California tables Right to Repair bill following pressure from Apple, others

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Following pressure from lobbyists, including a last-minute play by Apple, a California right to repair bill was pulled by its cosponsor for a second time, giving tech companies opposing the legislation a one-year reprieve.

Repair


California State Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman pulled the bill from consideration on Tuesday, the same day California's Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee was set to hear discussions on the matter, reports The Verge.

"While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns," Eggman said in a statement.

Eggman introduced Assembly Bill 1163 in March, calling on Apple and other device manufacturers to "make service literature and equipment or parts available to product owners and to regulated, independent repair shops."

"The Right to Repair will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, creating a competitive market that will be cheaper for consumers and reduce the number of devices thrown in the trash," Eggman said in announcing the bill.

As with previous attempts to pass right to repair legislation, Apple directly contested the effort through lobbyists. In California, an Apple representative, which The Verge identifies as senior manager of state and local government affairs Rod Diridon, recently met with the state's Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee in a bid to dissuade lawmakers from casting a "yes" vote on the proposed bill.

According to a report from Motherboard, which was corroborate by The Verge, Diridon in closed-door meetings argued consumers might injure themselves by accidentally puncturing a device's lithium-ion battery while conducting a repair. A ruptured or damaged Li-ion cell could cause an intense, uncontrollable fire.

The Verge, citing sources within the State Assembly, reports Diridon did not concentrate on the fire risk, and admitted battery combustion typically occurs under a limited set of circumstances. He did, however, note a number of other issues with consumer repairs including difficulty of opening the device and risk of breaking the screen, the report said, adding that Eggman was compelled to delay presentation of the bill to address issues raised in the last-minute lobbying push.

Bill 1163 was Eggman's second attempt at pushing through repair legislation. Her first attempt, Bill 2110, was introduced in March 2018 and died in assembly that November. Both bills were crafted as efforts to reduce electronic waste.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,396member
    The problem I have with the entire “right to repair” movement is that related legislation so far has been very all-or-nothing. Broadly speaking I support the option, and anything that helps allow more service centers for Apple products would also be a good thing.

    The problem arises when people (like notoriously self-interested party iFixit) push the idea that Apple should be forced to sell companies like them parts. I’m cool with that for batteries and screens, maybe, but I’m definitely not cool with amateurs and uncertified techs getting their hands on Touch ID sensors or anything to do with secure storage. I would like to see a bill that addresses security/trade secret concerns while giving consumers more and cheaper options for common, simple repairs.
    roundaboutnowlkruppdysamoriamobirdtyler82samrodmuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtairnerd
  • Reply 2 of 29
    shevshev Posts: 84member
    Shame. Love a bit of lobbying, brilliant system
  • Reply 3 of 29
    > regulated, independent repair shops. /STOP/ OK, regulated by whom? The more regulated, the less independent I guess.....
    edited May 2019 donjuanxixo
  • Reply 4 of 29
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,735member
    Eventually this will get passed. Then a few weeks later someone will try to fix his phone himself, will perforate the battery, and then it will burst into flame in his face. The next thing will be he sues. 

    You want thin, strong, secure, light, water tight, devices. Those can only be repaired at a manufacturer certified repair station. It is absurd to think, as some in the movement do, that companies should be selling components for people to replace at home.  

    Oh and another thought. Someone replaces their LiIon battery at home. Great, five will get you ten that he throws the old one ion the trash. Can't wait until those start getting compacted in the garbage truck.  

    Leave the repairs to the professionals. 
    edited May 2019 lkruppplanetary pauluraharapujones1
  • Reply 5 of 29
    I used to be able to do basic formatting in a comment, but somehow no more. Line feeds are deleted as are more than one space. Something's off.....
  • Reply 6 of 29
    uraharaurahara Posts: 585member
    DAalseth said:
    Eventually this will get passed. Then a few weeks later someone will try to fix his phone himself, will perforate the battery, and then it will burst into flame in his face. The next thing will be he sues. 

    You want thin, strong, secure, light, water tight, devices. Those can only be repaired at a manufacturer certified repair station. It is absurd to think, as some in the movement do, that companies should be selling components for people to replace at home.  

    Oh and another thought. Someone replaces their LiIon battery at home. Great, five will get you ten that he throws the old one ion the trash. Can't wait until those start getting compacted in the garbage truck.  

