Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren focusing 'right to repair' on farmers, not tech

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 27
After a call for the breakup of major technology corporations like Apple, Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren so far appears to be focused more on the farming industry than tech when it comes to advocating the right to repair.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren


Many family farmers are forced to depend on authorized servicers to fix equipment, Warren said in a new Medium manifesto. This is because manufactuers use software that prevents unauthorized repairs, which Warren argues results in delays and higher prices.

"Farmers should be able to repair their own equipment or choose between multiple repair shops," she wrote. "That's why I strongly support a national right-to-repair law that empowers farmers to repair their equipment without going to an authorized agent. The national right-to-repair law should require manufacturers of farm equipment to make diagnostic tools, manuals, and other repair-related resources available to any individual or business, not just their own dealerships and authorized agents. This will not only allow individuals to fix their own equipment -- reducing delays -- but it will also create competition among dealers and independent repair shops, bringing down prices overall."

Normally eager to position itself as the consumer's friend, Apple has opposed right-to-repair laws in places like California, claiming it would expose company secrets and create safety and security problems. While there are innumerable third-party Apple repair firms around the world, only Apple and its authorized service providers are able to perform full service in a way that doesn't void warranties. The company doesn't provide parts or repair manuals outside of its official network.

20 U.S. states have some form of right-to-repair legislation under consideration. Apple is one of several tech companies lobbying politicians to act in its favor.

Earlier this month Warren called for the breakup of several tech giants including Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. In the case of Apple she suggested that the App Store should be spun off into its own company, given that first-party services have unfair advantages.

"One, you've sucked up information about every buyer and every seller before you've made a decision about what you're going to to sell," Warren said at SXSW. "And second, you have the capacity -- because you run the platform -- to prefer your product over anyone else's product. It gives an enormous comparative advantage to the platform."

Apple takes a 15 to 30 percent cut from all third-party App Store transactions, but of course 100 percent from apps like Apple Music. Its apps are also deeply platform-integrated in a way unavailable to outsiders -- Spotify, for example, can't be set as a default music service on the HomePod, even though that's possible on smartspeakers from Amazon and Google.

At the U.S. Supreme Court last year, Apple insisted that developers are "buying a package of services which include distribution and software and intellectual property and testing" when they pay its commission. Critics have pointed out that Apple won't let creators publish anywhere but the App Store, and that it might be unfair to take money from subscription services it doesn't produce or host.

A breakup of tech corporations would have historical precedent, since the U.S. government has previously undone monopolies by companies like AT&T, Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, and Standard Oil.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,001member
    This story really has no place here. There is literally no connection to Apple in it (except as an aside to a previous story).

    Please destroy this thread.
    racerhomie3cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 36
    rkorko Posts: 11member
    This should go even further, where tech has to be made recycleable, and you can give it back to the manufacturer when you're done with it.  What happens to the original apple pencil when no one needs it anymore?  it should be recycleable instead of ending up in a landfill.  Reuseable only goes so far.  Repairable is a great and necessary start. 

    All tech manufacturers should have to accept their tech back when you are done with it.


