Apple & other tech companies lobby efforts kill Ontario 'Right to Repair' bill

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 3
Another 'Right to Repair' bill that would have made device producers provide the resources for consumers and third-party repair outfits to fix devices has been put to rest, with intensive lobbying from tech companies including Apple said to be behind the killing of the legislation.




A bill presented to the Ontario Parliament in February sought to provide the first-known legislation in Canada that would encourage manufacturers to assist customers in fixing their failing hardware. The bill would have mandated the ability for individuals and businesses to acquire official parts from the manufacturers, such as replacement iPhone displays from Apple directly, as well as repair manuals and diagnostic tools, at a reasonable cost.

On Thursday, the bill had a second reading and debate, reports Motherboard, but ended its journey at that time. The debate, which was to determine if more research and discussion was warranted to create the final bill, saw some members of parliament urge others to vote yes to explore the issue, but members of the ruling Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario provided resistance.

It was argued the bill would work against the government's "Open for Business" slogan by harming the intellectual property rights of US companies, potentially causing some to stop selling their goods in the province. One MPP, Kaleed Rasheed, made the claim companies would be forced to hand over "codes" and "security stuff," despite those not being called for in the bill.

Liberal MPP Michael Coteau revealed he was approached by the Electronics Product Stewardship Canada, an industry group that represents companies including Apple, as well as representatives from Apple, Samsung, and others directly. The collective position was that of the bill compromising intellectual property rights, as well as claiming home repair was a "public safety issue," arguing it is "dangerous for people to open up electronic devices and fix it themselves."

The death of the Ontario Right to Repair bill follows a similar event in California on Wednesday, which saw its own similar bill be pulled by a co-sponsor for a second time, following pressure from lobbyists. The yanked bill gives tech companies who would have been affected by the legislation a one-year reprieve, before it would be presented again.

Apple's lobbying in California used the same argument that consumers would potentially hurt themselves by undertaking a repair, possibly by puncturing the lithium-ion battery within many devices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    freeman1961freeman1961 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    "A bill presented to the Ontario Parliament in February sought to provide the first-known legislation in the United States that would encourage manufacturers to assist customers in fixing their failing hardware." Not to nitpick but the Province of Ontario is not in the United States (edit I see it has now been corrected)
    edited May 3 sdw2001beowulfschmidttoysandmeSpamSandwichdysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 18
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 456member
    Translation- lobbyists yanked the chain. So much for "here the people rule".

    Were I not an agnostic, I would attribute lobbyists of all stripes to Satan and Hell.

    spice-boydysamoria
  • Reply 3 of 18
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,084member
    davgreg said:
    Translation- lobbyists yanked the chain. So much for "here the people rule".

    Were I not an agnostic, I would attribute lobbyists of all stripes to Satan and Hell.

    Silly rabbit, the people don’t rule...

    We get to choose between “trash” or “garbage” in elections.  We get those choices because those are the folks with billionaire backers.  Big money rules in America, and elections are big business...

    The final price tag for the 2016 election is in: $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined, according to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.org. The presidential contest — primaries and all — accounts for $2.4 billion of that total.Apr 14, 2017”
    dysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 18
    MalcolmOwenMalcolmOwen Posts: 11member, editor
    "A bill presented to the Ontario Parliament in February sought to provide the first-known legislation in the United States that would encourage manufacturers to assist customers in fixing their failing hardware." Not to nitpick but the Province of Ontario is not in the United States
    Thanks for spotting this mistake, it has been corrected. I blame the coffee situation, or the lack of it. 
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Despite the fact that I'm an Electronic Engineer, on issues of consumer electronics products, I view myself as a consumer. I'm old enough to remember monthly news of people who have tried to repair their CRT televisions, and died because of it.

    Most people, even (somewhat) educated ones, thought it would be like popping open the hood on their cars. Kill the engine and don't touch the hot parts and you'd be safe. Alas, the voltage multiplier charged the tube up to several thousands of volts, and the tube had enough capacitance to hold it after many hours of the plug being disconnected. The electric shock wasn't like touching a live wire, but it was enough to provoke heart fibrillation, which is invariably deadly without specialized medical attention.

    Given time, Darwinism kicked in, and people learned that they should never, ever, open their TVs. Now, CRTs are a thing of the past, but people are willing to dick around lithium batteries... the next best thing to a bomb! The lucky ones will have a singed eyebrow to serve as a reminder, and probably will joke about it later. Burnt airways, lungs, and cornea, and/or facial disfigurement are harder to laugh about, though.

