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I would like to thank The Bike Kitchen for putting on the presentation: The Right to Repair at UBC's Robson Square.  And to Michelle Kaczmarek and Neha Sharma-Masarenhas (both Ph.D. Candidates) for their educational presentation given on July 29, 2023.

From their web page:

UBC’s Bike Kitchen presents “The Right to Repair”, a sustainability forum targeting industry issues surrounding the sale of “built-to-fail” products and consumers’ right to repair their own products across multiple industries, including the bicycles and electronics industries. Participants will hear from a panel of experts about the real-world applications of their research on the challenges facing community repair cafés, local and international policy models for a circular economy, and built-to-fail bicycles & e-bikes.

With their expertise in the bike industry, The Bike Kitchen’s team will be leading a discussion with speakers contributing their insights from UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES), UBC E-Kitchen, the Share Reuse Repair Initiative (SRRI), and Our Community Bikes.

Alongside the panel discussion, participants will be invited to further engage with a range of topics in small breakout workshops led by our facilitators. Learn and discuss the politics of repair, cultures of repair, how industry and economics influence the cost of repair and much more!

And this was a free event with light lunch included too.

Do we have the right to repair our own stuff?

No because....

Corporations may employ various tactics to prevent or oppose the implementation of Right to Repair laws. Here are some common strategies they may use:

1. Lobbying: Corporations often engage in extensive lobbying efforts to influence lawmakers and government officials. They may hire lobbyists or work through industry trade associations to advocate against Right to Repair legislation. These lobbying efforts can include financial contributions to political campaigns or funding studies that present their preferred narrative on the topic.

2. Intellectual Property Claims: Some corporations argue that allowing third-party repair shops or individuals to access repair manuals, diagnostic tools, or spare parts would infringe on their intellectual property rights. They may claim that providing access to such information and parts could lead to counterfeit products or substandard repairs, potentially harming consumers.

3. Safety and Security Concerns: Corporations may raise safety and security concerns as reasons to oppose Right to Repair laws. They argue that allowing unauthorized repairs could compromise product safety and pose risks to consumers. However, advocates of the Right to Repair argue that proper regulations can address these concerns without restricting repair rights.

4. Influence on Trade Agreements: Companies may leverage their influence to shape trade agreements or international treaties in ways that discourage or limit Right to Repair initiatives. This can include advocating for provisions that protect their intellectual property rights or restrict the free flow of repair information and parts across borders.

5. Proprietary Design and Technology: Some corporations design their products in ways that make them difficult to repair, such as using proprietary screws or specialized components that are not easily accessible. This creates barriers for independent repair shops or individuals attempting to fix the products.

6. Fear of Revenue Loss: Manufacturers often have lucrative repair service divisions, and they may worry that Right Repair laws would reduce their revenue streams if consumers choose to repair their devices at more affordable third-party repair shops.

7. Public Relations Campaigns: Corporations may launch public relations campaigns to shape public opinion and sway consumers and policymakers against the Right to Repair. They might highlight the risks of unauthorized repairs or emphasize the convenience and safety of using official repair services.

8. It is not your own stuff! Because of the terms of purchase, you have the limited right to use it as long as you follow the terms and conditions set out. Read the fine print! For example, some electric cars and farm equipment.

Despite these opposition efforts, the Right to Repair movement continues to gain momentum, with consumers, small businesses, and activists advocating for more accessible repair options and regulations that balance consumer rights, safety, and environmental sustainability. As with any legislative process, the debate around the Right to Repair involves multiple stakeholders, and finding common ground can be challenging.

To learn more about this issue, visit:  



6 ways to stop planned obsolescence

Download the "Falling To Fix Report". PDF 3 MB in size

CanRepair:    https://www.canrepair.ca/

Can you explain France's New Law about the Right to Repair?

As of my last update in September 2021, France had enacted a comprehensive law known as the "Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy," which includes provisions related to the Right to Repair. The law was adopted in early 2020 and aims to promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to consumption and waste management. It addresses various aspects of product lifespan, repairability, and waste reduction.

Key provisions of France's law on the Right to Repair include:

1. Repairability Index: One of the central elements of the law is the introduction of a repairability index. Manufacturers of certain electronic and household appliances, such as smartphones, laptops, washing machines, and televisions, are required to display a repairability index on their products and websites. The index rates products on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the highest level of repairability.

2. Access to Information: Manufacturers are obligated to provide professional repairers with access to essential repair information, such as repair manuals and spare parts. This measure aims to facilitate independent repair services and reduce barriers for repair shops to access the necessary resources.

3. Availability of Spare Parts: Manufacturers are required to make essential spare parts available to professional repairers and consumers for a certain period after a product's discontinuation. This provision helps extend the lifespan of products and allows consumers to repair their devices even when they are no longer in production.

4. Prohibition of Planned Obsolescence: The law strengthens measures against planned obsolescence—the intentional design of products to have a limited lifespan or become obsolete after a certain period. Companies found guilty of planned obsolescence can face penalties, including fines and potential prison sentences for responsible individuals.

5. Incentives for Repairs: The law includes provisions to encourage repair activities. For instance, it reduces the value-added tax (VAT) rate on repair services for certain products to make repairs more affordable for consumers.

It's essential to note that laws can evolve, and there may have been updates or modifications to France's Right to Repair legislation beyond my last update. To get the most current and detailed information on France's Right to Repair laws, I recommend referring to official government sources or consulting legal experts familiar with French regulations.

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