    Roger_Fingas
  • Reply 3 of 36
    Ms. Warren and the rest of her liberal/progressive friends in Congress can move to Russia, China or Cuba if they would like since they believe that life is better without FREEDOM! While I may be in favor of parts of her idea to allow farmers to fix their own equipment, that is not really what she is trying do with her proposed legislation. Like many liberal/progressive ideas it sounds good from what they say but  when one reads the ‘fine print’ I am certain that it includes many restrictive ‘strings’ attached that will limit the farmer’s FREEDOM. It is all about more and more and more government control of our lives to get and keep “We the People” under their ‘collective’ thumb. We are witnessing the effects of reducing regulation and lowering tax rates already with our current vibrant economy. More control by the government means stifling the progress that has been made in the last two years after 10-years of decline and stagnation. 
    edited March 27 racerhomie3SpamSandwichCommonsense65
  • Reply 4 of 36
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,160member
    Right to repair has been a huge issue with farmers here in California. Coming from a family of farmers, I'm very well versed on this issue. For those who are unaware, just say you buy a $300k John Deere tractor. The firmware on the tractor prevents farmers from making unauthorized repairs, even simple ones. If something goes wrong with the engine and you need to replace a part, the software won't allow you to do that yourself. The issue with this is sometimes you can't get a John Deere tech out to your farm for days. This creates a huge problem because there are times when you can't wait for days, especially depending on the crop. It's expensive to get a tech out there just to authorize a repair. It's usually $200-300 just for them to come out and then hundreds per hour to put the codes in. I've seen people with bills that were over $500 and that's before the repair. I know quite a few farmers who are now using pirated John Deere software. This may not be related to Apple currently but if legislation like this passes, there definitely would be a trickle down effect. 
    racerhomie3Roger_Fingasdewmeauxiopscooter63beowulfschmidtCarnage
  • Reply 5 of 36
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,308member
    Ms. Warren and the rest of her liberal/progressive friends in Congress can move to Russia, China or Cuba if they would like since they believe that life is better without FREEDOM! While I may be parts of her idea to allow farmers to fix their own equipment, that is not really what she is trying do with her proposed legislation. Like many liberal/progressive ideas it sounds good from what they say but the ‘fine print’ I am certain includes many restrictive ‘strings’ attached that will limit the farmer’s FREEDOM. It is all about more and more and more government control of our lives to get and keep “We the People” under their ‘collective’ thumb. We are witnessing the effects of reducing regulation and lowering tax rates already with our current vibrant economy. More control by the government means stifling the progress that has been made in the last two years after 10-years of decline and stagnation. 
    Nuts. Trump is the buddy to Russian commies. 

    And how’s that conservative FREEDOM when it comes to abortion? Oops. Drug? Oops. Strip clubs? Oops. Conservatives have their own silly baggage too, clearly. 
    edited March 27 Roger_Fingasmuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtredgeminipaCarnage
  • Reply 6 of 36
    65026502 Posts: 253member
    rko said:
    This should go even further, where tech has to be made recycleable, and you can give it back to the manufacturer when you're done with it.  What happens to the original apple pencil when no one needs it anymore?  it should be recycleable instead of ending up in a landfill.  Reuseable only goes so far.  Repairable is a great and necessary start. 

    All tech manufacturers should have to accept their tech back when you are done with it.


    I'm for recycling, but let's be realistic. Landfills aren't bulging with apple pencils. Paper waste is still the largest component of landfills and food and yard waste also make up a large proportion. A big reason why electronics end up in landfills is that politicians decided that leaded solder is bad and forced manufactures to only use lead free solder. Lead free solder melts at a higher temperature and cracks more easily when it goes through heat cycles. Once it cracks it no longer conducts and the tv or whatever doesn't work anymore. Are you going to fix it for $300 or buy a new one for $350? Of course you buy a new one and toss out the old one. Our brilliant leaders saved us again.
    randominternetpersonracerhomie3
  • Reply 7 of 36
    Our brilliant leaders saved us again.
    "Our brilliant leaders" are elected by our even more brilliant voters! ... It's almost as if some voters criteria for a candidate is to sabotage the government to support their narrative.
    cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 36
    sy1492sy1492 Posts: 13member
    All products under the sun should come under the right to repair umbrella.
    Carnage
  • Reply 9 of 36
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 795member
    This story really has no place here. There is literally no connection to Apple in it (except as an aside to a previous story).

    Please destroy this thread.
    You should ask for your money back!
    randominternetpersonbeowulfschmidtCarnage
  • Reply 10 of 36
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 795member

    Ms. Warren and the rest of her liberal/progressive friends in Congress can move to Russia, China or Cuba if they would like since they believe that life is better without FREEDOM! While I may be in favor of parts of her idea to allow farmers to fix their own equipment, that is not really what she is trying do with her proposed legislation. Like many liberal/progressive ideas it sounds good from what they say but  when one reads the ‘fine print’ I am certain that it includes many restrictive ‘strings’ attached that will limit the farmer’s FREEDOM. It is all about more and more and more government control of our lives to get and keep “We the People” under their ‘collective’ thumb. We are witnessing the effects of reducing regulation and lowering tax rates already with our current vibrant economy. More control by the government means stifling the progress that has been made in the last two years after 10-years of decline and stagnation. 