    Leave the repairs to the professionals. 
    About the battery - but the batteries for many Androids can be replaced...
    donjuan
  • Reply 7 of 29
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    shev said:
    Shame. Love a bit of lobbying, brilliant system
    Brilliantly corrupt. The term is plutocratic oligarchy.
    elijahgdavgreg
  • Reply 8 of 29
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    DAalseth said:
    You want thin... water tight, devices... 
    I don’t. Splash-safe, sure. Not bulky, sure. Apple has gone WAY stupid with thinness. Unreasonably thin.
    donjuanelijahgavon b7davgreg
  • Reply 9 of 29
    donjuandonjuan Posts: 61member
    Weak. California never fails to disappoint.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    jdwjdw Posts: 993member
    If Apple was not protected in this bill against lawsuits by idiots who attempt self-repair only to injure themselves and then play the blame-game, I am happy to see the bill fail.  But if it did offer such protections for Apple, then I can only sit back and laugh at the party who has controlled California for decades, seeing they too are controlled by lobbyists rather than We The People.
    pujones1beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 11 of 29
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,735member
    urahara said:
    DAalseth said:
    Eventually this will get passed. Then a few weeks later someone will try to fix his phone himself, will perforate the battery, and then it will burst into flame in his face. The next thing will be he sues. 

    You want thin, strong, secure, light, water tight, devices. Those can only be repaired at a manufacturer certified repair station. It is absurd to think, as some in the movement do, that companies should be selling components for people to replace at home.  

    Oh and another thought. Someone replaces their LiIon battery at home. Great, five will get you ten that he throws the old one ion the trash. Can't wait until those start getting compacted in the garbage truck.  

    Leave the repairs to the professionals. 
    About the battery - but the batteries for many Androids can be replaced...
    One of the reasons I don't use Android phones.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 12 of 29
    chasm said:
    The problem I have with the entire “right to repair” movement is that related legislation so far has been very all-or-nothing. Broadly speaking I support the option, and anything that helps allow more service centers for Apple products would also be a good thing.

    The problem arises when people (like notoriously self-interested party iFixit) push the idea that Apple should be forced to sell companies like them parts. I’m cool with that for batteries and screens, maybe, but I’m definitely not cool with amateurs and uncertified techs getting their hands on Touch ID sensors or anything to do with secure storage. I would like to see a bill that addresses security/trade secret concerns while giving consumers more and cheaper options for common, simple repairs.
    What exactly do you think an amateur or uncertified tech is going to do with a Touch ID sensor or anything to do with secure storage?  Something they can't already do now?  This concern you're expressing doesn't make sense in relation to right to repair.  
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 29
    xixoxixo Posts: 430member
    DAalseth said:
    Eventually this will get passed. Then a few weeks later someone will try to fix his phone himself, will perforate the battery, and then it will burst into flame in his face. The next thing will be he sues. 

    You want thin, strong, secure, light, water tight, devices. Those can only be repaired at a manufacturer certified repair station. It is absurd to think, as some in the movement do, that companies should be selling components for people to replace at home.  

    Oh and another thought. Someone replaces their LiIon battery at home. Great, five will get you ten that he throws the old one ion the trash. Can't wait until those start getting compacted in the garbage truck.  

    Leave the repairs to the professionals. 
    I'm thinking of all those dead auto mechanics killed in gas tank and lead-acid battery explosions, especially since those two items are factors of magnitude more dangerous than a cellphone. nanny state purporting to protect us while really protecting monopolies and socialized corporatism.
    muthuk_vanalingamlorin schultz
  • Reply 14 of 29
    samrodsamrod Posts: 40unconfirmed, member
    dysamoria said:
    shev said:
    Shame. Love a bit of lobbying, brilliant system
    Brilliantly corrupt. The term is plutocratic oligarchy.
    Lobbying is actually a foundational avenue of voicing public interest and concerns to legislators. Nothing corrupt about lobbying as it's fully legal. While we may dislike when wealthy, powerful entities do it, we don't seem to mind when civil rights, environmental, and consumer protection groups engage in lobbying.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 15 of 29
    simtysimty Posts: 1member
    Maybe Apple should make one product in every sector that was: big, modular, leaky and geeky. I should also add that dining table disassembly is a great entry point for the next generation of engineers. My daughter got a big boost of tech-confidence after I forced her to fix her own iPhone. It was a watershed moment for her.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,906member
    chasm said:
    The problem I have with the entire “right to repair” movement is that related legislation so far has been very all-or-nothing. Broadly speaking I support the option, and anything that helps allow more service centers for Apple products would also be a good thing.

