Appearing before the Productivity Commission, Democrats Right-to-Repair campaigner Adrian Lozancic (aged 19) made a convincing case for reform that would challenge the anti-competitive tactics of big tech.
Australians are being ripped off by big tech manufacturers who use legal and technical tools to make repair of devices expensive or impossible.Adrian Lozancic, Young Democrats Right-to-Repair campaigner
I’m thankful the Productivity Commission is listening and hopeful that we will see reform in this space.
The Commission cited the Democrats submission throughout its initial report and it seems likely that final recommendations will include stronger oversight and fairer regulation.
We hope and expect this reform will open up more options for repair, in a more competitive space with greater transparency. This is extremely important to young people, especially upgradability.
We’ve spoken to many people who only needed a new GPU or RAM but had to purchase a new device instead. The greed of big tech is wasting money young people don’t have and devices are ending up in landfill that could have been repaired or repurposed.
We rebutted sensationalist claims by lobbyists at the hearing that repair reform would lead to “devices blowing up”.
Independent repairers and consumers can repair or upgrade a device at no greater risk than a manufacturer. There are plenty of examples of people upgrading their RAM, CPU, GPU or storage and they’re still living and breathing!
Independent repairers and DIY options are essential. Without them, manufacturers like Apple will continue charging consumers $1500 for a fix that an independent repairer could offer with a $15 chip and labour.
We recommend changes to stop repairs or upgrades from voiding warranty, an Australian star rating for repair, and reform to protect the local repair industry from big tech legal, software and hardware bullying tactics.
Photo by Kilian Seiler on Unsplash