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Re: OT: Huge Right to Repair Win for Consumers

On Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 2:07 AM deloptes <deloptes@gmail.com> wrote:
> John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
> > So, why should laws protect the intellectual property of software
> > companies but not the IP of hardware companies?
> >
> Are patents not enough?
> > What supporters euphemistically call a "right to repair" is in reality an
> > initiative against the right of companies to protect their intellectual
> > property.
> >
> No, it is not correct.
> > Why should any company take the risk of investment for new hardware
> > developments when they have to fear that every other company in the world
> > will get free access to their blue prints?
> >
> It is not about the blue prints. If someone wants the blue prints they will
> get them anyway.
      Exactly. That is covered by patent laws, copyright laws, and
laws against reverse engineering. There are, of course, certain
countries which are known to copy other's ideas -- their government
claims "they need to know what other nations are doing" -- and flood
the market with cheaper copies, have their government protect those
national copycats, but also have that same government be very
aggressive on copying the IP of its nationals. But that is a different

This is about the centuries-old tradition of having independent shops
working on other manufacturers' products, be it due to the lack of
dealerships within a reasonable distance, quality of service and
employee attitude (I am staring at you Mercedes, Toyota, and specially
John Deere), and on a very far last place, price. If you take a
vehicle/computer to a shop, you should find one that earns your trust.
And let others know of your experience so people who do a great job
are rewarded.

Same goes with parts: there are manufacturers who only sell to OEMs,
some which will make different versions (sometimes just the part
number, other times with different firmware) for the aftermarket, and
yet some who will supply both chains. All of them may face other
companies pirating their parts, but the latter makes it much easier
for buyers to get the original item. I can walk to the Honda
dealership today and walk out with Honda-branded manual transmission
oil, which is cheaper than all but the Wal Mart housebrand. I can
email supermicro's support and they will tell me which server
motherboard they have that fits my needs and could not care less where
I buy its CPU -- as long as it is supported, but actually they are
flexible -- and even the motherboard; other vendors will only sell a
motherboard with a complete server wrapped around it.

Yes, people need to learn that while cheap may be low quality, price
is not an indicator of quality.

But now you have companies -- I am not going to mention Apple, VW, and
John Deere but I am thinking on them -- who make products whose
replacement parts can only be installed at the dealership because you
need access to a dealer-only computer which will tell the
computer/car/tractor/sex toy that not only that is an original item
but also that they give their blessing. One of these went one level up
to require yearly licensing or their tractor will just stop working.

>From a business standpoint -- read the history of the Gillette
disposable blade -- it makes sense to make products that have a
somewhat short life and cannot be repaired, so customers have to buy a
new one.[2] I do not know about you but I like to keep things running
until the replacement is superior enough or has the right new features
to warrant me buying it, which is why I am now shopping for a new

About giving stuff away, there are companies who have been known to
make their old versions' information available to third parties.
Toyota for instance has given royalty-free access to its
hybrid-vehicle patents[1]. Don't think they are doing that for the
goodness of kumbaya only; I doubt they are including their latest
tech, and there is financial wisdom in making your way of doing things
the de facto one.

> > The claim that hardware companies intentionally make it hard to repair
> > consumer products is a conspiracy theory. In reality, a consumer product
> > is primarily optimized for production costs which implies cheap capacitors
> > or cases that are glued together.
> >
      <cough> John Deere <cough>
> You are also a conspiracy. The most highly payed engineers are those that
> construct (mostly the enclosure) of the product in such a way that it can
> not be opened without breaking.
> I wonder from which universe you are coming now.
> > Lots of consumers seem to forget that a product sold into the market not
> > only must cover the material costs but also the costs of engineering,
> > marketing, customer support, customs, compliance tests and so on. And in
> > the end, you still want there to be a small profit left which is what
> > makes the whole business model viable in the first place.
> >
> I wonder from which universe you are coming now (again).
> This is not true since products are made in China or Asia and cost nothing,
> but are sold here for much higher price. Wake up - it is only about profit!
> The small profit you talk about is if you manufacture in the west with
> expensive labor cost.
> It is about the greed of the share holders - not a conspiracy but evidently
> proven.
> And BTW the reason is on Wall Street - it turned into a casino and is much
> easier to make money. It sucked the money from the industry in the past
> 15y.
> But this does not have anything to do with the right to repair.
> > If law initiatives also now want to take away the exclusive rights of
> > hardware designers over their blueprints and hence the market advantage
> > over competitors that they took an investment risk for, companies will
> > lose the incentive to design and develop new products.
> >
> > Companies aren't charities so in the end they must protect their
> > investments and have to make profits to survive.
> I am amazed what and how you think. Have you ever seen the movie "The Light
> Bulb Conspiracy" - it was Conspiracy before proven true.
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzJI8gfpu5Y
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWJC5ieUAe4
> you know the term "planned obsolescence" ???
> The right to repair is about availability of spare parts, manuals and
> ability to open the enclosure of a product without breaking it.
> It will also reduce environmental pollution and help us live better.
> I repair a lot. I give you two examples.
> 1. A display does not work anymore. A display costs about 100,-. It turns
> out it is the power supply. Power supply costs 15,-. I could even diagnose
> power supply and replace the broken electronic component, but the risk is
> too high to have other components broken and I do not have proper test
> equipment for this power supply.
> 2. A sound system has a problem - hassle noise, does not turn on/off etc.
> The sound system costs about 70,-. It turns out the potentiometer switch is
> broken. It costs 0,10.
> I have endless list ... especially cars, car electronics and more expensive
> products.
> When you wake up and finally land on mother Earth, come back here to this
> forum to advocate for the greed of shareholders.

[1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-toyota-patents-idUSKCN1RE2KC
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razor_and_blades_business_model

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