    The problem arises when people (like notoriously self-interested party iFixit) push the idea that Apple should be forced to sell companies like them parts. I’m cool with that for batteries and screens, maybe, but I’m definitely not cool with amateurs and uncertified techs getting their hands on Touch ID sensors or anything to do with secure storage. I would like to see a bill that addresses security/trade secret concerns while giving consumers more and cheaper options for common, simple repairs.
    It's a non issue for security sensors.

    For complex CE equipment to be repairable it only requires for repairability to be included in the design.

    My credit card (with EMV chips) is sent to me by regular post. It use useless until I activate it. Security sensors can be installed but non functional until the legitimate owner authorises activation via Apple or anyone Apple has certified for the task.

    Front and rear glass is not a security element but difficult to repair - by design.

    Last night I read about someone with a broken rear glass panel. The iPhone X series phone was fully functional but Apple wanted over $500 for the repair. The justification was that the rear panel was connected to elements within the phone.

    If we design for repair many current problems would be far easier to fix.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,906member
    DAalseth said:
    Eventually this will get passed. Then a few weeks later someone will try to fix his phone himself, will perforate the battery, and then it will burst into flame in his face. The next thing will be he sues. 

    You want thin, strong, secure, light, water tight, devices. Those can only be repaired at a manufacturer certified repair station. It is absurd to think, as some in the movement do, that companies should be selling components for people to replace at home.  

    Oh and another thought. Someone replaces their LiIon battery at home. Great, five will get you ten that he throws the old one ion the trash. Can't wait until those start getting compacted in the garbage truck.  

    Leave the repairs to the professionals. 
    Nobody ever asked us what we wanted. These designs were shoved on us. It was an industry thing and in the interest of the industry. The only way consumers can reasonably shove back is through legislation.

    Imagine this scenario:

    For every model, two variants, one built with repair in mind, the other not. Which one do you think would sell more?

    IP68 is a simple rating and does not form part of the warranty AFAIK. How many people accidentally have their phone immersed in water? Splashproofing has been around for years and is ultra effective for the real world. Combined with nano coatings (which have also been around for years) you are well covered.

    Lithium batteries are totally safe under normal conditions. They are designed to be safe. The problem is perforation and perforation (during repair) occurs because they are difficult to remove - by design. Not battery design but phone design.

    That 'design' is what brings us full circle because nobody asked us if we actually wanted to sacrifice removability in the first place.

    The same applies to substituting front and rear glass etc.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 29
    avon b7 said:
    For every model, two variants, one built with repair in mind, the other not. Which one do you think would sell more?


    That's easy ... the cheaper one. In droves.
    It would also be the less-repairable one.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 1,439member
    avon b7 said:
    Nobody ever asked us what we wanted. These designs were shoved on us.
    Yes actually, they did "ask".  They offered it for sale, and people bought it.  In droves.  As for designs being "shoved on us", I never once observed any guns to the head or arm twisting, or any other form of threat being employed when purchasing any of my gear.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,906member
    avon b7 said:
    Nobody ever asked us what we wanted. These designs were shoved on us.
    Yes actually, they did "ask".  They offered it for sale, and people bought it.  In droves.  As for designs being "shoved on us", I never once observed any guns to the head or arm twisting, or any other form of threat being employed when purchasing any of my gear.
    It's not as simple as you make it out to be. Consumer protections are put in place not only to protect the consumer from obvious failings (defects) but from all manner of possible scenarios, many of which the consumer will be entirely unaware of.

    The issue is that normally legislation is late to the game when it comes to technology.

    'Offering for sale' isn't asking. 'Buying' isn't  replying. You took my comment completely out of context. Refresh your memory on the comment I was replying to.

    It will take legislation to put balance into consumer protections. In this case, protections that should never have been eroded in the first place.

    For example, if the batteries on truly wireless earphones cannot be replaced and require substituting for another complete earphone, legislation should definitely 'protect' the consumer. It could be as a simple as informing the customer (prior to formalising the sale) of the design limitation and expected lifespan of the product in a demonstrable way or a global protection such as an increase in the warranty period.
    edited May 2019 muthuk_vanalingam
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