Why buy a new iPhone when you can fix your old one?
Your phone, your tablet, or you don’t hesitate to pull out a big chunk of your downward change and buy a laptop. But if you have expensive hardware for a while, you know how they start to slow down a bit. Instead of focusing on fixing old products, tech giants are busy making new products, and the life cycle is the same.
Now, a global grassroots researcher wants to rethink the technology economy from the devices we already have. In short, they want to repair old equipment, not always buy new equipment.
As the “circular economy” has gained momentum around the world, maintenance enthusiasts and consumer advocates hope to reverse the one-off economy through a new repair culture. The core idea is to empower consumers as producers and provide them with tools and technical skills to solve problems. Even just recycling electronic waste – the most just transfer the waste from landfills out – this type of “recycling” completely avoid the waste, encourage the transparency of the supply chain, and have the product liberated from copyright and patent laws as the user’s political value recycling their control of the machine.
However, the virtuous cycle of recovery through maintenance runs counter to Big Tech’s profit flows, which are triggered by the planned abandonment of the monopoly. Since the dominant smartphone and other products are basically designed to be disposed of, the product line turns over every few months, and why? Not to mention the barriers to other, more sustainable gadgets, such as guaranteed limits. Many products also include embedded software, because too strict licensing agreement may block the way you want them to consumers use their hardware, in a fixed time to repair it, or let others to operate it – this will not only affect the preprogrammed electronic equipment such as mobile phones, and affect the now made daily household electrical appliances, digital functions like a thermostat, smoke alarm, and even toys.
The maintenance association, a network of maintenance activists from small service providers to enthusiasts, is using the “right to repair” policy to publicize the technology. The fair repair bill proposed in several states would require manufacturers to provide buyers with the same “diagnostic and maintenance information” as their own proprietary services. This principle can be applied to other forms of technology, such as cars and farm tools, medical equipment, or novel “Internet of things” devices. To repair the advocates also seeks to reform the federal patents and copyright restrictions, in order to prevent the digital economy is intellectual property restrictions colonization, such as a ban unlock smartphone “at the end of the license agreement”.
As the industry believes, such a move would not hamper future product innovation. On the contrary, self – fixation stimulates creativity. If technology giants like apple want to live up to their hype “social responsibility” brand, they will not be able to rely on with maximum limit waste and resource development to realize the profit maximization of business model.
In recent years, some manufacturers have formed their own image by providing proprietary electronic waste recycling, including collecting old products and reprocessing them into raw materials. But the industry’s “green” certification standards often overlook the issue of fixing or reusing, which advocates say is the greenest, even zero-waste option. If the valuable minerals or metals cannot be out of the China’s bin microprocessors are cost effective extraction, then deal with electronic waste may be recovered from the waste hardware very little.
“Excessive focus on recycling is a goal of self-interest,” said Gay Gordon Byrne, co-founder of the maintenance association, via E-mail. “The recovery of raw materials is the durability of the admission of failure… . Consumers have not been given the opportunity to extend their use, nor have they sold or donated products to downstream users. ”
According to circular economy production analysis of the MacArthur foundation, through the cycle production chain prolongs the service life of smart phones will lead to environmental and economic benefits: recycling and refurbishing 95% of the total production will lead to atmospheric emissions of 3 million tons of carbon emissions. And since Europe’s smartphone market is dependent on non-eu manufacturing, the reabsorption of materials would offset an international trade deficit of $2 billion to replace new imports.
Maintenance association according to analysis of the industry standard, according to a recent analysis of environmental sustainability industry certification system, now even the most environmentally friendly in the electronics industry has also often ignore the maintenance, to reduce the excessive consumption and waste.
Most of the new designs include strong adhesives, unchangeable batteries, non-upgrade components, proprietary screws and hard-to-open shells. In addition, owners, recyclers and refurbishers are unable to obtain the manufacturer’s manual for repair and disassembly of these equipment, reducing the economic viability of the reuse.
Technology companies often cite “trade secrets” or warn that making technology too transparent can lead to hacking risks. But the main purpose of the industry is to extract the maximum profit after the point of sale, the maintenance association said.
According to Gordon Byrne, “manufacturers have a commercial interest in preventing maintenance, because without repair, they will have any failure to sell new products. In addition, the company “has a vested interest in reducing production costs,” which has spurred the use of minimum acceptable specifications and minimal labor use for parts. Glue is cheaper than screws. ”
Maintenance association believes that any meaningful industry within the scope of the recycling code must be included in the repair themselves, rather than just another expensive industrial recovery process (in many cases, the burden of its own pollution and energy), and provide a higher rating products, built continue beyond the next autumn.
Building reusability may involve simple design features, such as allowing the replacement of a battery, or simply a free DIY repair statement as an alternative to a formal service plan.
The rights of the Supreme Court recently reiterated WeiXiuZhe in landmark lawsuit, demolition of lexmark ink hegemony, one-time, on the basis of its irreplaceable carbon powder compact mode of production chain, effectively prevent users from filling the cartridge (although provides an elaborate waste toner cartridge recycling program as the scheme of environmental responsibility) under the threat of a patent infringement. Court ruled that the narrow is beyond the scope of patent law lexmark, because once the product sales to consumers, it is no longer a monopoly, but to become a private personal property of the buyer, the ownership of the rights and interests as “.
The electronic frontier foundation said the verdict is to examine the enterprise knowledge monopoly, declared that “should not be allowed to have a patent or copyright owner control and destroy any threat to its profits of the business of hunting license”.
Some progressive producers are also dealing with disposable patterns. For example, Fairphone is another smart phone brand designed specifically for recycling, with environmentally friendly features such as easy-to-repair machinery and recyclable materials that can reduce overall carbon consumption.
By separating users from the profit chain, the rights movement provides another way to recover production data. For some people, the maintenance of value-added may bring skilled job opportunities. The process of restoring repair can even be adjusted by encouraging the training of open innovation services, not just neoliberal monopolies. Eventually, the restoration culture revolves around local ingenuity: when we do more with less, people are richer.