The latest technology can be expensive, but knowing that what you buy is yours forever may take the pain out of four-figure purchases a bit. is that you have not purchased the . In certain situations, you end up holding a useless chunk of plastic.
There are many property laws that protect consumers and define their rights. On the flip side, there are also laws that protect corporate interests, loopholes, and gray areas that allow companies to maintain an incredible amount of control over their products. Here are some reasons why you don’t truly “own” the technology you paid for.
On the surface, selling may seem relatively easy. When you give money and receive an item, the item becomes yours. But when we scratch the surface, things get more complicated. When you set up or update your device, you probably skim through a lengthy terms and conditions document. No one, myself included, bothers to read them, but the information they contain is very important.
There are some restrictions. The terms of a contract, which is a contractual document, cannot violate the laws of the country in which it is signed. The law will take precedence and the provision, and possibly the entire contract, will be void immediately. So there’s no chance of accidentally enslaving yourself to Samsung’s software when you agree to one of his updates. However, some of the terms and conditions may worry you. They may have given the company the rights to your images, allowed them to freely remove the content you paid for, and even allowed them to block your device if necessary.
Most of the problems are in the software
If you buy something as simple as a hammer, the manufacturer has little say in what to do with it, and there is no way to enforce its rules. Easier to maintain. When buying a new phone, you might think in terms of components. You bought a 32 megapixel camera, a Snapdragon processor, 8 GB of RAM, and more. You will actually own these components, but they are not phones.
When you buy a phone, a laptop, or even a TV, what you’re buying is something that allows you to run the company that created the software. Apple is known to be very strict with their code, but Android is a bit more open. However, the important thing to note is that you do not own the software your device is running, you are authorized to use it. Those terms are subject to change at any time, and the company that owns the software is free to revoke the license.
What you may have is an expensive paperweight
What if you only have a bit of a device that you actually own and nothing else? One good example is the Oculus Quest 2. Until recently, Meta tied its $399 headset and game library to a valid Facebook account. In Meta’s eyes, it was one account, and what affected the account on one device affected all devices. So if you happen to get permanently banned or your Facebook account is deleted, your game library will go along with it making Quest 2 inaccessible. Headsets and bans came from writing on phones or laptops. Meta blocks quests.
It was even worse for the original Quest owner. This headset was sold before Meta decided to require a Facebook account. Those who purchased the Quest before Meta made the change were told they would have to connect their accounts or lose access to the device. Note that the deadline given to the Quest user was his January 2023, after which Meta removed the Facebook requirement. It worked out in the end, but it’s an example of how technology companies can retroactively determine who can use the devices they sell.
In theory, you could delete your game library and get your Quest 2 working again with a new Facebook account. However, creating a new account to circumvent a ban is a violation of Meta’s terms and, if discovered, will result in a permanent ban on that account as well. Meta recently removed the need for a Facebook account from its Quest headsets, so this is less of an issue.
I can’t do what I want on my iPhone
If your purely mechanical mower breaks down, you can go to a hardware store and choose from a wide variety of parts. Lawn mowers can have a variety of parts, so you can balance cost and quality before buying the right part and continuing with the repair. For the iPhone, things are not so simple. Not purchasing official Apple parts may compromise the functionality of your phone. The off-brand parts you purchase are likely to be identical to the official his Apple parts in almost every respect, but if you don’t believe your phone is from an official source, Apple punishes for it.
Apple has fought against right-to-repair laws for years, and despite a history of making home repairs as difficult as possible for customers, things may be improving. The company announced it is launching a home repair program to make basic repairs easier for customers. The program has no start date, is limited in size, and will likely still use approved Apple parts — but it’s a step in the right direction. Things may be getting better, but it’s getting worse for those with high-end mowers and tractors. facing.
So what can we do?
As mentioned earlier, a lot of the leverage companies have is based on their ownership of their software and the fact that they are allowed to use it. If you want to get your hands on some tech, there are a few things you can do, but no ideal solution. A lot of companies take the “customer experience” very seriously, and Apple is a prime example of that, so let’s bring it up again.
Love it or hate it, Apple products are extremely user-friendly, integrate seamlessly with other Apple products, and are designed with the core user’s needs in mind. Apple can argue that it avoids much of its unpalatable behavior by how much people love their products. If you want to step away and take ownership of your own technology, you’ll be burning bridges with companies like Apple and missing out on some of that experience.
Android users don’t get off lightly either. Our Terms of Service provide you with the right to terminate your account at any time. The termination criteria set out in the terms are very vague and cannot be relied upon in practice if you decide to ban them from the service. Depending on the person. However, if you’re on Android, your phone is severely limited without an active Google account.
Samsung has the power to remotely brick its TVs. The company says it will only be used to fight crime by destroying stolen TVs, but it could theoretically be used to fool innocent people. We’ve partnered with iFixit to help you fix your device at home, making repair-right advancements.
To truly own your tech, you’ll need to use open source software or “jailbreak” your gadget. These actions include manipulating legal gray areas and doing yourself a great deal of trouble. Windows can be annoying at times, but still not as painful as Linux. Using an open source OS requires some technical know-how, and getting software and hardware to work with it can be a time-consuming process.
Parts of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act may make jailbreaking illegal, but Apple is unlikely to make it a police matter. However, it voids the warranty and the company refuses to work with the customer’s jailbroken device. If something breaks, you are yourself. Your phone is also exposed to some security risks, so take this route at your own risk.
things can change on a massive scale
Consumers are not completely helpless. Many countries, including most of Europe and America, have a ‘right to repair’ under construction or on a bill on the books. If you don’t like it when a company tells you what you can or can’t do with an item you paid for, consider writing a letter to a political representative about it. You can express your support for the law on pending repair rights or demand stricter consumer protection.
Politics take time, but there are goods you can buy while waiting for things to change. Some companies have found a gap in the market and now offer modular devices that can be easily repaired. Framework laptops provide a maintenance experience closer to desktop PCs. Users can easily replace broken parts or parts that need upgrading. This idea is not limited to computers. Modular phones are also on the market. The Fairphone is probably the best example to date, offering a modern smartphone experience while being incredibly easy to repair and upgrade.