iFixit holds this truth to be self-evident: Repair is freedom. But if you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, then you know that freedom is increasingly under attack. It used to be that when you bought something, you owned it. You could use it, modify it, tinker with it, repair it, and reuse it as you saw fit. Because it was yours.
Under the pretense of enforcing copyright law, manufacturers have been systematically chipping away at our ownership rights. That’s not acceptable. And iFixit isn’t just going to stand by and watch it happen. Today, we draw a line in the sand.
iFixit is proud to announce the Digital Right to Repair Coalition—a united front of consumers, environmental organizations, the aftermarket, and digital rights advocacy groups. Together, we are fighting to take back control of the things we own.
Why? Right now, people aren’t allowed to jailbreak their own game consoles—because the Copyright Office says we can’t. Independent repair technicians and consumers aren’t allowed to buy replacement parts for Apple products or Nikon cameras—because manufacturers don’t like it. Even common consumer appliances—like Keurig coffee brewers and CatGenies—come encumbered with DRM designed to limit what consumers can do with their own stuff.
If you bought it, you should own it. That means you should be able to modify it, resell it, reuse it, and repair it in whatever way is best for you.
A free, independent market for repair and reuse is more efficient, more competitive, and better for consumers. Repair helps create local jobs, and reuse protects the environment by reducing waste. The freedom to maintain, innovate, and improve upon our products is imperative. These basic freedoms are essential to economic growth and creativity, and must be preserved for the 21st century.
In 2013, members of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition helped pass legislation that made it legal for consumers to unlock their cell phones. On behalf of consumers, we stood up to the Copyright Office, cell phone manufacturers, and big wireless carriers—and we won. And in 2014, Digital Right to Repair members also won an anti-trust suit against Avaya for its attempts to block competitors from performing maintenance on telecommunications systems. But cell phone unlocking and Avaya are just symptoms of a much larger problem. Now, we’re attacking the source. We are fighting at the state and the federal level for your right to tinker and repair.
As consumers, we have the right to ...
- Information: The documentation, software, and legal ability we need to repair our own products -- or choose someone we trust to do it for us.
- Parts and tools: Fair access to service parts and tools, including diagnostics.
- Unlock our devices: We should be able to unlock and modify the software and firmware that is required to operate our products.
- Resale: We should be able resell our products—including the software needed to operate them.
- Repairable products: Designers should integrate design for repair and recycling principles into product development.
Want to help us fight for your right to repair? Join the coalition. Together, we can change the world.
Founding Digital Right to Repair members: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), iFixit, The Wireless Alliance, the Service Industry Association, the Basel Action Network, Electronics TakeBack Coalition, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Fix the DMCA, Continuant, Association of Service and Computer Dealers International (ASCDI), International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers (IAMERS), PC Rebuilders and Recyclers (PCRR), Reuse Alliance, Public Knowledge, Fixit Clinic, Fixer’s Collective, and dozens of repair companies.