.

        There's good reason why farmers are among the biggest and first proponents of the Right to Repair. Farmers learned to be self-reliant and inventive. Some of my ancestors were among the first Europeans to settle on farms in the Midwest. The nearest general stores, doctors, dentists, and so forth were in a riverboat community on the Mississippi River, a week away, by wagon, on dirt trails. (You needed the wagon to haul back the supplies and goods you purchased that were intended to last for months or even years.) With help being that far away, you had to deal with with your problems yourself. That severe a test of self-reliance was soon eased as professionals soon followed, giving a small community a blacksmith, a doctor, law and justice, religious services, and finally, the railroad. Today of course, you could hop on the Interstate and reach the Mississippi in a couple of hours, if you needed to, which you wouldn't because services are far closer and more numerous. You also had to deal with grass fires, and though the army had quelled the natives, there was still the possibility of them attacking. Any wuss, moron, or layabout with that attitude of helplessness who couldn't cut it as a pioneer could stay in the east and take the scraps that fell from the tables there.

        Be a real shame to lose that spirit of self-reliance that the frontier fostered. Among other things, would set us way back on the quest to one day colonize Mars.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:36PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:36PM (#1322070)

          The entire GP was watermarked with a giant /s, Incase that didn't come through.

          The current state of the world is already shamefully interdependent, with massive indoctrination to make people terrified of doing things themselves. It is good for world peace, and that's not a small consideration, but not much else, and it leaves the masses just as ripe for exploitation by the ruling classes as they always have been.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:51PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:51PM (#1322071)

          >Farmers learned to be self-reliant and inventive.

          That started dying with the advent of the steam powered tractor (and train) and has been vanishing into oblivion ever since. Modern farming for profit is no longer an independent venture where the farmer simply grows stuff and sells it. Maybe 0.2% of agricultural output in the USA could be characterized that way today. The rest is reliant on market forecasts, futures contracts, land leases, and a host of equipment and technology far beyond the financial means of most tractor drivers.

          My ancestors immigrated to Tennessee in the early 1800s as indentured servants, and worked their way up to landowning farmers, but a couple of generations with 4 to 9 children divided that land to a point where my grandfathers migrated to Florida following World War II. When asked why he left the family farm my grandad would answer: "because I didn't like following a mule's ass around all day."

          These days nobody bothers growing much for profit in Tennessee anymore, not like they used to at least. Over half the former farm land isn't farmed anymore, and that which is tends to be bigger operations than my family's old 400 acre plots.

          Back East is now everywhere.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DBCubix on Saturday August 26 2023, @05:54PM

    by DBCubix (553) on Saturday August 26 2023, @05:54PM (#1321977)
    Sure Apple supports Right to Repair, not Right to Repair Cheaply. Apple already has the tooling and equipment available for DIY repairs, see https://gizmodo.com/apple-self-service-repair-tool-kit-rentals-are-massive-1848848298 [gizmodo.com]. They may be considering this as a viable secondary revenue stream.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DadaDoofy on Saturday August 26 2023, @06:23PM

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday August 26 2023, @06:23PM (#1321980)

    Words really don't have much meaning these days. I'd watch Apple's actions to see how this will play out. There are any number of ways they could subvert the implementation of this after the bill is passed. Or not. Time will tell.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by pvanhoof on Saturday August 26 2023, @08:37PM (3 children)

    by pvanhoof (4638) on Saturday August 26 2023, @08:37PM (#1321987) Homepage

    Microsoft became a Linux user, distributor and fan even. Today Apple supports right to repair. Either I or we are getting old.

    • (Score: 2) by Frosty Piss on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:08AM (1 child)

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Sunday August 27 2023, @01:08AM (#1322010)

      It is probable that eventually the Windows kernel will become some highly modified cruft based on the Linux kernel.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:31PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:31PM (#1322058)

        > the Windows kernel will become some highly modified cruft based on the Linux kernel.

        if it worked for OS-X....

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday August 27 2023, @07:30AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday August 27 2023, @07:30AM (#1322034) Journal

      Also, Duke Nukem Forever got released, and Perl 6 got finished (but renamed). However the Desktop is still not dominated by Linux, so I think hell is still pretty hot. :-)

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Saturday August 26 2023, @09:08PM (6 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Saturday August 26 2023, @09:08PM (#1321990)

    Why the fuck would anyone give a damn about a company "supporting" a bill?

    As far as I am concerned, whether Apple "supports" that bill or not should not be relevant at all. I don't get asked whether I "support" a bill, and unlike Apple, I at least could vote for or against the politicians passing them.

    So why do they care whether Apple "supports" that bill? If they didn't, the only answer they should get is "tough luck, fuck off".

    • (Score: 2) by Ox0000 on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:40AM (5 children)

      by Ox0000 (5111) on Sunday August 27 2023, @12:40AM (#1322007)

      Ah, you see, in our wonderful democracy, for the people, by the people, of the people, the politicians are owned by the corporations (since Citizens United, the 'people' I referred to earlier).
      So while you're right that no-one cares whether or not you support a bill, the corporate people matter, because they determine whether or not something makes it through. Hence the proverbial 'we' care. And while you can indeed vote, those votes don't matter either, because what does matter is how much money the Corporate People can shove towards the politicians so that they keep their job by getting pocket money to spend on psyops/advertisement towards the populace that has that vote, with the sole goal after elections being to please the corporations that got them that pocket money.

      See, we are a nation of checks and balances: checks make it into the coffers of the politicians, and then they do the precarious balancing of making it look like they work for the voter, while in reality working for their sugar daddies.

      </cynical>

      Now all of this being said and somewhat unrelated, your post made me think of the phrasing corporations use when they find themselves in the crosshairs of the federal government. They say things such as "we look forward to cooperating fully with ... etc..." as if they have a choice...

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:29AM (4 children)

        by Reziac (2489) on Sunday August 27 2023, @02:29AM (#1322013) Homepage

        The problem is that We the Peons cannot afford the correct grade of bri-- er, lobbyists.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Sunday August 27 2023, @09:10PM (3 children)

          by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday August 27 2023, @09:10PM (#1322109)

          Maybe if we do a kickstarter we can buy our very own politician?

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by Reziac on Sunday August 27 2023, @09:53PM (2 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Sunday August 27 2023, @09:53PM (#1322112) Homepage

            You jest, but why not? We've tried everything else!

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by canopic jug on Monday August 28 2023, @02:35PM (1 child)

              by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 28 2023, @02:35PM (#1322175) Journal

              Just be sure that when you buy one, that the purchase comes with proper warranty [sjgames.com].

              (That was floating around Usenet for ages, but any old mentions of it cannot be found easily.)

              .

              In all seriousness, Right to Repair did hire at least one full-time lobbyist and that seems to be making the difference.

              --
              Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday August 28 2023, @03:08PM

                by Reziac (2489) on Monday August 28 2023, @03:08PM (#1322179) Homepage

                Well, if the manufacturer won't honor the extended warranty, you can always recycle the gov't official. Pigs need to eat too.

                Aha! a lobbyist! we should have known!!

                .
                .
                .
                [I hadn't seen the warranty claim. Thanks for making my day!]

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
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