back to article Biden order calls for net neutrality, antitrust action, ISP competition – and right to repair your own damn phone

US President Joseph Biden on Friday signed a sweeping executive order directing government agencies to take steps intended to enhance economic competition and prevent anticompetitive practices, among the tech industry as well as others. The Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy includes 72 …

  1. redpawn

    But my ISP needs to rip me off

    in order to fund politicians and advertisements so they can rip me off some more later on.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Giving more freedom to Americans?? Bloody Commie! /s

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't worry, half the nation will gladly die to prevent anything the other half might want to do, even if it's hugely beneficial to all. We're too narrow-minded and indoctrinated to recognize our own advantage or think outside the party line.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Mushroom

        "half the nation will gladly die to prevent anything the other half might want to do".

        That is the two party idiocy in a nut shell.

        1. John Riddoch

          I still believe there are significant chunks of the US population who would vote for a dead goldfish if it stood as a member of the appropriate party.

          1. Alumoi Silver badge

            You mean they didn't already? And no, I'm not talking about Biden.

          2. gandalfcn Silver badge

            And the UK, albeit to a lesser extent.

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          I had to correct it "That is the two party idiocy people demand in a nut shell."

          Remember, when they are offered alternatives they reject them using spurious reasons.

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Unfortunately the indoctrination and pig headed denial of facts seems mainly to afflict the TrumpGOP. e.g. "Fox News disclaims Trump's lies about the 2020 election". Read the disclaimer, it wasn't really a disclaimer at all.

    2. Dacarlo

      Divide et impera

      "A Captain should endeavor with every act to divide the forces of the enemy."

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      I came across this a few days ago.

      https://rwer.wordpress.com/2021/06/25/power-1917-2019-u-s-income-inequality-and-union-membership/

      Seems that "freedom" means getting poorer for much of the population aka turkeys voting for Xmas.

  3. Criminny Rickets
    Holmes

    Must be seen to be doing something

    "signed a sweeping executive order directing government agencies to take steps"

    So basically smoke and mirrors. Biden is directing the agencies to do something, but it is up to those agencies of whether to follow through. and by how much. So Biden can now say he did something, and if things don't happen the way people expect, he can turn around and say that he wasn't to blame.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Must be seen to be doing something

      What it does is give us liittle guys the ability to sue said agencies for over-stepping their bounds. And trust me, the sue-balls are coming if they don't back off. Lots of money involved (in aggregate), and we're pretty pissed off.

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Must be seen to be doing something

        Great Sue those agencies. And if you win, who do you think is eventually footing that billl?

        Yep huge win...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Must be seen to be doing something

          We're not suing to get money from the government. Get that thought out of your pointy little head.

          What we're suing for is to be allowed to fix/repair/augment equipment as suits ourselves, the purchaser of the equipment, not as suits the manufacturers of that equipment. And for the right to choose a third party to make that repair if we like. And for the right to become that third party. And for the right to be a third party supplier of replacement parts. Etc.

          This is about empowering the intelligent consumer, not making money for a few lawyers.

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Must be seen to be doing something

      Do you have a better plan?? With the Republicans constantly obstructing anything that they themselves didn't begin, especially anything that can even possibly hurt their corporate masters, I'd like you see you come up with policy bills that will get enough bilateral votes to pass.

      This is a game play to bypass the McDonnell-led obstructionism. If it's the best that can be done because the same 37% of the electorate constantly vote against their own best interests, then this is the best and we'll see how far it goes. Then readjust after the reaction is known.

      1. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: Must be seen to be doing something

        Well they can do away with the filibuster so things can actually get done.

        Then pass appropriate voting laws so that the Republicans can no longer rig the system in their favor. Finally appoint a few more judges to the Supreme Court.

        With that all in place the Republicans will never win again until they abandon their current stupid ways

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Must be seen to be doing something

          Quite. "All men are created equal", but not women, blacks, homosexuals, muslims, athwests, the oor, the sick and anyone with any moral compass.

          And this lot have the temerity to claim they are Christians! They would imprison and disenfranchise him.

