Author: Jerri-Lynn Scofield, he has served as a securities lawyer and derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile craftsmen.
In a small aspect, 2021 is not such a bad year. We have seen some progress in terms of maintenance rights.
If these reforms continue — and expand — this is a good thing for consumers, who will be able to repair what they already own when the item is damaged, without having to spend money on higher-cost replacements. The expansion of repair rights will also benefit the planet, because there is no need to use resources to make replacement items, and there is no need to deal with waste from discarded items.
Until now, the most important maintenance program rights occurred in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agency won the right to repair the trail earlier this year.After President Joe Biden issued an executive order instructing the FTC to take action in July, and since the new chairman Lina Khan assumed the chairmanship of the agency, this path was widened and extended (see FTC voted 5 to 0 against companies that obstructed repair rightsr).
There are also many national activities-although no state has issued comprehensive restoration regulations so far.
Massachusetts voters approved an important state power to fix the referendum in November 2020 (see Fixing Redux rights: Massachusetts voting issues). The 2020 initiative builds on the landmark regulations promulgated by the state after the 2012 referendum, which requires dealers to share maintenance information with third-party services. The 2020 measures require dealers to provide the diagnostic telematics information they collect to car owners and third-party repair services, instead of allowing dealers to hoard this data, but forcing consumers to take advantage of expensive dealer repair options.
exist Subaru is banning StarLink in Massachusetts to achieve maintenance rights compliance, Jalopnik reported last week that Subaru has decided to completely disable its telematics system-including for its own use-instead of complying with Massachusetts’ requirements for sharing telematics information with consumers and third-party repair services:
Over the years, maintenance rights have been a major controversy involving industries such as electronics, automobiles and even tractors. Last year, voters in Massachusetts passed one of the nation’s strongest maintenance laws, requiring automakers to allow third-party repair shops to easily access their telematics data, thus participating in the discussion. The manufacturer claims to be unable to meet this requirement, but Subaru seems to have found a solution-completely shutting down StarLink for vehicles delivered in Massachusetts.
A lot has happened here, let’s break it down. We will start with vehicle telematics data, which is information recorded by the car and sent wirelessly back to the manufacturer or dealer. This is increasingly used for diagnostics. Cars report information about faults and malfunctions directly to local dealers, and these data can be used to solve problems. Sounds great, right?
Unfortunately, this off-the-shelf diagnostic data has a downside-namely, who it can access arrive. If only the dealer can read this information, then only they can repair the car. It eliminates third-party repair shops or owners who wish to make their knuckles greasy, and forces people to return to the dealer for repairs. For owners, this is usually a costly endeavor.
Massachusetts tries to balance the competitive environment so that not only dealers can access this information. The problem is not the collection of information itself—it’s who can access the information to repair the vehicle. Per Jalopnik:
Massachusetts law attempts to change this situation, not by prohibiting telematics, but by compelling them to be open to owners and independent stores. Manufacturers and dealers can still collect car data, but they are not the only ones who can read the data. The bill is a godsend for the right to repair the movement, but dealers and automakers have tried their best to oppose it.
Now Subaru has found a way not to share information. To repeat a cliché, the company seems to be cutting off its nose to hide its face-but Subaru clearly thinks this is a worthwhile trade-off. As Jalopnik reported, maybe other automakers will now follow Subaru:
The Automotive Innovation Alliance, which represents almost all automakers in the United States, believes that manufacturers cannot open their telematics systems to the public. When the State’s Attorney General recommended a complete shutdown of the system, AAI stated that it would be a “Practically impossible“Only do this on cars in Massachusetts.
However, this is exactly what Subaru did. Starting from the 2022 model year, any Subaru car sold in the state will have its StarLink telematics system disabled.The company has basically taken action and went home-if they can’t have exclusive access to repair data, then nobody Gain access.
Of course, telling the state government that it is impossible to do something, and then proceed to do it immediately, is a bit rude in law.The Attorney General of Massachusetts hopes to use Subaru’s actions as evidence of AAI’s lawsuit against the state to weaken their position that it is impossible to comply with the 2020 law
We must wait and see now, because the next chapter of this legend will unfold. Will other automakers follow Subaru’s example and completely shut down these diagnostic systems? Will these systems become useless now? Who will blink first?
