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Automakers Want to Outlaw Gearheads From Working on Their Own Cars

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...Control freaks generally have a very low tolerance for either irony or humor.  8)
-40hz (November 25, 2015, 02:31 PM)
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Just what exactly do you intend to mean by that?   >:(

Here's the same basic issue reflected in electronics:

Consumer groups, repair shops want open book on electronics 

BOSTON -- Makers of electronic devices, from smart phones to coffeemakers, are keeping repair plans secret and limiting access to parts, a veil that forces many small repair shops out of business, consumer advocates say.

Electronics repair business and consumer groups now want lawmakers to intervene, forcing manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, Samsung and Apple to openly sell parts and provide diagnostic manuals to independent repair shops.

Limiting access to plans and parts gives manufacturers reign over the secondary repair market, said Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition, based in New Jersey.

"Repair is a big profit for a lot of companies, and sometimes it's more profitable than selling hardware," he said.

Manufacturers are pushing back against the right-to-repair proposal, arguing that controlling repairs keeps their products working safely. In addition, they note, copyright law lets them protect their intellectual property against unscrupulous operators who might pirate it.

"This is the kind of thing that stifles innovation in the tech sector," said Matt Mincieli, Northeast region executive director for TechNet, which advocates for technology companies. "When you take away the ability of a high-technology company to control their products, you open up trade secrets and intellectual properties to potential infringement."

Mincieli said requiring device-makers to hand over sensitive diagnostic information would hurt Massachusetts' competitiveness at a time when it's compared to Silicon Valley as a hub for high-tech research and development.

"This is being driven by mostly people who want to get into the secondary repair market but don't want to pay the money to become a certified dealer - not consumers who are clamoring to get their devices fixed," he said.

To get certified to work on Apple computers, for example, technicians need to take college-level training courses online, pass several exams and pay a licensing fee of about $150, according to the company's website.
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