Strong support for the growing right to repair Steve Wozniak Voices

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Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images for Discovery (AP) – Woz claims some early breakthrough from Apple could never have occurred hadn’t so many gadgets been open source back in the 1970s and the 1980s. In a growing fight between big technology companies and the people who use their products, Steve Wozniak, the emblematic co-founder of Apple, recently spoke in support of the right to repairs.

In his latest video of Cameo, which was made in response to Louis Rossman, a leading repair lawyer, Woz said he had previously been prevented from deeply engaging in the matter, and now it was time for him to talk about something that “my emotional affection.” Woz said after his own research on the subject, that he “comprehensively supports” the right to repair the movement and that the people behind the movement “do what is right.”

Woz continues in this video to illustrate how open-sourcing technology was instrumental to many of his early breakthroughs, such as being able, back during the day, to manipulate the video input in TVs. Woz also mentioned the breakdown of Ma Bell, a catalyst that allowed consumers to make better gadgets in a variety of styles and colours, while Apple even sent Apple I with full design details that allow home users to understand the device easily and tinker with the device. It also made it easier for users to understand and color it.

The irony is, of course, that even though Woz is not an official employee of Apple since he left the company in 1985, Apple together with other major technology gifts, such as Microsoft, were the biggest players in the battle against movement reparation, Apple typically obliging its customers to visit its shops or send mail to their machines to simplify the repair process.

But the swell behind the right to repair moving, which seeks the users to free themselves to repair their own technology and devices, feels like it’s finally reached the tip, after years of building momentums, a new support from figures such as Woz, and similar efforts in other countries.

Earlier this week, reports were published that the Administration of Biden was preparing a new Executive Order to urge the FTC to draft new rules on right-to-repair, which might endow the ability of people to repair their own gadgets.

In particular, Blossomberg anticipates the language recommendations in Biden Directive to include the specific mention of mobile telephone and other machinery repairs in new regulations, such as farm equipment that are frequently manufactured software-locked and prevent farmers from servicing their own equipment.

And while the FTC will ultimately determine U.S. finalized rules and regulations, including cell phones in US copyright law is a crucial point to differentiate from the UK, which recently enacted its own right to reparate devices, such as TVs and washing machines, leaving other consumer technologies such as phones and laps without support.

Finally, laws for repairs are not only important for people to serve and repair their own devices, but also they could help support the next generation of engineers who, like Woz, could use skills developed for tinking gadgets one day to help create the next big technology company. Their right to repair laws is important.