our fight for Right to Repair?
ASK-Solutions encountered broken equipment which we could not have repaired anywhere. For which it even wasn't possible to buy a replacement other than on the second-hand market which was possibly already broken or would break soon. Everyone at ASK-Solutions has a background in enjoying working not only in front of, but also behind a computer. Or has, in addition to computers, a hobby or interest in electronics, soldering or metal and woodworking. It was a logical step to carry out repairs for others as well.
As a matter of fact, we only do this. However, housings or buttons of electronic devices also break. Some machines have motors and rotating shafts that wear out.
In the old days, when you bought a device, you were given a schematic of how it worked. Even with your computer, you got a manual explaining how the computer worked, with schematics of the different circuit boards. Some devices even came with a trace layout or board view. In a manner of speaking you could build the device from it. Why were these there? To be able to repair, modify and improve the device.
This started to change in the 1990s. There was an increasing emphasis on copyright, patent and intellectual property. For example, in 1996 the first legislation in the direction of the DMCA came at the request of the media and entertainment industry. Manufacturers stopped providing schematics and started practices such as scraping off part numbers in appliances. Schematics and parts were still available, but only on request and sometimes not to everybody.
Now this culture shift has gone so far that schematics are no longer available on request to anybody at all and manufacturers prohibit their trade partners and suppliers from selling parts to others. More and more measures were devised by manufacturers to catch people and repair companies ‘illegally’ opening and repairing devices. This under the claim of
voiding warenty, which, goes directly against consumer rights. Legislation clearly states that warranty is only voided if the manufacturer can prove a direct causality between the defect and the act of opening or otherwise mishandling of the device in question.
Manufacturers have also noticed that it is in their best short term financial interest not to have devices repaired, but to have them replaced with a newly purchased device. As far as manufacturers are concerned, no device, machine or vehicle can be repaired without the manufacturer. Most manufacturers will steer the consumer towards replacement when receiving a repair request. This harms the environment, consumer purchasing power, the economy, the world's food supply and world safety.
Devices, machines and vehicles must be able to be maintained and repaired by the owner or independent repairshops. Without the need to cannibalize old appliances in search of spare parts. This issue has grown that it hurts consumers financially, the environment, availability of resources, the economy, and it een hurts harvests because farmers can't work their land for weeks to months, and even military forces, who are faced with long downtimes because of unfixable broken equipment.