Right to Repair is a no-brainer. You - not corps - should have the right to decide whom you trust to fix your stuff, even (especially) when it's "smart" and an unscrupulous repair could create unquantifiable "cyber-risk."

And yet...*dozens* of state R2R bills were defeated in 2018, thanks to an unholy coalition of Big Ag, Big Tech, and consumer electronics monopolists like Wahl. That supervillain gang reassembled to fight and kill still more bills in 2020/1.



It's part of the long trend in which all levels of government make policy based on what serves the interests of the rich and powerful, not the people they serve.

2014's "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens" (Cambirdge University Pree) quantifies this phenomenon:



"Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

Right to Repair advocates never lost hope. May's "Nixing the Fix" report from the FTC establishes a factual record in support of the right to repair across many sectors, but especially agricultural equipment.



Big Ag is a particularly odious repair troll, and John Deere is its standard-bearer. The company has been trying to felonize farmers' repairing their own tractors since at least 2015:


They told the US Copyright Office that farmers don't own their tractors - because tractor firmware is copyrighted, it is licensed, not sold, and farmers must abide by the company's license terms.



At the same time, Deere started pushing the insulting story that farmers are yokels, too stupid to fix their tractors. This despite Deere's long history of turning farmers' modifications of their equipment into money-making features in new tractors.


Farmers have been fixing their own gear literally since the dawn of civilization, hacking their own plows.


Every farm has a workshop, because when you're at the end of a country road and there's a hailstorm coming, you need to bring in the crops, not wait for a repair tech.

Deere's arguments that independent repair will expose America's food supply to cyber-risk are equally hollow, because Deere has some of the *worst* cybersecurity of *any* industry - winning the infosec race to the bottom.




Despite Deere's lobbying, patronizing and FUD, the right to repair has - finally - triumphed.

Today, the Biden administration announced an executive order directing the Department of Ag and the FTC to develop R2R rules for agricultural equipment!


The fight's not over yet. The devil is in the details, those rules the FTC and Ag develop.


But with superheroes like Lina Khan running the FTC, there's reason to believe that we're going to get good, evidence-based and fair rules.

This is *huge*, a massive vindication for R2R activists and their long, tireless struggle.

Cryteria (modified)



@Moon @pluralistic Maybe I'm too cynical but my guess is that it's going to be put in a bill filled with poison pills ("right to repair needs racial justice!") so that the Republicans have to kill it, then the Democrats can campaign on that to farmers ("See? Republicans don't want you to have the right to repair your tractors! They actually hate small business owners!")
@guizzy @pluralistic republicans generally are against right to repair on principle, it will be filled with poison pills by the biden administration so that democrats will oppose it
@Moon @guizzy @pluralistic you sure about that? most farmers are republicans and they are pretty much universally in favor of being able to repair their own farm equipment. same goes for people who work on cars

republicans *in government* are generally bought off whore politicians who don't represent their constituency
@meowski @Moon @pluralistic Also, big tech are completely on the Democrats side and they are the ones with the most to lose (if it passes for agricultural equipment, tech will be a no brainer).

I think outside of a few people like Rand Paul, no one in either party wants this to pass, but if the Democrats brought an honest bill, the Republicans would be forced to vote it through because their constituents would want it real bad. So I don't think it will be an honest bill.
@guizzy @Moon @pluralistic companies like apple and google will likely pull strings to shut this down or water it down to the point of being meaningless. the demonrats rely heavily on big tech media manipulation and censorship so they will cave
@lnxw37b3 @Moon @guizzy @pluralistic
>Corporate enclosure should be punishable by law.
Heavily punishable, not only money, these people should be whipped or stoned.
@becassine @Moon @pluralistic Because our governments were never meant to work at that scale. Outside of poison pills (where it's meant to make the bill impossible to pass), you have MPs/congressmen/senators that have no dog in a specific fight whose vote you still need to get to pass anything, so you add stuff they want to the bill. And so on until it looks like a gigantic mutant katamari that pisses off every constituent on at least one point.
@guizzy @Moon @pluralistic
Katamari is such a good description... just picking up dumb side things until it’s indistinguishable as a single topic
Sign in to participate in the conversation
La Quadrature du Net - Mastodon - Media Fédéré

Mamot.fr est une serveur Mastodon francophone, géré par La Quadrature du Net.