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Must be seen to be doing something

        Splendid post. Years ago I had a lot of time for the GOP. Not now. It is just institutional racist homophobes backed by corrupt big business. Just like the Putinland they love.

      3. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Must be seen to be doing something

        I note there are two people who don't accept facts and reality. At least it is only two which gives me some hope for the future

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Must be seen to be doing something

      "Biden is directing the agencies to do something, but it is up to those agencies of whether to follow through. and by how much. " Sort of you are totally OTT. You also fail to consider what would have happened if specific actions were demanded - the screams would have been unmerciful from woke cancel culture twatwaffles like you.

  4. jake Silver badge

    "the FTC will be asked to "issue rules against anticompetitive restrictions on using independent repair shops or doing DIY repairs of your own devices and equipment."

    Will the Biden Bunch reign in the EPA illegally putting a stop to small businesses building, selling and installing aftermarket parts on automobiles? To say nothing of the very same EPA claiming that it is illegal to convert a vehicle built for street use into a race vehicle, thus destroying the livelihoods of untold numbers of small Mom&Pop race shops across the USA?

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge
      WTF?

      Mom&Pop race shops across the USA

      What kind of races would those vehicles enter??

      1. Gary Stewart

        Street races of course. Which are as far as I know illegal everywhere in the US.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Street racing is NOT illegal across the US. Plenty of cities and/or counties hold street races fairly regularly.

          I think you are talking about the dumb-shits who illegally race on non-closed roads with other traffic using them. Those asshole give the legal racing community a bad name.

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            "Those asshole" are the ones being referred to in th OP.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dunno, but I'm on Team Mom!

        1. jake Silver badge

          So when and where are you taking your Mom for her first race? Most drag strips will happily allow your mom to run her minivan down the track ... usually Wednesday evenings for this kind of thing. She'll also probably be made welcome if somebody has rented the track for a private test & tune day ... they'll welcome the distraction, and probably go out of their way to help her improve her times.

          Be careful ... I've seen people (moms included!) become addicted to it after one time out. Even in a slow vehicle.

      3. jake Silver badge

        All kinds of racing. There are amateur racing classes for almost all forms of motorsports, with venues located all across the United States.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Bless! The world is more than polluting bangers you know. please do try and keep up.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "if you buy a product, you own it"

    Amen to that.

    I have always found absolutely unbelievable that I can buy a $10,000 car and modify it any way I want, have it repaired anywhere I choose, but a $500 phone I can't ?

    Nonsense.

    I hope this cleans up the mess and sets things straight.

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

      I can buy a $10,000 car and modify it any way I want

      Not if you want to keep your warranty you don't. You can lose it for using the wrong brand of oil.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

        "You can lose it for using the wrong brand of oil."

        What kind of fascist hellscape do you live in where this is reality?

        America?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

          No, in America we're allowed to choose our own oil. For warranty work that oil has to meet certain standards ... but virtually all motor oils sold here meet those standards, so that's no problem.

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

          It is the fascist hellscape created by the business controlled GOP. Do as we tell you. Buy what we tell you. Be grateful to your superiors.

        3. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

          get educated

          The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits product manufacturers from conditioning consumer warranties on the use of any original equipment part or service. Furthermore, a manufacturer can only deny warranty coverage if it can demonstrate that a non-original equipment part or related service caused a defect to occur in the original product. In the case of motor vehicles, new car manufacturers have ignored these conditions outlined in Magnuson-Moss and have misled consumers to believe that they must have dealer service shops install only original equipment replacement parts or fear having their new car warranty voided.

      2. fuzzie

        Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

        South Africa has recently introduced legislation to curb that practice. Manufacturers can no longer demand cars be serviced only through their anointed channels. It spreads liability around a bit, but at least it means third party service, repairs and parts can no longer be deemed sub-standard by default and the manufacturers will have to justify rejecting warranty claims.

      3. Aussie Doc
        Mushroom

        Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

        Not sure where you are but here in Oz that's not the case.

