What is Right to Repair?
Want to know more about the Right to Repair?
Join the Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation and the IEEE Society for Social Implications in Technology (Australia Chapter) (IEEE SSIT) for the third session in the Challenges for a Cyber-Physical World online seminar series: “Right to Repair”.
In recent years debate concerning the rights of consumers to repair products, devices and machinery emerged as a critical issue at the interface between law, technology and society. Current debate concerning the prospects of enacting rights to repair have largely focused on improving the repairability and interoperability of consumer electronic devices, agricultural machinery and renewable energy systems in the context of existing intellectual property, consumer and data protection regulation.
Over the last decade the advent of the repair café or the public ‘fixit clinic’, where makerspaces are increasingly tuned toward practices of restoration, reuse and rebuilding – alongside the dissemination of online knowhow and tutorials in repair practices – has relocated ad hoc repair practices to public spaces, contributing to a broad social movement engaged in collaborative and cooperative repair practices.
As a response to public activism, the right to repair has also become the focus of significant policy discussion, in advance of anticipated legal reform (particularly in the US and EU). In Australia, recent studies by the ACCC and Productivity Commission demonstrate the salience of the right to repair domestically and the scope of possible future reforms.
In this presentation we discuss two current research projects exploring the constitution of rights to and practices of repair. The first project focuses on a critical analysis of public submissions to the current Productivity Commission inquiry 2020-2021 on the right to repair. The second project explores recent work in informal repair practices engaged in the off-grid solar industry in the Global South.
The Challenges for a Cyber-Physical World Seminar Series brings together interdisciplinary expertise to raise awareness on the issues unique to a society where the physical and the digital are increasingly intertwined. This series is intended for scholars and practitioners from law and other areas who are keen to learn about challenges in a cyber-physical world from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.