That time it was illegal to fix your own electronics for almost 20 years
Nov 6, 2018

That time it was illegal to fix your own electronics for almost 20 years

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Once upon a time, when something you owned broke, you fixed it. We never even considered whether we were allowed to fix our products until the year 2000, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act went into effect, making it illegal to circumvent any tech that locked up devices without authorization. So John Deere started telling farmers it was a copyright violation to fix their tractors. And Apple said it was a copyright violation to fix our iPhones or even open a repair shop. Just last month, the U.S. copyright office finally decided that you do have the right to fix your smartphone and lots of other electronics. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a company that creates repair guides for electronics and sells tools and replacement parts, told Molly Wood we may have the right to repair, but repairing things isn't as easy as it used to be. (11/06/18)

 


Once upon a time, when something you owned broke, you fixed it. We never even considered whether we were allowed to fix our products until the year 2000, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act went into effect, making it illegal to circumvent any tech that locked up devices without authorization. So John Deere started telling farmers it was a copyright violation to fix their tractors. And Apple said it was a copyright violation to fix our iPhones or even open a repair shop. Just last month, the U.S. copyright office finally decided that you do have the right to fix your smartphone and lots of other electronics. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a company that creates repair guides for electronics and sells tools and replacement parts, told Molly Wood we may have the right to repair, but repairing things isn’t as easy as it used to be. (11/06/18)

 

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