    Spare us the "move to" speech, this country is better with more viewpoints than less. 
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 36
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,022member
    Right to repair has been a huge issue with farmers here in California. Coming from a family of farmers, I'm very well versed on this issue. For those who are unaware, just say you buy a $300k John Deere tractor. The firmware on the tractor prevents farmers from making unauthorized repairs, even simple ones. If something goes wrong with the engine and you need to replace a part, the software won't allow you to do that yourself. The issue with this is sometimes you can't get a John Deere tech out to your farm for days. This creates a huge problem because there are times when you can't wait for days, especially depending on the crop. It's expensive to get a tech out there just to authorize a repair. It's usually $200-300 just for them to come out and then hundreds per hour to put the codes in. I've seen people with bills that were over $500 and that's before the repair. I know quite a few farmers who are now using pirated John Deere software. This may not be related to Apple currently but if legislation like this passes, there definitely would be a trickle down effect. 
    Awesome posting. There are other industries with similar "lock-in" patterns from industrial control, DCS, and heavy construction/mining/processing machinery. This is actually a far more complex problem than what appears to the casual outsider or a single perspective stakeholder. Back in the days when the rate of change of technology was slower and products were more WYSIWYG with fewer field updates it often made more sense for manufacturers to establish, build, and support deep service, distribution, and integration channels comprised primarily of third party providers. In many cases, as a consumer you did everything with a branded manufacturer's product through a middleman and rarely dealt with the original equipment manufacturer directly.

    The continuing race to the bottom line on pricing, expanding competition, much faster update cycles, more software-driven value, more understanding of the revenue potential of services, greater intellectual property capture focus, and of course, the shareholders and market expectations have driven companies that previuosly partnered with and maintained networks of third party service providers, distributors, system integrators, etc., to pull more of these functions back in-house and to jettison the middlemen. Kind of what Microsoft is doing to some degree with Windows.

    One could argue that this is just a consequence of market driven economics and capitalism. Unfortunately what's best for the market is not always what's best for people. Since the market won't "correct" or rebalance itself to address people issues and consequences you have to bring in those whose role is to do many of the things that nobody else really wants to do all on their own, especially for-profit organizations. That's how it becomes a political issue. That's just the way it is in a society with checks and balances and real people living real lives. If nothing else, it's important to recognize that Apple and its competitors aren't the only ones facing these kind of issues. 
    edited March 27 pscooter63Carnage
  • Reply 12 of 36
    Thank You Boltsfan. I appreciate your insight and experience with the farmers’ plight. I have many close friends who are farmers and I think ANY restrictions on the farmer’s freedom of choice is just wrong. Is this a government policy that forces them to use third-party service? If so, that is wrong as well and that is precisely what I rail against. Let small businesses alone and they will thrive. Get more government involved and they become stagnant. 
    Carnage
  • Reply 13 of 36
    She seems to lack a fundamental understanding of “the right to repair issue”. Just like the “Google, Apple et al are monopolies” issue she raised a few weeks ago. She fails to recognize that other companies “like ATT leveraging their assets (HBO) is common across many industries. So either you go after them all or stop “picking friends and enemies”. Farmers aren’t the only ones with the “right to repair” or the right to not be locked in because of proprietary hardware. 
    edited March 27
  • Reply 14 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,001member
    Ms. Warren and the rest of her liberal/progressive friends in Congress can move to Russia, China or Cuba if they would like since they believe that life is better without FREEDOM! While I may be parts of her idea to allow farmers to fix their own equipment, that is not really what she is trying do with her proposed legislation. Like many liberal/progressive ideas it sounds good from what they say but the ‘fine print’ I am certain includes many restrictive ‘strings’ attached that will limit the farmer’s FREEDOM. It is all about more and more and more government control of our lives to get and keep “We the People” under their ‘collective’ thumb. We are witnessing the effects of reducing regulation and lowering tax rates already with our current vibrant economy. More control by the government means stifling the progress that has been made in the last two years after 10-years of decline and stagnation. 
    Nuts. Trump is the buddy to Russian commies. 

