In less than two months, OpenMedia has more than 11,000 signatures on its ‘Right to Repair’ petition, and its executive director is urging for government legislation to be put in place.
Laura Tribe told CBC that by having government legislation it would force tech companies to allow consumers to be in charge of how they repair their phones. She said it would give consumers and third-party repair companies the tools needed to repair phones and it would be done with more reasonable costs.
“[Electronics are] treated as disposable,” she told CBC. “There’s nothing that will increase your cell phone bill than dropping and shattering your screen.”
She added that the petition is giving people “the power to really own their devices.”
More recently, Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Michael Coteau had introduced his ‘Right to Repair’ bill, but unfortunately the bill failed in the Ontario legislature.
Coteau told MobileSyrup though that he wasn’t worried because he was going to give the bill a second life at the federal level.
He explained that a lot of the debate was on intellectual property and cybersecurity. He said that the Conservatives “aligned with the big corporations and it was around the fact that it would compromise intellectual property.”
Coteau’s private member’s bill was the first of its kind to be introduced in Canada. Similar bills have been introduced in the U.S. on multiple occasions but have failed.
“I think that [in the future] more prep work [needs to be done] making sure people know…the legislation would not…compromise IP, [it] can be protected and cybersecurity is not compromised by giving people parts and manuals,” he said.
Tribe told CBC that she too hopes the bill goes to the federal level, despite the fact that the ‘Right to Repair’ falls under provincial jurisdiction.