Advocate seeks $6 million to fund 'right to repair' action group

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 1
New York repair store owner Louis Rossmann has started a crowdfunding campaign, and is trying to collect $6 million to bring a "Right to Repair" initiative direct to the voters, and skip state legislature.

An iPhone being repaired
An iPhone being repaired


As states across the country debate consumers' right to repair their purchased devices, most recently including Nevada's legislature, a New York businessman is hoping to get this right into law. Louis Rossman runs the non-profit Repair Preservation Group Action Fund, and says that funding a direct ballot initiative will mean "people -- not politicians -- decide on whether [it] becomes law."

"I have been traveling and testifying at Right to Repair bill hearings for six years now," writes Rossmann on his GoFundMe page. "Sometimes, the politicians we speak to are uninterested in our cause. Sometimes they are, but cannot vote on the issue because other items come up in session that are seen as a higher priority."

"Sometimes they misinterpret the bill," he continues. "Sometimes, the consumer protection chair runs a car dealership. In other cases, they just laugh us out of the room."

According to Rossmann, a direct ballot initiative is why the car industry already has right to repair legislation. Under such an initiative, if a certain number of signatures are collected, states put the specified measure directly to a vote.

Rossmann says that it isn't just an issue of collecting enough signatures, however. "The reason we have not done a ballot initiative is because they are very expensive!" he writes.

Without detailing the costs, Rossmann says he spoke with the company that got a car industry direct ballot initiative passed in Massachusetts.

"They were very helpful and explained how & why it would cost $5,000,000 [to] $20,000,000 to have a chance at success," Rossmann said. "It is my hope that I can leverage the social media following I've amassed over the past 8 years, with a youtube channel of 1.56 million subscribers, to be able to accomplish what they accomplished in the lower range of that 5-20 million that was estimated."

The automotive ballot was organized by Brian Hickey Associates, which describes itself as "one of the most respected lobbying firms in the state of Massachusetts."

Rossmann says that "if I reach my goal or within earshot of it," he intends to have his Preservation Group Action Fund retain this company. "If I do not reach my goal, we will conduct traditional lobbying efforts to support Right to Repair bills in states that have introduced legislation," he continues.

Apple has been expanding its independent repair provider program, but executives have also reportedly been divided over the whole issue.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,297member
    Get ready for big, thick phones with standard phillips screws all over the place, plastic clips with no glue allowed. Replaceable batteries that go flying all over the pace when the phone gets dropped, like they used to. Get ready for do-it-yourselfers to destroy their devices after opening them up and then expect Apple to replace it free. These would be the perfect devices that iFixit would design.
    mcdave
  • Reply 2 of 11
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,695member
    Time for Apple to collapse all components into SoCs, SiPs & sticks with software that only supports its set configurations.
    Does Apple reserve the right to ignore botched repair attempts?
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,191administrator
    mcdave said:
    Time for Apple to collapse all components into SoCs, SiPs & sticks with software that only supports its set configurations.
    Does Apple reserve the right to ignore botched repair attempts?
    They always have.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 11
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 790member
    "people -- not politicians -- decide on whether [it] becomes law."

     :D Politician's aren't people, but corporations are.
  • Reply 5 of 11

    Right to repair is a difficult issue.   I appreciate the fact that stolen hardware becomes worthless on the parts market.  However forced upgrades through end of support or worst end of life is awful.  I am unable to repair my own surveying equipment purchased in 2005 because Topcon doesn’t have to sell me the repair manual/guide nor parts.   Some companies have bought multiple surveying instruments and could use them together to keep one or more still in operating/factory specs.  Rural/remote owners of equipment have even worst because they don’t have a dealer nearby to go to for repair.   Then the farm equipment that the repairman has to come to because it’s so large.  We as owners of the equipment need the ability to repair.   I’ve held on to my equipment (tech & surveying) as long as possible.  Just makes sense if the equipment stills does the job.   Also it reduces hazardous waste by holding on to it until it can no longer be repaired.  Their must be a way manufacturers can allow customers to repair while discouraging thief/stolen equipment from having any value.      I contributed and I hope readers will also. 