        Same with printer manufacturers saying you can only use their inks or void warranty.

        Powers that be said "Nope. Unless you can prove this ink was directly the cause of the explosion or whatever, no affect on customer's warranty. Case closed."

        Of course, your mileage may vary ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    2. ridley

      Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

      Not if it's a Tesla, the mothership doesn't like unauthorised repairs and can shut the car down.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

        A Tesla isn't a car. It's haberdashery, an affectation of the well-off.

    3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

      but a $500 phone I can't ?

      Companies should also be required to open bootloaders or at least give a possibility to bring your own - and so producing all documentation necessary to accomplish such a thing.

      Now, I don't think right to repair should only be limited to hardware. People buying software should also be entitled to repair it, e.g. if the company does not fix bugs, you should be able to request the source code and get your Photoshop or soundcard driver or other tool to a software developer to fix it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Companies should also be required to open bootloaders

        While I fully support it, it's not gonna happen. Opening bootloaders opens doors to admin-level access. While this helps re-viving those handsets designed for obsolescence (like mine!), more and more of our lives are managed (and mis-managed) via our phones. Banking is one of those 'sensitive' areas, medical apps is another. Neither banks, nor manufacturers will want to get tangled in long-term, costly legal wrangle if they're attacked for allowing handset 'exposure' due to their "negligence / allowing and publicizing ways to gain unauthorized access", etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Companies should also be required to open bootloaders

          Tough. It's my device. They are going out of their way to intentionally block me from using something I own.

          What next? Remove admin access from Windows and Mac OS for the same reason?

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Companies should also be required to open bootloaders

            > What next? Remove admin access from Windows and Mac OS for the same reason?

            Well, I for one wouldn't be surprised if it happened, sooner or later.

            The general trend is to limit streamline user actions, and for dumb users to be milked for money, admin access is not needed or even desirable: Let them subscribe to our support plan...

        2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Companies should also be required to open bootloaders

          Opening bootloaders opens doors to admin-level access. (...)

          Banking is one of those 'sensitive' areas, medical apps is another.

          That is completely irrelevant. You can have full admin access to the device without being able to read your banking's app data.

          If that's still concerning, the bootloader unlocking would simply generate new encryption keys and all data on the device would no longer be accessible - you'd essentially get factory reset device and no ability to recover any "old" data.

          It's really a poor excuse to not allow it.

        3. jake Silver badge

          Re: Companies should also be required to open bootloaders

          Horseshit.

          The bootloader has no bearing whatsoever on the banking code. Nor does the OS. If it DOES, the bank is doing something very, very wrong in their code. Same for any other example you can come up with.

    4. Dacarlo

      Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

      I agree under the current rules it is absurd. I suspect the big-corp phone ecosystems will go out of their way to bypass this though. Either by borking services, warranties or simply not selling but 'leasing' a phone for $500/5years.

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Other side of the coin

    Since now most technology is being produced and invented in China it makes sense for the government to mandate release of schematics and parts, so that American companies can catch up and save money on R&D.

    Since the 90s until now, American companies stopped publishing schematics and hidden as much of information as possible, to stop Asian companies from cloning their products, and at the same time they found they can make extra money on "authorised repairs" and planned obsolescence (we can't fix it, buy new!).

    Interesting turn of events.

    1. Gary Stewart

      Re: Other side of the coin

      Produced almost certainly, invented, I don't think so.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Other side of the coin

        I would agree with that statement 5 years ago. Today, not so much...

      2. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: Other side of the coin

        if I have the cash and an idea for some new gizmo there are plenty of companies in China that will handle the entire process from design through to manufacturing for you.

      3. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Other side of the coin

        Really? Throughout history inventions and innovations have been made all over the world at various times, with the ebb and flow of societies.

        Most of the science and products we tae for granted comes from India, China and Arabia, but all those societies fell into decline and other countries took over.

        Recently India and China have started regaining their place amongst inventive societies, much to the alarm of some and denial of the racists.

