Device makers from Apple to John Deere have adopted strategies to thwart the repair of the products they sell. In response, state legislatures across the country are considering bills that would require firms to share replacement parts, tools, software updates, and documentation with independent repair shops and consumers. Beyond those legislative proposals, the policy battle over repair extends to courts, administrative agencies, and even presidential campaigns. In part, the repair debate turns on two very different conceptions of consumer attitudes and expectations. Do consumers prefer the convenience and simplicity of replacing their devices when something goes wrong? Or do they expect and value the ability to repair the things they own? This Article presents the results of a nationwide survey of consumers of electronic devices and explores its implications for the burgeoning right to repair movement.
Perzanowski, Aaron, Consumer Perceptions of the Right to Repair (April 24, 2020). Indiana Law Journal, forthcoming.