    And how’s that conservative FREEDOM when it comes to abortion? Oops. Drug? Oops. Strip clubs? Oops. Conservatives have their own silly baggage too, clearly. 
    That’s funny, because it’s the Democrats in Washington who are literally proposing Marxist policies.
    cornchipCommonsense65
  • Reply 15 of 36
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,543member
    I saw a documentary a year or two ago that dealt with the problems that farmers have with John Deere and the fixing of their heavy machinery. I have friends that are farmers and visit them often.  It's a downright shame how John Deere essentially screws farmers with their maintenance requirements.  This are heavy, giant, farm machines, not a cell phone in one's pocket.  John Deere requires farmers to load their farm equipment onto flatbeds and driven hundreds of miles away to do a simple repair which can take weeks to do, when the repair can be done on-location, in the famers barn, by the farmer with minimal downtime but John Deere refuses to give them the tools/equipment to maintain their machines.  That sucks.

    I can totally support the farmer's situation.  It sucks.  I can also understand why Apple is against this.  If the bill dealt strictly with shops like John Deere, even I would support it.  Right to repair should not apply to tech products like iPhones because I can totally see abuse going rampant and any 3rd-party botches will try to be slipped as an Apple problem.
    randominternetpersonpscooter63boltsfan17
  • Reply 16 of 36
    bshankbshank Posts: 161member
    rko said:
    This should go even further, where tech has to be made recycleable, and you can give it back to the manufacturer when you're done with it.  What happens to the original apple pencil when no one needs it anymore?  it should be recycleable instead of ending up in a landfill.  Reuseable only goes so far.  Repairable is a great and necessary start. 

    All tech manufacturers should have to accept their tech back when you are done with it.


    That’s exactly what Apple does
  • Reply 17 of 36
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,980member
    Thank You Boltsfan. I appreciate your insight and experience with the farmers’ plight. I have many close friends who are farmers and I think ANY restrictions on the farmer’s freedom of choice is just wrong. Is this a government policy that forces them to use third-party service? If so, that is wrong as well and that is precisely what I rail against. Let small businesses alone and they will thrive. Get more government involved and they become stagnant. 
    All of you so-called "freedom fighters" who are railing against government legislation seem to have no problem when corporations institute their own controls for profit.  That's exactly what Boltsfan was talking about: John Deere put in limitations on what you could do with their equipment in an attempt to lock farmers into their repair services.

    The anti-government freedom fighters will argue that you could just choose to purchase your equipment from another company (i.e. the market will take care of it).  But the reality is that, for specialized equipment, there typically isn't much (if any) choice because it's a such a small market.  So it makes sense for the government to step in, especially in the case of essential industries like farming where this monopolistic service gouging will end up being passed down in the cost of food (which then creates bigger problems).

    Minionman is twisting things around and saying that the government is going to step in and force these farmers to use certain repair services.  But that's what John Deere is doing.  The government would get John Deere to stop doing that via legislation, which will allow farmers to either repair equipment themselves, or take it to their own mechanic.

    I've always argued with people that the government's role is to balance public interest (things which are beneficial to society) with private interest (pursuit of profit/greed).  A good example is the OxyContin scandal (and resulting opioid crisis) where it took government legislation to fix the societal problem private greed and manipulation had created.  Of course, there certainly are private interests/greed in government too, but at least the people in government are democratically elected and under direct scrutiny by the media and public.  Unlike the people in corporations.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    It seems like consumers should already have avenues to address this with John Deere.  On one hand, a free-market solution would be to tell John Deere to pound sand, and purchase farm equipment from Navistar, Catepiller or whomever the competitors are.  Surely there are more than 2 or three companies that make tractors.  Alternatively, if they truly have a monopoly in some markets, then consumers would have an anti-trust case against them for using their market power in equipment sales to monopolize equipment service and support.  Legislation requiring everyone who makes something to support third parties with documentation and spare parts seems like overkill. 

