Fight for your right to fix

The Repair Association is fighting the manufacturing industry for your “right to repair everything.”

Today, with big corporations dominating the manufacturing industry, it is typically difficult for consumers to find specific parts to fix any kind of technology. The Repair Association is an organization hoping to help make the parts accessible to everyone.

With groups like iFixit, Fixer’s Collective, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the association is asking manufacturers to sell tech parts along with instructions on how to fix the product without professional help needed.

“A free, independent market for repair and reuse is more efficient, more competitive, and better for consumers,” the association writes on its website. “Repair helps create local jobs, and repair and reuse benefits the environment by reducing end-of-life electron products.”

Apart from the demands for the manufacturing industry, the association also aims to amend the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to address the growth of a self-taught consumer base.

Not only does iFixit sells repair parts, but the company also provides online guides for individuals seeking to fix their appliances independently. But due to Section 1201 of the DMCA’s “anti-circumvention” provision, people are not allowed to tamper with technology that has copyrighted software.

“Under U.S. copyright law, you’re not allowed to modify protected software or look at it—even for the purpose of repair,” Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit says. “Manufacturers are using other parts of copyright law to restrict outside access to service manuals, schematics, and repair instructions. They are developing an unfair monopoly over the aftermarket of their goods.”

As unjust as it is, the monopoly is defended by lawyers and lobbyists, says Wiens. The Repair Association is needed to represent repairmen, women, local business, to fight for their right to repair.

“We aren’t just fighting for your right to repair smartphones and computers—we are fighting for your right to repair everything,” Wiens says.

Article via Good, 4 February 2016
Photo: Mobile Butchery by Meena Kadri [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Petition against pro-rape meetings

Several thousands have signed a petition in an attempt to reach out to the Scottish government hoping they will take action against the rape advocate.

Last Monday, Cat Boyd started the petition calling for the Holyrood government to stop Daryush Valizadeh, the rape-promoting “neo-masculinist” .

“RooshV (Valizadeh), a militant pro-rape pick-up artist is holding gatherings for his followers in Glasgow and Edinburgh. This makes our cities unsafe for at least half the population. Promoting rape is hate speech, and should be treated as such,” the petition says.

Valizadeh writes that rape should be allowed and claims it would actually be good, as it will help push women to become more alert in situations such as this. He also thinks that by legalizing rape, women will stop showing mixed signals about consent, but in Valizadeh’s previous journal, his movement seems to be in favor of women’s well-being, his next articles show his true intentions.

“Modern women are too broken, unreliable and narcissistic to give men anything reliable besides fornification,” said Valizadeh.

Not only are Glasgow citizens petitioning against his movement, but people several other communities are also taking part in stopping his world-wide meet-ups.

“Pro-rape women-haters are not welcome in Glasgow, as they will find out when they gather in George Square… and have the pish ripped right out of them by decent Glaswegians.

“These men deserve derision and pity. Violence and intimidation is their game and we will not join in,” protestors said.

Valizadeh’s plans failed to execute as they occurred during Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week. His announcement for his plans only encouraged people around the world to promote against sexual abuse.

“The focus is going to be on the fact that all forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence are unacceptable and survivors should not have to tolerate it. There should also be adequate services to support those who have experienced it and clear guidelines for reporting it,” a spokesperson for the week’s organizer said.

Article via The Guardian, 2 February 2016
Photo: End rape_ Sexual Abuse by Your DOST [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


PeaceTones: music as a vehicle for justice and equality

The concepts of justice and equality were once determined only by judges and lawyers, but over time that has changed as technology has made it possible to connect individuals to important issues. PeaceTones, another project founded by the Internet Bar Organization in addition to The Center, works to make those issues even more accessible—by assisting musicians in releasing their music to the world in the hopes it will inspire global change and vitalization of their communities.

This could seem over ambitious. After all, many people listen to music to relax or relieve stress. Would people be receptive to music that connects people to issues or walks of life that are different from theirs? Are people interested in social problems around the world? Can music even have a profound effect? These are important questions, but I would argue that the actions of the general public have already answered them with a resounding yes.

Recently justice has taken on new definitions as individuals share information and opinions on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other popular online platforms. According to a New York Times article from 2009, “Social media can’t ensure social justice. But it can affect the invisibility that is the first barrier to achieving it.” Social media, already a large part of how people interact with their friends and family, has also become extremely important in shaping public opinion about certain issues. An article in the Astana Times explains, “Social media has established new ways of communicating and creating perceptions between businesses and consumers, organizations and their audiences, political offices and their electorate.” So if something that was once primarily used for catching up with friends or sharing funny cat videos can have such a large effect on one’s views, why not music?

An article published by NY Daily News argues that “music has always been a tuneful force for political change“. PeaceTones’ goal is not new or radical, but simply an organized effort to assist talented musicians in the work they are already accomplishing. PeaceTones seeks to provide musicians with the legal, business, and technological skills they need to create and release their music, become leaders within their communities, and share their stories with the rest of the world. Not only does PeaceTones provide mentors and training for budding musicians, the majority of the profits go back to the creators and into projects they choose to help their communities.  The arts have long been used to facilitate change and introduce new ideas, and the nonprofit explains in their mission statement that music especially has the ability to “transcend socio-political and economic divides and speak the universal languages of peace and justice.” Simply put, music is for everyone, despite their connection or background, and provides common ground for people to meet and learn from each other.

If you are interested in learning more about PeaceTones and some of their projects or would like to get involved, please visit their website.

Articles: New York Times, August 13, 2009; Astana Times, February 20, 2015;  NY Daily News, October 10, 2009;

Photo: RED HOT MUSIC- No Shallow thoughts via S Vikek [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]