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  • Cited by 5
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
December 2021
Print publication year:
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Book description

In recent decades, companies around the world have deployed an arsenal of tools - including IP law, hardware design, software restrictions, pricing strategies, and marketing messages - to prevent consumers from fixing the things they own. While this strategy has enriched companies almost beyond measure, it has taken billions of dollars out of the pockets of consumers and imposed massive environmental costs on the planet. In The Right to Repair, Aaron Perzanowski analyzes the history of repair to show how we've arrived at this moment, when a battle over repair is being waged - largely unnoticed - in courtrooms, legislatures, and administrative agencies. With deft, lucid prose, Perzanowski explains the opaque and complex legal landscape that surrounds the right to repair and shows readers how to fight back.


'Aaron Perzanowski has an important story to tell about the erosion of consumer rights, and what government, corporations, and designers can do to reverse it. Packed with groundbreaking research and insights, The Right to Repair: Reclaiming Control Over the Things We Own is an essential guide to fixing the relationship that today's consumers have to the environment, and the stuff they buy.'

Adam Minter - author of Junkyard Planet and Secondhand

'In this powerfully argued account, Perzanowski vividly illustrates how the current era of 'planned obsolescence' has eroded our fundamental right to repair. His book provides both fascinating cultural history and an ambitious but promising path forward.'

Dr Kate Darling - MIT Research Specialist and author of The New Breed

'A definitive text on a definitive issue: will we be allowed to make our things work for as long as they're useful, or will corporations use the law to force us to arrange our affairs to suit their shareholders, at the expense of our dignity, our self-determination, and our habitable future on this planet?'

Cory Doctorow - author of Attack Surface and How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism

'The author who showed us that we don't own the things we 'buy' is back with a new and equally compelling book. Perzanowski explains why we - and the planet - need the ability to fix things when they break, and how the law has taken that away from us.'

Mark A. Lemley - William H. Neukom Professor, Stanford Law School

'Why can't we just fix our stuff? Perzanowski systematically unmasks the obsolescence in our lives, and charts a path to reclaiming ownership before it's lost forever.'

Kyle Wiens - iFixit CEO

'A readable and comprehensive book on a timely issue that affects everyone. Perzanowski shows how the ‘right to repair’ is really a battle over control of the devices we own and use.'

Bruce Schneier - author of Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyperconnected World

'The Right to Repair is a riveting account of the multi-faceted ways in which developers of a wide range of devices today inhibit or thwart the ability of consumers to fix those devices, ways in which laws sometimes reinforce the developer restrictions, and various strategies by which a repair-friendly landscape could be renewed. Consumers have largely ignored the high costs of buying unfixable devices - not just to their pocketbooks but also to the environment. The nascent right to repair social movement is gaining momentum. To understand why, read this book!'

Pamela Samuelson - Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law

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  • 1 - Introduction
    pp 1-13
  • 2 - Why Repair Matters
    pp 14-48


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