        One of the problems is that the right wing business controlled Western media never seems to report on Indian or Chinese inventions, no doubt to keep the domestic proles subjugated. Just like the PRC media.

        https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=recent%20chines%20inventions

  7. Dwarf Silver badge

    Land of the free

    Perhaps after this comes in, then there will be a significant increase in freedoms that should have been there from the start.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Land of the free

      I think the concept of publicly traded companies and exchanges made the mockery of capitalism and economically enslaved the nation. "Capitalist" companies too big to fail, are no different from state owned companies in the communist regimes.

      Companies should be divided once they grow beyond certain threshold, just like cells in nature divide.

      Otherwise they become a cancer on the economy.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Land of the free

        Sort of - but it's cells dividing too much that form cancers.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Land of the free

          So the claim that communism is a cancer isn't true. OK.

      2. Shalghar

        Re: Land of the free

        I do not believe its mere company "bigness" but another often overlooked issue.

        Freedom to fail is the issue here.

        No company must be "too big to fail" or else every company will try to get big, no matter if thats feasible or makes any sense. Get "too big to fail" and you have your everlasting "get out of bankruptcy free" card, leading to even more mismanagement and inefficiency.

        There is no "too big to fail", this is like the presumed "system relevancy" directly connected to the amount of corruption and other ties to government parties.

        In Germany, the owner of Trigema, a sportswear manufacturer regularly calls for the reinstatement of (personal !!!) responsibility and liability on every level of management.

        No golden parachutes. Whoever destroys the company pays up.

        We had our own "system relevant" banks and other criminal organisations in 2008 and whoever took a closer look found, that the only real system relevance was down to some investments held by those banks that secured insurances and pension funds. Why those really relevant investments could not have been bought by the state instead of giving the banks money for nothing in return and additionally establishing a state owned bad bank for all dodgy certificates, toxic shares and suchlike is someting not covered by the "too big to fail" and "system relevant" propaganda.

        Want "free market" ? Freedom to fail is part of "free".

        1. Blank Reg Silver badge

          Re: Land of the free

          These too big to fail companies would fail less often if they focused on the long term rather than the next quarter. Cap executive salaries at a couple hundred thousand with any additional compensation coming in the form of stock with a 5 year vesting period.

          And make stock buy backs illegal again to get rid of some of the stock manipulation shenanigans. Then they will actually need to manage the company in a sustainable manner if they want to make the big bucks

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Land of the free

          "No company must be "too big to fail"". True, but sadly they have so become which is why governents regularly bail out large companies.

          "There is no "too big to fail"". See above.

  8. SundogUK Silver badge

    The Register - writing adverts for the US Democrat party, for free!

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Somebody I know is a died in the wool Republican who believes that what happened to President Trump on Twatter and Facebork was censorship. They don't think politicians should be able to be banned from posting on these and similar sites. However they'r are also the first to complain about government interference in businesses. When I suggested banning politics and politicians from these sites it went down badly. Similarly when I asked if they agreed with President Trump using his personal Twitter not the official Whitehouse/POTUS one whilst President.

      He suggested that Google, Twitter, Facebook, AWS, etc. are monopolies. I said you're not forced to use them and if enough people didn't the firms would suffer financially. I suggested that the London Underground was a monopoly. I said they're the sole provider of underground railways in London. However it's different if you're Big Tech apparently, at least according to him. It's impossible to put up whatever you want the world to see, you certainly can't set up your own website/webserver........I'm told by him anyway.

      I wholeheartedly agree with right to repair and find it ridiculous it's taken this long to tackle the problem. Personally I'd add removing bloatware too.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Similarly when I asked if they agreed with President Trump using his personal Twitter not the official Whitehouse/POTUS one whilst President.

        It's fine. Clinton used her personal email server instead of the official State Department one.

        He suggested that Google, Twitter, Facebook, AWS, etc. are monopolies. I said you're not forced to use them and if enough people didn't the firms would suffer financially.