    I can just see people (and courts) finding manufactures liable for providing the means for "I can do it 'meself'!" people to test their own stupidity. So, while lobbyists are not exactly an ethical/moral bunch, they are less sleazy than some (class-action) lawyers.
    edited May 3 DAalsethjas991st
  • Reply 6 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 721member
    Good.
    The Right to Repair movement started with farm equipment, and I can see some logic to that. But it is a completely stupid idea in tightly packed, integrated, surface mounted, conformal coated, waterproofed, modern systems. The ONLY people who should be breaking into these things are highly trained people with the proper tools. There are tiny parts that nobody else could replace. There are dangerous parts that if punctured will harm or even kill kill you. Right to Repair has no business being applied to consumer microelectronic devices. They just are not field repairable. 
    edited May 3 Anilu_777
  • Reply 7 of 18
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    "A bill presented to the Ontario Parliament in February sought to provide the first-known legislation in the United States that would encourage manufacturers to assist customers in fixing their failing hardware." Not to nitpick but the Province of Ontario is not in the United States
    Thanks for spotting this mistake, it has been corrected. I blame the coffee situation, or the lack of it. 
    I’d spend the time to get out from under the addiction so that these interdose withdrawals don’t happen and cause havoc in article writing...
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Brad TandyBrad Tandy Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    I don't know how many of you follow Ontario politics, but there's a good chance the bill was killed in part because it was poorly written. Our Premier is an uneducated moron who's been sued on basically every piece of legislation he's tabled. Think Trump, but less convincing with his lies, and with less charisma. Oh, and he's the late crack-smoking-mayor's brother. So big win? Or easy dunk?
    DAalseth
  • Reply 9 of 18
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,084member
    "A bill presented to the Ontario Parliament in February sought to provide the first-known legislation in the United States that would encourage manufacturers to assist customers in fixing their failing hardware." Not to nitpick but the Province of Ontario is not in the United States
    Thanks for spotting this mistake, it has been corrected. I blame the coffee situation, or the lack of it. 
    : D

  • Reply 10 of 18
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,450member
    Despite the fact that I'm an Electronic Engineer, on issues of consumer electronics products, I view myself as a consumer. I'm old enough to remember monthly news of people who have tried to repair their CRT televisions, and died because of it.

    Most people, even (somewhat) educated ones, thought it would be like popping open the hood on their cars. Kill the engine and don't touch the hot parts and you'd be safe. Alas, the voltage multiplier charged the tube up to several thousands of volts, and the tube had enough capacitance to hold it after many hours of the plug being disconnected. The electric shock wasn't like touching a live wire, but it was enough to provoke heart fibrillation, which is invariably deadly without specialized medical attention.

    Given time, Darwinism kicked in, and people learned that they should never, ever, open their TVs. Now, CRTs are a thing of the past, but people are willing to dick around lithium batteries... the next best thing to a bomb! The lucky ones will have a singed eyebrow to serve as a reminder, and probably will joke about it later. Burnt airways, lungs, and cornea, and/or facial disfigurement are harder to laugh about, though.

    I can just see people (and courts) finding manufactures liable for providing the means for "I can do it 'meself'!" people to test their own stupidity. So, while lobbyists are not exactly an ethical/moral bunch, they are less sleazy than some (class-action) lawyers.
    A shame Apple watch wasn't available at the time to save the day.
    But seriously, you are aware that this is an argument meant for the occasion and of course entirely insincere?
    Apple should be ashamed trying to unrail this initiative being on such a high moral ground regarding ethics in general and the environment in particular.
    Apple likes to sell as many devices as possible and should be honest about that.

    (By the way, I opened and ‘repaired’ several televisions in the past and had no problem or risk whatsoever. I lacked youtube then, but ‘repair instruction’ are all over the place (tube) now, so its so much easier and fun to do now, you should try it. Spreading FUD about repairs isn't a nice thing to do, I find that ‘professional’ people do that to ‘protect’ their trade. Shame on you.
    Self repair and updates of my 2009 iMac for example made it last to now, I even run Final Cut X on it!)
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 99member
    DAalseth said:
    Good.
    The Right to Repair movement started with farm equipment, and I can see some logic to that. But it is a completely stupid idea in tightly packed, integrated, surface mounted, conformal coated, waterproofed, modern systems. The ONLY people who should be breaking into these things are highly trained people with the proper tools. There are tiny parts that nobody else could replace. There are dangerous parts that if punctured will harm or even kill kill you. Right to Repair has no business being applied to consumer microelectronic devices. They just are not field repairable. 
    I’m 50-50 on this. I agree that consumers should not be tinkering with cell phones. There’s just too much that can go wrong. Licensed and trained technicians, however, should be able to repair phones so long as they have the appropriate training and certificate to show their competence for the gadget in question. (I wouldn’t trust a Samsung expert to repair my iPhone and vice versa). Often, people outside of cities or in less-developed countries where money is an issue and phones get handed down, don’t have an Apple Store to go to and need the local technician to repair when things go wrong. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 18
    knowitall said:
    A shame Apple watch wasn't available at the time to save the day.
    But seriously, you are aware that this is an argument meant for the occasion and of course entirely insincere?
    Apple should be ashamed trying to unrail this initiative being on such a high moral ground regarding ethics in general and the environment in particular.
    Apple likes to sell as many devices as possible and should be honest about that.

