A Win For Harley Riders

Fuck you, I bought it, it’s MINE.

Cory Doctorow
5 min readJun 26, 2022

StooMathiesen/CC BY 2.0 (modified)

Right-to-Repair is a no-brainer. You bought a thing, you want to fix it — or nominate someone else to fix it for you — and the manufacturer doesn’t. How ever can we resolve this intractable difference of opinion?

It’s a real puzzler. Wait, how about this?

Fuck you, I bought it, it’s MINE.

That’s got a real ring to it, doesn’t it?

If you pay attention to this stuff, you may have noticed that manufacturers tie themselves in knots explaining that they should be able to monopolize parts and service for your stuff — to protect you:

The correct answer to all of these claims is “fuck you, I bought it, it’s mine.”

Repair-hating corporations recognize the power of this argument. That’s why John Deere and GM both told the US Copyright Office that you don’t actually own your tractor, or your car, and you can’t ever own them because the software inside them is only licensed, not sold.

Manufacturers have always liked the idea of monopolizing repairs (fun fact, Plutarch had to sue the private equity owners of the shipyard at Delphi to let him do repairs on the Ship of Theseus).

Cory Doctorow

Writer, blogger, activist. Blog: https://pluralistic.net; Mailing list: https://pluralistic.net/plura-list; Mastodon: @pluralistic@mamot.fr