It is difficult to start a Monday with discouraging news, but the fact is that the important movement for the right to repair (if you are not on the inside, read more here) has suffered a defeat in the United States over the past few days.
The case revolves around Jessa Jones, owner of a small unauthorized repair shop for Apple devices and host of a YouTube channel with over 65,000 subscribers – in which she regularly defends consumers’ right to repair their devices wherever they want, as they see fit.
Last week, agents US Customs and Border Protection (CBP, the American customs agency) confiscated an order for parts of iPhones requested by Jones, which prompted a debate involving the limits of the state’s action on the work of freelance repair professionals – and the influence that large companies, such as Apple, can take on this type of action.
According to a letter from the agency provided by Jones to Motherboard, 24 iPhones LCD screens and 4 other panels for various devices were confiscated, totaling US $ 262.57 (~ R $ 950). According to the professional, however, the seized cargo had other components not mentioned by CBP, including screens for iPhones 6 and 6 Plus, a glass digitizer iPad mini and several logic board chips, totaling a purchase of US $ 1,727 (~ R $ 6,256) – an invoice shown by her proves the purchase.
The goods were seized at a DHL shipping distribution center, and were coming from China. According to the American customs agency, counterfeit items that violate trademarks and / or patents can be confiscated on entering the country, but Jones said the action may have more obscure roots: the electronics technician said the parts he buys are a mixture of original, refurbished or alternative components (but still, according to her, legal) and which is being targeted for its popularity as the voice of the right to repair.
Although the customs agency says Apple did not act directly on the seizure, U.S. companies can send CBP a list of possible counterfeit products that frequently enter the country, so that the agency can more closely inspect these types of parts. On the other hand, legal professionals who analyzed the case said Jones could win a case against the agency if he wanted to act.
The technician, however, said that he will not file a lawsuit and that he simply hopes that the consumer’s right to repair his products as he wishes is guaranteed.
The case certainly has very convincing arguments for both sides; still – and considering a country like Brazil, where the offer of official assistance is paltry and ridiculously expensive -, I believe it is important to defend the right of consumers to repair their devices as they wish. It is not so difficult; no one is demanding that Apple continue to provide full support or offer an unlimited warranty even after we have repaired it ourselves or taken the devices to unauthorized repair shops. The important thing is just that the basics – parts – be offered. It’s reasonable?