Proponents of sports hope that the legislature will reduce the legal barriers and vendor barriers consumers face when repairing equipment. The sport is also an environmental movement.
If consumers purchase used electronic products, the service life of these products will be longer, and the consumption of natural resources and electronic waste generated by the consumer electronics industry will be reduced.
Although Apple is the focus of this campaign. Another tech giant, Microsoft, has also been criticized because of this issue.
Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, stated: “The core aim of the proper repair campaign is that we should be able to repair everything we have.” His company dismantled electronic equipment, provided guidance on maintenance, and sold maintenance tools.
He said: "If I bought a small appliance, its manual should have information on maintenance, and I should also buy related repair parts when the appliance is broken."
Damaged electronic devices are a growing problem. According to the "United Nations Global e-waste Inspection Report," humanity produced 44.7 million tons of e-waste in 2016. Only 20% of them are reused. Waste equipment will leak a series of toxic substances including mercury, cadmium, and arsenic into the environment.
Mining raw materials for the production of new equipment can also cause harm. In Congo, in order to meet the global demand for lithium batteries, child labor is used to work in dangerous cobalt mines. At the same time, these mining practices expose neighboring communities to toxic substances.
At Microsoft'swebsiteAt last, the Internet giant claimed to "build a sustainable future." Its plan includes reducing carbon emissions by 75% year-on-year by 2030.
Build a “net zero water” (water consumption and flat water discharge to the water intake) park in the water-deficient California Silicon Valley. Microsoft also announced that it had recycled 9,500 tons of e-waste in 2016.
But Microsoft still wants to sell more equipment, such as hisSurfaceFor laptops, this is the first notebook to have a 0 repairability score on iFixit. iFixit called this product "without dismantling any possible horrible glue monster without physically destroying the product."
The U.S. Federal Trade Fair Board issued a formal warning on Microsoft’s Xbox warranty terms. Social activists are concerned that this warranty clause will reduce the user’s willingness to repair game consoles. (The Fair Trade Commission also reminded XBOX rivals Sony and Nintendo.)
Microsoft's Surface laptop is the most extreme case where technology companies have blocked users from repairing their products. Microsoft, Apple, and other companies simply don't introduce maintenance packages for their products. This is why other independent maintenance companies, including iFixit, have had to physically dismantle devices such as tablets, cell phones, game consoles, and computers.
Earlier this year, in the state of Washington where Microsoft headquarters was located, a series of companies including Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, and Comcast jointly combated a piece of legislation “mandating that manufacturers allow third parties to obtain product parts and overall structural drawings”. .
The proposal also requires that the use of hard-to-replace batteries is prohibited. Difficult to replace the battery is the cause of many cell phones getting stuck. Over the past few years, similar proposals have constantly tried to pass through the legislature, and very few succeed.
Why is it against this legislation?
In an e-mail, Dan Hewitt, vice president of media relations at the Entertainment Software Federation, defends the claims of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony: “This not only makes intellectual property vulnerable but also undermines the basic rights of consumer safety and privacy.” .
He said that independent maintenance organizations would "arbitragely save costs" while maintaining the console. Hewitt also said: "Share sensitive design drawings and patented hardware data" will make it easier for hackers to invade the device.
Hewitt also mentioned that the Entertainment Software Federation is concerned that Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology will be affected, resulting in the circulation of software piracy. For companies like Microsoft, this is absolutely not allowed.
Microsoft attached great importance to the protection of digital copyrights and sent Eric Lundgren decisively for 15 months.
Jail electronic garbage collector
The 33-year-old Lundgren founded a company called IT Asset Partners, which claims to recycle about 18,000 tons of e-waste every year from large companies including IBM and Sprint. This made him an important figure in the "correct repair movement."
Of course, the computer that recycles and uses also needs the operating system. Lundgren said he bought thousands of Windows Recovery CDs from China to extend the life of second-hand laptops.
After all, Lundgren believes that he can extend the useful life of hardware by reselling these recovery software. He insists that these recovery disks are legitimate because they contain free software that is available on the Internet.
When a user purchases an operating system such as Windows, the user actually purchases the right to use the system. For example, if you go to the supermarket and buy a Lenovo computer, you will generally also purchase a pre-installed Windows operating system license.