  • Reply 6 of 11
    apmillerapmiller Posts: 35member
    lkrupp said:
    Get ready for big, thick phones with standard phillips screws all over the place, plastic clips with no glue allowed. Replaceable batteries that go flying all over the pace when the phone gets dropped, like they used to. Get ready for do-it-yourselfers to destroy their devices after opening them up and then expect Apple to replace it free. These would be the perfect devices that iFixit would design.
    That’s ridiculous. “Right to repair” doesn’t mean easy to repair. Although I’ve often bemoaned some of Apple’s design decisions which make repair or upgrade more difficult (if not impossible for a typical user, such as soldered RAM and SSD’s), designs don’t have to be “dumbed down”  for repair shops to be able to fix devices when they are out of warranty/voided warranty. They just need access to OEM or equivalent parts, and in some industries access to repair manuals & circuit board schematics that make repairs easier. DIY’ers, such as myself many times, have been fixing (or upgrading) their Apple devices for decades. (For a recent example, for $15 I replaced a faulty hard drive SATA cable in a friend’s 2012 MacBook, which wouldn’t finish booting up. Apple quoted them ~$600 to replace the Main Logic Board, since they rarely if ever do “component level repairs”, & which was their incorrect diagnosis of what was needed.) One particular issue now is that Apple (etc.) is making that more difficult due to exclusive contracts with repair parts suppliers, so businesses like Louis Rossmann‘s can’t get parts for out of warranty (or voided warranty) repairs. Louis often compares the situation with the auto industry. The likelihood of DIY’ers “destroying their devices after opening them up”, as you stated, is less so if they have easy access to repair manuals, OEM-equivalent parts, and schematics, not more so. (BTW, thank you iFixit for your extremely helpful repair guides.) 
    lunarepik
  • Reply 7 of 11
    apmillerapmiller Posts: 35member

    mcdave said:
    Time for Apple to collapse all components into SoCs, SiPs & sticks with software that only supports its set configurations.
    Does Apple reserve the right to ignore botched repair attempts?
    Yes! They have and they will, regardless of right to repair legislation. 
  • Reply 8 of 11
    lkrupp said:
    Get ready for big, thick phones with standard phillips screws all over the place, plastic clips with no glue allowed. Replaceable batteries that go flying all over the pace when the phone gets dropped, like they used to. Get ready for do-it-yourselfers to destroy their devices after opening them up and then expect Apple to replace it free. These would be the perfect devices that iFixit would design.
    It's clear by your comments here that you haven't seen the inside, much less repaired, a newer device. Even the sleekest, sexiest iPhone 12 Pro Max is VERY repairable. The tools and software calibration are 99% of the problem. If an Apple technician can replace it, it isn't rocket science.

    The narrative you're repeating is tired, and doesn't match the facts if you do even a second of research or repair a modern device yourself.


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 11
    MKBHDMKBHD Posts: 1member
    mknelson said:
    "people -- not politicians -- decide on whether [it] becomes law."

     :D Politician's aren't people, but corporations are.

    wait, there are politicians who are not lobbied or backed by corporations?

  • Reply 10 of 11
    lkrupp said:
    Get ready for big, thick phones with standard phillips screws all over the place, plastic clips with no glue allowed. Replaceable batteries that go flying all over the pace when the phone gets dropped, like they used to. Get ready for do-it-yourselfers to destroy their devices after opening them up and then expect Apple to replace it free. These would be the perfect devices that iFixit would design.
    Hmm, this is odd. I've never once suggested regulation should dictate that the device be designed with a specific screw or adhesive. I've said repeatedly that it's our job to figure out how to fix it. What Right to Repair advocates for, is that the manufacturer not be able to tell a chip manufacturer they can't sell us a charging chip.
     
    Further, this has nothing to do with expecting a manufacturer to repair something a consumer destroyed. Magnuson Moss says the burden of proof is on the manufacturer to demonstrate that the consumer destroyed the product & voided the warranty, which is pretty easy to do in these situations.


  • Reply 11 of 11
    JhbamseJhbamse Posts: 1member
    lkrupp said:
    Get ready for big, thick phones with standard phillips screws all over the place, plastic clips with no glue allowed. Replaceable batteries that go flying all over the pace when the phone gets dropped, like they used to. Get ready for do-it-yourselfers to destroy their devices after opening them up and then expect Apple to replace it free. These would be the perfect devices that iFixit would design.
    "Get ready for big, thick phones with standard phillips screws" NO, not at all
    "no glue allowed" NO, not at all
    "
    Replaceable batteries that go flying all over the pace" NO, not at all
    "
    Get ready for do-it-yourselfers" NO, not at all
    "
    expect Apple to replace it free" NO, not at all
    "
    These would be the perfect devices that iFixit would design" NO, not at all

    Right to repair is about actually owning the product you have purchased. And about your right to decide what you want to do with your product. As it is today, the products are so unnecessarily closely linked to software, hardware and copyright licenses that the product you have paid for in practice is not yours. Giving you real access to the product you've bought is what Right to repair is all about

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