        That one gets a bit more complex. So the US has laws regarding archiving official correspondence. Clinton broke those, so perhaps did Trump. Or just gave the official archivists an additional challenge to archive all Trump's social media utterances. This is possibly an aspect of legislation not keeping up with technology, or just whether Presidential Archives are really a good thing. Especially given a lot seem to be hard copy. Digitising those could be a fascinating project for historians though.

        But there's also been a bunch of fuss about hostile actors, ie Trump.. I mean Russia using honest American social media stuff to influence elections. That of course is the sole purvue of the US's two and some bits parties, who of course use Twatter & Facepalm to officially engage with and communicate to potential voters.

        Which is the fun part. If those platforms are 'official', and many federal and state entities use them for official communications.. Then is it right to censor some or all of those, if it offends someone's political sensibilities?

        Currently it is, ie their house, their rules. But stopping a sitting President from communicating via some of the biggest social media platforms was a bold and risky move, and it's easy to cry censorship. Then again, friends shouldn't let friends use either Twatter or Facepalm.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          "It's fine. Clinton used her personal email server instead of the official State Department one." In no way relatable.

          "Clinton broke those, so perhaps did Trump" If clinton did then Trump did. Lest we forget that was a major platform during the election campaign, so if it was so massively important then Trump and the current GOP are blatant hypocrites Which if course they are.

          you seem to be ignoring that Pence was a vocal critic of Hillary Clinton's private email server set-up. His email account was last summer when many of his contacts received emails saying Mr Pence and his wife had become stranded in the Philippines and urgently needed money.

          it seems that while Mr Pence was throwing rocks at the Democratic nominee last year, he was living in a digital glass house.

          Guess who else has a private email server they use for official govt business:

          Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R)

          New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)

          Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R)

          Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R)

          Colin Powell

          Condoleeza Rice

          Guess who lost 155,000 email messages by using a private unsecured email server for official govt work...

          If you guessed George W. Bush, give yourself an pat on the back!

          Funny that both you and the GOP have very, very selective memories isn't it.

          GOP = Party of lying hypocrites.

    2. Shalghar

      Sometimes your personal favourites are simply so bad that any news about their (mis)deeds seem to be advertisements for "the enemy" (tm).

      That´s a game that germanys pseudo ecological party ("die Grünen") actually plays as more and more of the multiple issues of their favoured candidatess surface.

      I wouldn´t dare to judge if Biden is any better than any other US president as i have enough issues with the regular "choose the worst possible candidate" event that every party in germany celebrates every election period.

      At least we officially have six "different" parties in the Bundestag. Doesn´t change much apart from more different colours on the election posters but if there is no political difference, at least there is "artistical" difference.

      As with enforcing the rules, same sad picture here. Whatever "watchdog" has been instated, its constantly fast asleep or redirects the responsibility to the complainants.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      SundogUK, parroting Russian propaganda for free. Or are you getting paid for promulgating lies and bs.

  9. JohnBonachon

    I don't trust in politics, which one? all of them.

    So, please, write it down and make public the new rules. Otherwise, I am pretty sick of politics promising X and giving Y.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      It isn't politics you don't trust it is politicians.Saying you don't trust politics is like saying your trust science because certain people lie about things scientific. and they are very often politicians as well.

  10. skataf

    I like buying meds from Canada at 1/4 the price. Tired of being Shkreli'd by the pharmas.

  11. martinusher Silver badge

    But monopoly is in the nature of capitalism

    Although we're schooled from the cradle to think that capitalism is all about competition benefiting the consumer and so on in reality its name says it all -- its all about capital. This has huge implications that are always being glossed over because of all the inconvenient truths it exposes. Return on Investment, for example. Capitalists want the highest yield for the lowest investment (like everyone else) so naturally they want to eliminate competition (form monopolies or cartels) and manage markets to sell what product they have for the highest prices. It really isn't important to them whether their activity is socially useful or not, their world is the spreadsheet and if the spreadsheet says that they can make more money by investing in a parasitic activity -- or laying off thousands of workers -- then that will be the course of action chosen (tempered by any legal or public relations considerations -- timing is everything).