    (By the way, I opened and ‘repaired’ several televisions in the past and had no problem or risk whatsoever. I lacked youtube then, but ‘repair instruction’ are all over the place (tube) now, so its so much easier and fun to do now, you should try it. Spreading FUD about repairs isn't a nice thing to do, I find that ‘professional’ people do that to ‘protect’ their trade. Shame on you.
    Self repair and updates of my 2009 iMac for example made it last to now, I even run Final Cut X on it!)
    By today's manufacturing practices, most repairs aren't technically feasible or economically viable. Take the iPhone X, it was the iPhone, until 6 months ago, when it went out of production. It had its year. Imagine having to pay for contractors to keep open lines of production for a very small demand of replacement parts, for 5–10 years. Or forcing the manufacturer to hold huge amounts of obsolete inventory parts. That's the equivalent of burning money. No business, big or small, will do that and expect to remain afloat.

    The manufacturer (Apple or anybody else) may be found liable for accidents directly, or indirectly, related to the repair. Botched repairs can cause loss or compromise of data, which will be invariably dumped over to the manufacturer, not to Joe's iPhone Shop. Only here, on AI you can find dozens of examples, in the last couple of years, when a unauthorized repair caused trouble that was pinned on Apple.

    I bought my first iPhone in March 2012, an iPhone 4S that served me well until May 2017, when its battery completely died out. Common sense dictated that the solution was to buy a newer one (that I did), instead of trying and repairing an unsupported 62 months old piece of hardware, from which I surely have enjoyed the full benefits from the money I've had spent.

    I have an Airport Express about to make 10 years, and iPad 2 that just made 8, a 7 year old Apple TV (3rd gen), a 4 year old MBP and a 3 year old iPhone SE. It's this longevity and quality of solid products that I use daily that I expect from the premium I've been paying Apple. Not the availability of a box of parts to duct tape aging pieces of technology when they break, either due to carelessness, or to extreme old age.

    And for your last, full paragraph in parentheses, all I have to answer is, look at your username. If you repair broken shit for a living, I hope your parents are proud. If you have the education to do that, then even more so. Now see who's expecting that this to represent the average customer, or the "trained technician" in Bumfuck, Wherever... And I'm spreading FUD. Protecting my professional interest??? It's not often that I brag, but I've been a tenured full professor of Electronic Engineering since I was 26. Last "repair" I've made was an electric shower for a cute girl on the college dorm...
    edited May 3
  • Reply 13 of 18
    RajkaRajka Posts: 22member
    It disappoints me greatly that Apple should deny customers the right to DIY repairs. It's fair to warn people of potential harm to a device, but that's it. Anything beyond that is simply control... of profits and money stream. After all, Apple offers nothing but planned obsolescence with its products today. Apple has gone full 1984.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,193member
    Despite the fact that I'm an Electronic Engineer, on issues of consumer electronics products, I view myself as a consumer. I'm old enough to remember monthly news of people who have tried to repair their CRT televisions, and died because of it.

    Most people, even (somewhat) educated ones, thought it would be like popping open the hood on their cars. Kill the engine and don't touch the hot parts and you'd be safe. Alas, the voltage multiplier charged the tube up to several thousands of volts, and the tube had enough capacitance to hold it after many hours of the plug being disconnected. The electric shock wasn't like touching a live wire, but it was enough to provoke heart fibrillation, which is invariably deadly without specialized medical attention.

    Given time, Darwinism kicked in, and people learned that they should never, ever, open their TVs. Now, CRTs are a thing of the past, but people are willing to dick around lithium batteries... the next best thing to a bomb! The lucky ones will have a singed eyebrow to serve as a reminder, and probably will joke about it later. Burnt airways, lungs, and cornea, and/or facial disfigurement are harder to laugh about, though.

