Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak stands up for right-to-repair, argues company built on open source

Steve Wozniak

Apple is often brought up when talking about right to repair, usually in reference to their anti-repair practices. In response to a Cameo request, Steve Wozniak spoke for almost 10 minutes on the importance of right to repair and how it has impacted his life.

Louis Rossmann is well known for his continued fight to pass right to repair legislation. Some right to repair legislation could be coming soon. He sent a Cameo request to Wozniak, asking about right to repair. Wozniak opened by stating that he is very busy, and therefore hasn’t gotten involved with the movement much, but that he stands behind it.

“We wouldn’t have had an Apple, had I not grown up in a very open technology world,” said Wozniak. “Back then, when you bought electronic thing like TV’s and radios, every bit of the circuits and designs were included on paper. Total open source.”

He continued by talking about how straightforward repair use to be. “Even non-technical family members could pull out the tubes…and find a tube tester… and if it was bad, buy a new tube. Everyone did this all the time back then.”

He then focused on the way that Apple, at its founding, was positively impacted by the open schematics of the time. “When starting Apple, I could never afford a teletype for input and output.” He then spoke about how he was able to use a tv to output the signals. “That all came from being able to repair things, modify them, and tap into them yourself.”

Moving on from his own repair experience, he questioned, “why stop the self-repair community? Why stop the right to repair people? Look at the Apple II. It shipped with full schematics… this product was the only source of profits for Apple for the first ten years of the company.”

Over the life of the Apple II, about 6 million units were sold.

“It’s time to recognize the right to repair more fully,” said Wozniak, ” I believe that companies inhibit it because it gives the companies power [and] control over everything.”

He ended his cameo by saying, “Is it your computer? or is it some companies computer? Think about that. It’s time to start doing the right things.”

After seeing Wozniak’s response, Rossmann responded to with a YouTube video asking for monetary assistance in getting a direct-ballot initiative started.

I highly recommend watching Wozniak’s full cameo below, he shares a lot of great personal stories.

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