    We've been through a generation of deregulation, unfettering capitalism to do what it does best. I don't know why people complain so much -- they keep voting for this. They may have noticed that their views are irrelevant since with the media consolidated and government captured they're not really that important any more -- as some notable dictators in the past (and one or two Republican politicians of today) have noted its not the number of votes that count but their quality.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: But monopoly is in the nature of capitalism

      "capitalism is all about competition" You mean like this

      https://rwer.wordpress.com/2021/06/25/power-1917-2019-u-s-income-inequality-and-union-membership/

  12. DrXym Silver badge

    Right to repair is all well and good...

    ... but what's to stop companies from using counter measures? e.g. if a tractor encases the main board in epoxy so even if a capacitor pops the whole thing is an expensive replacement.

    And on a more basic day to day level with consumer electronics, we've already how legislation has done nothing to stop devices from glueing and sealing the battery in. It is reasonable that someone might want to replace the battery and legislation should be such that it should be easy to do without special tools, e.g. make the back cover removable like it used to be.

    Obviously there is a lot of grey area. e.g. devices with software agreements & firmware, devices that come with subscriptions etc. but legislation should be smart enough to account for that.

    1. Andre Carneiro

      Re: Right to repair is all well and good...

      Smart legislation needs to be extremely good legislation both to make it adaptable as well as avoid unintended consequences.

      And extremely good legislation requires extremely good legislators.

      You can see where this all falls down, yes?

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Right to repair is all well and good...

        > You can see where this all falls down, yes?

        Where all this falls down is that there is the spirit of the law, which is simple and obvious, but what gets applied in court is the letter of the law, which means that all that finally matters is some semantic battle over what a given phrase really means.

        As a result, a simple notion like the right to repair stuff you bought will need to be encased in a appallingly huge mountain of words and formulations, and yet some lawyer will still find a loophole and all will have been in vain.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Right to repair is all well and good...

      Any Right to Repair legislation must incorporate terms to limit methods of manufacture that are deliberately obstructive to normal repair methods.

      That should include the unecessary sealing of components in matrix or the use of specialised tools that ate specifically designed to make self or third party repair difficult or impossible.

      Additionally, many manufacturers include relatively cheap short life components such as bearings into expensive sub assemblies that push a repair beyond economical. Those situations should also be covered.

      1. Shalghar

        Re: Right to repair is all well and good...

        And how about the requirement to unlock any software lock whenever the manufacturer stops the "support" and updates ?

        Concerning mobiles and other software locked things, that would also mean unlocking the hardware after the two year contract - or at the day of purchase if bought at once.

        Sadly i see a stream of "slightly" different replacement parts coming if any real right to repair is instated as each and every new (sub)model might have intentional "tolerances" and "design features" built in. Remember how long it took to pseudo enforce a halfway standardised USB port... Then take a look at LTE and its unwanted child 5G.

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Right to repair is all well and good...

      Unnecessarily expensive repairs are also in scope for this legislation (as I understand it, if not, they soon will be, Biden is no dummy in that regard).

    4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Right to repair is all well and good...

      ... but what's to stop companies from using counter measures? e.g. if a tractor encases the main board in epoxy so even if a capacitor pops the whole thing is an expensive replacement.

      Already happening, as you say with non-replaceable batteries. See also-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVSw3KSevEc

      Tesla wanted $16,000 to fix this NEW Model 3, we did it for $700! The importance of Right to REPAIR!

      Bloke in a Model 3 runs over something in the road, minor collision writes off the vehicle. For whatever reason, a connector between the battery pack and the cooling system ended up cracked. Tesla wanted $16k to fix this by replacing the entire battery pack, even though the fix really involved replacing a part that probably costs <$1.

      So ok, the cooling system is a tad critical to prevent unwanted cabin heating. But as they point out, it's a low temperature & pressure system and a simple fix. There were some other issues highlighted, like the lack of Tesla service facilities that can do said fixes. Or Tesla apparently refusing to let the driver keep the old battery pack, even though that's a legal right where the driver lived. Lucrative though if you can refurb the battery and sell it again for another $16k.

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