In the US, they are asking to finally allow independent repair of McDonald’s ice cream machines
The United States is calling on Congress to pass a bill that would allow McDonald’s ice cream machines to be repaired on their own. This initiative was taken by iFixit specialists, writes The Verge.
These machines are well known for their frequent breakdowns. The problem is that only Taylor, the company that manufactures them, is allowed to repair them.
Kytch once tried to fix the situation. It created a special product to read error codes from ice cream machines. However, McDonald’s sent a letter to franchise owners informing them that they could not use this device.
The problem of the machines became so well known that memes were created around it. Eventually, the iFixit team got involved and purchased the same model of ice cream machine used by McDonald’s.
For several hours, the technicians tried to get the machine working, but it generated numerous error codes. According to iFixit, these codes were meaningless and seemed random even after a thorough study of the manual. The video was posted on YouTube.
“We’d love to be able to make a device like Kytch that can read error codes on the ice cream machine we have, but we can’t because of copyright law,” Elizabeth Chamberlain, iFixit’s director of sustainability, says in the video. The copyright law Chamberlain is referring to is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
To address the problem, iFixit and the nonprofit organization Public Knowledge have filed an exception petition asking the U.S. Copyright Office to allow people to repair consumer devices as well as commercial equipment, including ice cream machines like those available at McDonald’s.
But iFixit explains that even if an exception is granted in the case, the tool for repairing the machine will still not be distributed. Therefore, experts are asking Congress to legislate to allow bypassing software locks for repairing equipment.