    I can just see people (and courts) finding manufactures liable for providing the means for "I can do it 'meself'!" people to test their own stupidity. So, while lobbyists are not exactly an ethical/moral bunch, they are less sleazy than some (class-action) lawyers.
    No one will crack open a device to 'dick around' with a lithium battery. There would be no point. They will crack the device open to change the battery, among other things.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 18
    1st1st Posts: 392member
    thou shall not repair complex unit that not designed for repair, EMI and antenna contact will caust problem that not immediate appear to be evident to users (or repair guys). With 5G in sight, Ontario is very silly (sure none of the Gov official ever hold a soldering iron.... even some may take some science class.  Can the bill as soon as possible - do not waste tax payers money to spend time on it.  However, I do not object 3rd party house do after market repair using parts from spare damaged unit - however, LCD is hard to come by (many iphone with smashed LCD still running around).  
  • Reply 16 of 18
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    i say Apple should let this go. as long as they get some details added to the laws. 

    my thoughts
    1. apple isn't forced to design for customers to be able to repair, as long as it can't be shown that they did something just to make it harder
    2. apple isn't forced to sell the tools, parts or provide training in stores. folks can order by contacting Apple Care
    3 apple isn't held liable if someone doesn't follow instructions and damages their device or gets hurt. so no having to pay because someone didn't read the warnings and left a screw under a battery and it caught fire. and liability includes servicing the device. 
    4. there are no extensions to the whole vintage/obsolete rules. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 18
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,450member
    knowitall said:
    A shame Apple watch wasn't available at the time to save the day.
    But seriously, you are aware that this is an argument meant for the occasion and of course entirely insincere?
    Apple should be ashamed trying to unrail this initiative being on such a high moral ground regarding ethics in general and the environment in particular.
    Apple likes to sell as many devices as possible and should be honest about that.

    (By the way, I opened and ‘repaired’ several televisions in the past and had no problem or risk whatsoever. I lacked youtube then, but ‘repair instruction’ are all over the place (tube) now, so its so much easier and fun to do now, you should try it. Spreading FUD about repairs isn't a nice thing to do, I find that ‘professional’ people do that to ‘protect’ their trade. Shame on you.
    Self repair and updates of my 2009 iMac for example made it last to now, I even run Final Cut X on it!)
    By today's manufacturing practices, most repairs aren't technically feasible or economically viable. Take the iPhone X, it was the iPhone, until 6 months ago, when it went out of production. It had its year. Imagine having to pay for contractors to keep open lines of production for a very small demand of replacement parts, for 5–10 years. Or forcing the manufacturer to hold huge amounts of obsolete inventory parts. That's the equivalent of burning money. No business, big or small, will do that and expect to remain afloat.

    The manufacturer (Apple or anybody else) may be found liable for accidents directly, or indirectly, related to the repair. Botched repairs can cause loss or compromise of data, which will be invariably dumped over to the manufacturer, not to Joe's iPhone Shop. Only here, on AI you can find dozens of examples, in the last couple of years, when a unauthorized repair caused trouble that was pinned on Apple.

    I bought my first iPhone in March 2012, an iPhone 4S that served me well until May 2017, when its battery completely died out. Common sense dictated that the solution was to buy a newer one (that I did), instead of trying and repairing an unsupported 62 months old piece of hardware, from which I surely have enjoyed the full benefits from the money I've had spent.

    I have an Airport Express about to make 10 years, and iPad 2 that just made 8, a 7 year old Apple TV (3rd gen), a 4 year old MBP and a 3 year old iPhone SE. It's this longevity and quality of solid products that I use daily that I expect from the premium I've been paying Apple. Not the availability of a box of parts to duct tape aging pieces of technology when they break, either due to carelessness, or to extreme old age.

    And for your last, full paragraph in parentheses, all I have to answer is, look at your username. If you repair broken shit for a living, I hope your parents are proud. If you have the education to do that, then even more so. Now see who's expecting that this to represent the average customer, or the "trained technician" in Bumfuck, Wherever... And I'm spreading FUD. Protecting my professional interest??? It's not often that I brag, but I've been a tenured full professor of Electronic Engineering since I was 26. Last "repair" I've made was an electric shower for a cute girl on the college dorm...
    You seem to be a bit out of touch.

    There is a plethora of spare parts from third parties, so no need at all to have them in stock. Even iPhone motherboards are available and everything else you can think of. Also, incredible numbers of repair shops with all kinds of credibility ratings have arisen the last 10 years to fulfill an apparently huge demand.

    Some repairs are difficult or undoable, but that doesn't mean it has to be so, Apple designed it that way and could have done it very differently (of course some design decisions are inescapable because of the quality and appearance of the product). An example is id’ing iPhone parts like the battery so they cannot be exchanged by third parties, because the system checks this.

