Digital products include hard-wired “programming” on the chip or on the circuit board.
Many manufacturers have taken to claiming that this machine-level code is “Intellectual Property” in order to prevent owners from controlling their purchases. Users are being told that machines cannot be repaired because they contain ”IP”, that machines cannot be modified (as with the Apple Jailbreak), and that machines cannot be resold because the “IP” is not transferrable.
This inappropriate use of Copyright applies to thousands of different products ranging from consumer cell phones, to combine harvesters, to mainframe data center equipment, and industrial controls. The advantage of preventing modification, repair, and resale plumps the bottom line of the manufacturer and decreases the bottom line of the owner.
The key to supporting owner’s rights to use their purchases as they see fit is to affirm that the embedded code that is delivered with the machine belong to the machine. Hardware repair has no impact on Licensed products. License terms and conditions are external to the repair of equipment and users will still make their software license support arrangements separately.
Recent Supreme Court rulings in the Kirtsaeng v. Wiley case affirmed the rights of buyers to resell their products regardless of where they were purchased. But if the product cannot be repaired, most of products with digital electronic parts are e-waste. There is only scrap value in non-working machines.
There are 5 requirements for repair of any product with a digital heart. Lack of access to any of the following makes repair either more difficult, illegal, or impossible. Our coalition seeks to affirm rights to all of the following inter-connected areas:
1. Diagnostic codes, including output from embedded software
2. Manuals – including schematics, where practical
3. Service Parts – access to the OEM parts desk at reasonable prices
4. Repair Tools – access to specialty tools at reasonable prices
5. Machine Code – permanent access at no charge to all patches and fixes to embedded code
CLICK HERE to go to the Digital Right To Repair Coalition website.
Protecting your rights to repair everything you own. This is for everyone: consumers, business, industry, and government. Don’t let the manufacturer dictate how, when, where, and IF you can repair your purchase.
CLICK HERE to take action, sign the petition, and join the coalition.