Taking a stand opposed to Apple's anti-repair conduct, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple big tech, said he was in favor of users' right of repair to repair their gadgets. The engineer's statement was voiced in a video on Cameo (an app that allows users to purchase custom celebrity videos) in response to a question posed by Louis Rossman, an activist who runs the non-profit Repair Preservation Group Action Fund (“Fund Group Action for the Preservation of Repairs”).
Rossman asked Apple's co-founder about his stance on the right to repair. This is because the topic has been discussed in the United States and new legislation may be announced soon. In response, Wozniak posted an almost 10-minute video — which was also shared on YouTube (see below) — in which he demonstrates support for the right to fix.
“I totally support it and I think the people behind it are doing the right thing,” said the Apple co-founder. "It's time to recognize the right to repair more fully," Wozniak pointed out, stressing that companies often inhibit the right by giving them greater control over everything.
Also during the video, Wozniak said he was too busy to be more directly involved in the matter. However, the engineer stated that the mentality of open code it was important for Apple to get where it is and reminded how the transparency of electronics used to be different in the past.
“We wouldn't have an Apple if we hadn't grown up in a world of very open technology,” he said. “Back then, when you were buying electronic stuff like TVs and radios, every piece of circuitry and designs was included on paper. Total open source”, he concluded.
Shortly after Wozniak's video, Rossman responded to the Apple engineer with a YouTube video in which he asked for monetary help for a direct voting initiative. In fact, the activist started a crowdfunding campaign in April this year. The idea is to raise about $6 million to bring its right-to-repair bill to voters, in order to speed up the bureaucratic processes of the local state legislature (New York).
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Pros and cons
Although Apple recently expanded its Independent Repair Program, the company is heavily questioned about the right to repair. As the company does not provide manuals, components and tools for independent repair companies or even users, device repairs depend on an authorized technical assistance.
On the one hand, this ensures greater security, as these devices have specialized components to handle valuable information, such as bank details, encrypted files, among others — which guarantee the device's good performance. However, politics mean bureaucratic barriers, even in the face of simple fixes like a screen change, for example.
Currently, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received instructions from the Biden government to create a proposed law right of repair, which would oblige companies (including Apple) to provide more information about the components. The apple giant is opposed to the measure and is constantly lobbying for it not to pass.
Wozniak's statement, however, should put even more “firewood in the fire”. After all, a pro-right-to-repair statement from a co-founder of a company that opposes the issue is, to say the least, curious. It will be an important fact to follow, as it may change the policy of several electronics manufacturers.
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