Thursday 8 July 2021 5:33 pm

Apple founder Steve Wozniak backs right-to-repair movement

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has thrown his weight behind the burgeoning right-to-repair movement despite resistance from the company he helped to build.

The right-to-repair movement calls for new laws guaranteeing users access to information and parts to fix their own devices.

Current laws in the US and Europe limit right-to-repair rules to vehicles and appliances respectively.

But campaigners have called for legislation to be expanded to cover consumer electronics.

In a video posted to Cameo, Wozniak came out in support of the movement, saying he was “totally supportive” and that the people behind it were “doing the right thing”.

“We wouldn’t have had an Apple had I not grown up in a very open technology world,” he said. “It’s time to recognise the right to repair more fully.”

The tech entrepreneur, who founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976, said the Apple II computer shipped with full schematics and designs.

“This product was the only source of profits for Apple for the first 10 years… So why stop them? Why stop the self-repair community?” he said.

The comments put Wozniak in conflict with Apple, where he is still technically an employee.

The tech giant has been accused of hampering efforts to expand right-to-repair laws and has reportedly hired lobbyists to persuade US politicians that repairing devices can be dangerous.

“Companies inhibit [the right to repair] because it gives the companies power, control, over everything,” he said. “It’s time to start doing the right things.”