    If consumers really care about cracking open their phones and repairing them themselves, I'm sure there are Android companies that would be happy to support them if Apple won't.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,980member
    Alternatively, if they truly have a monopoly in some markets, then consumers would have an anti-trust case against them for using their market power in equipment sales to monopolize equipment service and support.  Legislation requiring everyone who makes something to support third parties with documentation and spare parts seems like overkill. 
    I haven't looked at the details, but I'd hope the legislation would simply mandate that John Deere stop putting the controls in place which prevent repairs by anyone other than them.  If farmers and/or 3rd parties want to do repairs, they're on their own (people are pretty good at figuring things out themselves when motivated).

    If consumers really care about cracking open their phones and repairing them themselves, I'm sure there are Android companies that would be happy to support them if Apple won't.
    The big differences with Apple are: a) they have competition and b) cell phone repair costs only affect the owner (unlike repair costs for farmers)
  • Reply 20 of 36
    bellsbells Posts: 125member
    Ms. Warren and the rest of her liberal/progressive friends in Congress can move to Russia, China or Cuba if they would like since they believe that life is better without FREEDOM! While I may be parts of her idea to allow farmers to fix their own equipment, that is not really what she is trying do with her proposed legislation. Like many liberal/progressive ideas it sounds good from what they say but the ‘fine print’ I am certain includes many restrictive ‘strings’ attached that will limit the farmer’s FREEDOM. It is all about more and more and more government control of our lives to get and keep “We the People” under their ‘collective’ thumb. We are witnessing the effects of reducing regulation and lowering tax rates already with our current vibrant economy. More control by the government means stifling the progress that has been made in the last two years after 10-years of decline and stagnation. 
    Nuts. Trump is the buddy to Russian commies. 

    And how’s that conservative FREEDOM when it comes to abortion? Oops. Drug? Oops. Strip clubs? Oops. Conservatives have their own silly baggage too, clearly. 
    That’s funny, because it’s the Democrats in Washington who are literally proposing Marxist policies.

    Typical deflect fallacy. Throw out a scary name and fail to address the argument. Republicans have plenty of protectionist anti capitalist legislation and questionable morals to boot. Further Marxism and socialism are not the same. Socialism brought you things like public roads, education, and the Internet (e.g government research dollars).  The government spends billions on public research that couldn’t be conducted any other way. The police force, fire department, and court houses are all socialist. 

    Companies like John Deere are abusing the Digital Millenum Copyrighr Act, which certainly is anti-consumer. They essentially created a software lock that prevents farmers from working on their own equipment like they have been doing for years driving the cost up for farming products. 

    Many Republican States, some Democrat States, won’t let Tesla sell cars direct based on archaic laws that date back to when car manifacturers relied on dealers to sell vehicles and dealers heavily invested in their businesses to do so.

    Presciption Drugs are another example. Republicans have passed legislation prohibiting the federal government from using its purchasing power to negotiate a better price for drugs, prohibiting online sales of drugs, and preventing the importation of legally obtained drugs.

    Rebublcans have passed laws prohibiting power sourced from renewable resources at the expense of the so called free market.

    The Republican government handed out tons of money to Foxcon to build a plant with no foreseeable near term benefit to doing so. Republicans love corporate welfare.

    People like you seem to want to go back to the days when companies pretty much could do anything in the name of making a buck including killing you.

    Other  people want companies to act responsibly and the only way to achieve that is legislation. That seems right since the law provides corporation owners a lot of protection from taxes and lawsuit liability.


    krreagan2
Sign In or Register to comment.