This certificate is valid for the lifetime of the equipment and can be transferred according to the resale of the equipment.
However, Microsoft accused Lundgren of profiting through the "false industry chain."
The core of the problem is the certificate, not the operating system itself. If there is a problem with the operating system, you can reinstall it completely.
When the old computer began to change cards, instead of directly losing it, users can rely on the recovery disk to reinstall the operating system to try to solve the problem. Maybe it's not working. It's not too late to lose again. But maybe after reloading, it will take longer.
In China's time, a middleman from Florida, Bob Wolff, told Lundgren that he had a customer who wanted to get the Win7 and XP restore disks for 28,000 Dell laptops. The numbers look great, but Dell sells millions of computers each year.
Lundgren said that 25 cents per production and shipping fee will be charged for each CD. After Lundgren did well, the Party suddenly decided to go for a burn. In the end, Wolff bought all the installation disks in Lundgren's hands for $3,400, 12 cents.
In 2012, the incident occurred and the United States Customs intercepted the shipment. Microsoft accused Lundgren of becoming profitable through a "designed fraud industry chain."
Later, Lundgren was convicted of premeditated smuggling of counterfeit products and criminal copyright violations. He felt that he had done nothing wrong but faced 21 allegations. He believes that these discs are not worth anything at all. He is doing the right thing himself.
Sadly, the court did not think so. The court ruled that the discs were worth $700,000. According to Microsoft lawyers, these discs "affect Microsoft's potential to sell Windows XP and Windows 7 under the revamped registration program."
It is worth noting that it is not necessary to participate in the renovation of the sale plan. There are no provisions in the law that refurbished computers must be sold to Microsoft for payment of certificates. If the refurbishers join the project, their refurbished equipment will be able to get a new Windows operating system at a discount of about $20-40 per computer.
So, although the software itself is free to download, in theory, refurbishers can join the renewal of registration projects and bring profits to Microsoft.
Lundgren said, "The court does not understand the difference between a brand new Microsoft operating system with its own certificate and a system that can be downloaded online for free but requires a Microsoft certificate."
He said: "When Microsoft came to court to testify, they misinterpreted the purpose and value of these CDs. That's why the court gave me a conviction."
The reporter contacted Microsoft in this regard. The company declined to comment on the case of Eric Lundgren.
After the case was reported by the media, Microsoft issued a long blog post titled "Facts about the Case of a U.S. Government Public Prosecution Fake Case." Bowen accuses Lundgren of trying to defraud the community he claims to have fought for.
Microsoft is also trying to wash its stigma against boycotting extended device life.
Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s vice president of communications, said: “We have launched a series of robust projects to fully support the refurbishment and recycling of computers. More than 3,000 companies and individuals have participated in this project, recycling millions of computers.”
Microsoft told reporters that participants in the renovation project had refurbished more than 3 million personal computers in the past 12 months.
In its blog post, Microsoft highlighted the e-mail evidence sent by Lundgren to the prosecutor. However, the defense stated that the email had been altered. Lundgren claimed that Wolff changed his email content for his own protection.
The details of this case are very interesting. Lundgren's manufacturing of these discs may be illegal. He certainly did not follow the rules. But without this email, the case became a person arrested for selling an online free software to extend the life of an old computer.
Lundgren believes that all this is done by Microsoft in order to coerce refurbishers to buy new software that they do not need. Under the threat of legal sanctions, people will be scared and afraid to burn the system to restore the disc.
This will reduce the interest of sellers in old computers. Why risk the legal responsibility to save the old computer? This series of effects will in turn lead to an increase in e-waste.
One point on Microsoft and Lundgren reached a consensus: he should not put Dell's Logo on the disc. He said this is to allow consumers to better understand the function of the disc.
Lundgren said: "My crime was to imprint the Logo on worthless plastic. But this is not a criminal case." He said that this matter would be fined the most and he would not be jailed.
It's too late to say this. The April appeal Lundgren also failed.
Lundgren is not happy about being jailed. However, he said he hopes that the public concerned about this case can send a message to Microsoft and other technology companies: "We will not let you bully this way. If you are still polluting the environment, we will stop you."