Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, has passionately backed the right-to-repair cause, despite Apple’s opposition to the movement.
The movement is pushing for repair tradesmen and users to have the legal right to access information and parts to repair the devices that they own.
"We wouldn't have had an Apple had I not grown up in a very open technology world," Wozniak said. "It's time to recognise the right to repair more fully."
Right-to-repair laws already exist in the US and Europe, but these are limited to vehicles and appliances respectively.
Apple has been one of the fiercest opponents to the right-to-repair movement. The tech giant only allows authorised technicians to carry out repairs on their products, and doesn’t generally provide repair information or parts.
Apple has also been accused of paying lobbyists to convince lawmakers that it is extremely dangerous for anyone other than Apple to repair their devices.
"Companies inhibit [the right to repair] because it gives the companies power, control, over everything,” Wozniak said. "It's time to start doing the right things."
"When starting Apple, I could never afford a teletype for input or output...they cost as much as two cars."
However, Wozniak was able to build his own solution using a TV as he had access to the schematics.
"I didn't have to afford something I could never afford," Wozniak said. "I wasn't restricted from anything that kept me from building that computer and showing the world that the future of personal computers is going to be a keyboard and a TV.
"That all came from being able to repair things, and modify them, and tap into them yourself."
Wozniak also said that the Apple II was so successful because it was an open platform which shipped with designs and schematics.
Right-to-repair campaigner Louis Rossmann has begun a campaign to raise money to get right-to-repair passed into law by a direct-ballot initiative. So far he has raised $750,000 of the $6m required.
Wozniak’s endorsement will help move things along for the campaign as Rossmann says that many interested donors were waiting for a figurehead to “go first” before they made their donations.
The right-to-repair movement has gained traction in Europe and the US. The European Commission has announced plans for right-to-repair rules for smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and US President Joe Biden is expected to announce an executive order on the subject within the next week
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