Software repair rights
Subaru’s move to disable the telematics software ball in Massachusetts and go home is the right to repair the frustration.
However, on the positive side of the ledger, it is more important that the Director of the Library of Congress has established a clause establishing the right of restoration under the copyright law, as reported by Gizmodo last week. We happen to have the right to make repairs-theoretically:
People can now repair and patch their own devices in accordance with copyright laws. United States Copyright Office (USCO) Suggestions submitted, Officially recognizedToday, the Director of the Library of Congress proposed to add an exemption to the DMCA’s device and software access rules. (This part.) The most important thing is the new right to enter any consumer software device (mobile phone, laptop, etc.) for diagnosis, repair and maintenance.
This update is of great significance to anyone who wants to replace their mobile phone screens cheaply, as well as to students and tinkers who want to understand how things work.But copyright law is still powerless fact Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft have deadlocked their devices, cancelled the right to repair bills, and stocked up parts, all of which forced us to simply throw away repairable devices and buy new ones.
Therefore, this change does not mean that manufacturers must make it easier for users to open the rear panel or provide parts, but it gives you the right to try.
The latest copyright measures are just the beginning, and they are fairly mild measures. In fact, proponents of extended maintenance rights-especially for digital control equipment-say they have not done enough. Instead, Congress ultimately needs to take action to give consumers a strong right to repair. Each Gizmodo:
Now, according to the DMCA, you can also unlock your phone, which means you can change carriers without buying a new device. Reasonable jailbreaking has been extended to routers and smart TVs-this means you can resolve manufacturer software restrictions, such as downloading streaming media applications that were previously inaccessible. (The previously approved exemption allows users to jailbreak Alexa and Google Assistant.)
But the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which offered some exemptions, told Engadget that it was disappointed that the escape allowance did not develop further. Although pleased with the fact that repair rights cover consumer devices more broadly, it stated that non-infringing modifications are essential to “communities not served by technical default functions.”
Extending what EFF wants, senior staff attorney Kit Walsch told Gizmodo that the organization submitted various examples of non-infringing modifications that should be allowed, including “improving digital camera software, providing photographers with new artistic options, and making your smart trash The box accepts third-party cleaning boxes, custom drones to operate on wires instead of flying, improve the interface on the device to make it less distracting or more accessible (for color-blind users, for example), etc.” She said, these The module “was excluded without much discussion.”
In addition, these rules also contain other clauses, which greatly limit their scope of influence. According to Gizmodo:
IFixit, the repair parts market, also offers exemptions and points out the “ridiculous restrictions” of the new rules. The exemption must be renewed every three years. iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens told Gizmodo via email that USCO still allows manufacturers to use obstructive service contracts to deny exemptions for commercial and industrial products. “If the repair is not infringing, then the manufacturer’s monopoly protection service contract should not prevent the office from granting an exemption.”
“Until Congress finally repairs Article 1201 and grants permanent repair rights, we will be trapped on this Ferris wheel by the Copyright Office every three years,” Vince added.
Other advocates of maintenance rights believe that the current system wastes everyone’s time and does not really solve the problem. According to Gizmodo:
…Guy Gordon-Born, executive director of the Maintenance Association, told Gizmodo via email, adding that the right to federal or state maintenance legislation is what really matters.
“For the U.S. Copyright Office, service providers, and attorneys of all parties, the exemption process is a waste of time,” Gordon Byrne added. “If there is a law that separates actual evidence of infringement from theoretical speculation, we will get better services.”
Not to mention that the actions of the Copyright Office only target software restrictions. Companies committed to obstructing repair rights, such as Apple, continue to have sufficient means to do so, which makes it difficult or impossible for consumers to repair the equipment they already own.
Go to Gizmodo:
But in other places, manufacturers can think of countless ways to prevent people from accessing their devices. Apple can still block third-party repairers by upgrading its technology, so unless you use their device, certain features will not be available, such as Bind face ID To your own screen. What they do, they will.
Let us not pretend that Biden’s executive order even begins to cover the right to repair the universe.
Need for comprehensive legislation. Congress, where are you?
Countries must also continue to resolve problems within their borders.