    Compromising the system is undoable because memory contend is encrypted and the key is within the secure enclave on the A chip. Attaching another fingerprint reader isn't going to help because its the fingerprint you need (the data) not the data gatherings device.

    I wouldn't worry about liability because of botched repairs, Apple has enough lawyers and 100 billion plus in cash to defend itself. They also built in a lot of detectors to detect iPhone tinkering and could make third party repairs ‘Apple certified’ to improve repair quality.

    Being able to repair something yourself is empowering and prolongs the usefulness of a product which is beneficial to the environment. Scrapping and rebuilding is always energy intensive and wasteful when not needed.
    edited May 5 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 18
    1st1st Posts: 392member
    knowitall said:
    knowitall said:
    A shame Apple watch wasn't available at the time to save the day.
    But seriously, you are aware that this is an argument meant for the occasion and of course entirely insincere?
    Apple should be ashamed trying to unrail this initiative being on such a high moral ground regarding ethics in general and the environment in particular.
    Apple likes to sell as many devices as possible and should be honest about that.

    (By the way, I opened and ‘repaired’ several televisions in the past and had no problem or risk whatsoever. I lacked youtube then, but ‘repair instruction’ are all over the place (tube) now, so its so much easier and fun to do now, you should try it. Spreading FUD about repairs isn't a nice thing to do, I find that ‘professional’ people do that to ‘protect’ their trade. Shame on you.
    Self repair and updates of my 2009 iMac for example made it last to now, I even run Final Cut X on it!)
    By today's manufacturing practices, most repairs aren't technically feasible or economically viable. Take the iPhone X, it was the iPhone, until 6 months ago, when it went out of production. It had its year. Imagine having to pay for contractors to keep open lines of production for a very small demand of replacement parts, for 5–10 years. Or forcing the manufacturer to hold huge amounts of obsolete inventory parts. That's the equivalent of burning money. No business, big or small, will do that and expect to remain afloat.

    The manufacturer (Apple or anybody else) may be found liable for accidents directly, or indirectly, related to the repair. Botched repairs can cause loss or compromise of data, which will be invariably dumped over to the manufacturer, not to Joe's iPhone Shop. Only here, on AI you can find dozens of examples, in the last couple of years, when a unauthorized repair caused trouble that was pinned on Apple.

    You seem to be a bit out of touch.

    There is a plethora of spare parts from third parties, so no need at all to have them in stock. Even iPhone motherboards are available and everything else you can think of. Also, incredible numbers of repair shops with all kinds of credibility ratings have arisen the last 10 years to fulfill an apparently huge demand.

    Some repairs are difficult or undoable, but that doesn't mean it has to be so, Apple designed it that way and could have done it very differently (of course some design decisions are inescapable because of the quality and appearance of the product). An example is id’ing iPhone parts like the battery so they cannot be exchanged by third parties, because the system checks this.

    Compromising the system is undoable because memory contend is encrypted and the key is within the secure enclave on the A chip. Attaching another fingerprint reader isn't going to help because its the fingerprint you need (the data) not the data gatherings device.

    I wouldn't worry about liability because of botched repairs, Apple has enough lawyers and 100 billion plus in cash to defend itself. They also built in a lot of detectors to detect iPhone tinkering and could make third party repairs ‘Apple certified’ to improve repair quality.

    Being able to repair something yourself is empowering and prolongs the usefulness of a product which is beneficial to the environment. Scrapping and rebuilding is always energy intensive and wasteful when not needed.
    (1) right to repair should not impede design - form fit function are more critical factors.  unless you have design weakness that forecast "need to repair" during the design life of handset.
    (2) you just made case the company should not privide repair parts since there are sufficient around without such a bill in place - the bill is not necessary.
    (3) Many explode batteries are from unknown source.  System check is best practice however it is not fool proof.  (known case of far east MFG using city water for electrolyte.  causes damage to the unit.  Far East city water sometimes not drinkable - check you hotel room notice and usually, they provide bottle water instead)   Cheap usually has good reason.  
    (4) liability is a major issue, especially for large companies.  Have you heard fake iphone with early version of guts? if you get engineering failure analysis plus lawyer, 100 iphone's profit are gone.  As a shareholder, I rather Apple pay my dividend than pay lawyer plus FA (little you can recover from the fraudster, unless the local gov enforce the law, in that neck of the woods, law is iffy to the best... have you ever see the fraudster lost house, job, send into prison for few fake iphone... fat chance).  
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