The Right to Repair Electronics: Do you Own the Devices you Buy?
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Undergraduate honors thesis / Open Access
This paper will start with a history of how product repair used to be 20-30 years ago. Then it will discuss the practice of planned obsolescence which has been adopted in the electronics industry and is the root behind why devices are not repairable in the 21st century. The paper will also discuss the origins of the grassroots right to repair movement. Next, the paper will analyze the current situation for third-party repair companies and what they need to repair devices. After that, the manufacturers’ deals with companies will be discussed and how that limits repairability. Additional analysis will be done on the right to repair from an intellectual property point of view in terms of both patents and copyright infringement. Interestingly, this paper will be able to examine case studies first with car repair laws which can be looked at as a successful model in a smaller context for the greater right to repair and the laws recently passed in the European Union. To end the analysis the paper will discuss why nothing had changed until recently, where pledges have been made by companies as well as an executive order issued by President Biden telling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to work on solving this issue. In addition to the pledges, some communities as well as companies have begun adopting the right to repair mindset to their products. To conclude, the paper will suggest legislation that should be passed to enforce the right to repair. (from Introduction)
Bodek, S. (2022, May). The Right to Repair Electronics: Do you Own the Devices you Buy? [Undergraduate student thesis, Yeshiva University].
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