Pravica do popravila

The Economist prinaša zelo dober članek o problemu, s katerim se vse bolj soočamo – da namreč večine stvari, ko se kaj pokvari, ne moremo več sami popraviti. Še več, popraviti jih ne morejo niti lokalni serviserji, pač pa je treba bodisi zamenjati cel aparat ali pa ga poslati nekam daleč v osrednji center. Proizvajalci se branijo, da hočejo na ta način bodisi preprečiti, da bi se uporabniki poškodovali bodisi zaščititi svoje avtorske pravice pri kompleksnih sistemih bodi preprečiti da bi se razpasli hekerji. Vendar gre pri tem za tako različne izdelke, kot so traktorji, pralni stroji in (pametni) telefoni. In če ne bi za vsako figo morali zamenjati celega aparata, bi okolju naredili veliko uslugo.

No, v ZDA in EU se oblikuje gibanje, ki se bori za “pravico do popravila”. Za to, da morajo proizvajalci dati na voljo navodila in orodja, s pomočjo katerih je mogoče lokalnim specialistom popraviti pokvarjene aparate in stroje. Gre za pravico do uporabe svoje lastnine. Prvi uspehi so tukaj. Od poziva  Evropskega parlamenta regulatorjem do zakona v Massachusettsu glede pravice do popravila avtomobilov, na podlagi katerega se je morala ukloniti vsa ameriška avtomobilska industrija.

AS DEVICES go, smartphones and tractors are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. And an owner of a chain of mobile-device repair shops and a farmer of corn and soyabeans do not usually have much in common. But Jason DeWater and Guy Mills are upset for the same reason. “Even we can no longer fix the home button of an iPhone,” says Mr DeWater, a former musician who has turned his hobby of tinkering into a business based in Omaha, Nebraska. “If we had a problem with our John Deere, we could fix it ourselves. No longer,” explains Mr Mills whose farm in Ansley, a three-hour drive to the west, spreads over nearly 4,000 acres.

Messrs DeWater and Mills have more and more company. It includes not just fellow repairmen and farmers, but owners of all kinds of gear, including washing machines, coffee makers and even toys. All are becoming exceedingly difficult to fix—which has given rise to a movement fighting for a “right to repair”. In America the movement has already managed to get relevant bills on the agenda of legislatures in a dozen states, including Nebraska. Across the Atlantic, the European Parliament recently passed a motion calling for regulation to force manufacturers to make their products more easily repairable.

Yet the lack of repairability has large drawbacks. Authorised dealers are often far-flung, much more expensive than independent ones and often cannot fix a problem. Barring owners from tinkering also limits innovation. Many inventions in farming equipment, such as circular irrigation systems, were pioneered by farmers. And not being able to easily mend a device, says Mark Schaffer, a manufacturing consultant, contributes to a problem that already plagues many markets, as more products, from smartphones to washing machines, are thrown away rather than repaired, adding to waste and pollution. The share of new appliances sold to replace defective ones (as opposed to first-time purchases) in Germany increased from 3.5% in 2004 to 8.3% in 2012, according to the Öko-Institut, a think-tank. Washing machines, in particular, are hard to fix. The most common problem is that their bearings fail; when these are sealed away in the drum, repairers cannot access them.

To reverse the trend, but also to defend its industry’s turf, the Repair Association, a lobby group funded by repair shops as well as by environmental organisations and other charities, wants states in America to pass “right to repair” laws. These would require firms in all industries to provide consumers and independent repair shops with the same service documentation, tools and spare parts that they make available to authorised service providers. The hope is that once an important state passes such a law, the country will follow—as was the case in the car industry after Massachusetts in 2012 passed a right-to-repair law for cars that led to a national memorandum of understanding between carmakers and repair shops.

Vir: The Economist

%d bloggers like this: