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Why big manufacturers prevent you from repairing your own stuff

Updated January 6, 2023 at 9:32 AM ET

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Repair, Repurpose, Reimagine.

Manufacturers intentionally make their products hard to fix. Right-to-repair advocate Gay Gordon-Byrne fights for laws to stop companies from monopolizing repairs and let people fix their own stuff.

About Gay Gordon-Byrne

Gay Gordon-Byrne is executive director of The Repair Association, a role she's held since it was founded in 2013. The trade association's goal is to advocate for repair-friendly policies, regulations, and standards at national, state, and local levels.

The association has brought about legislation in over 30 states and pushed for improvements to copyright law. Currently, the group is working with state and federal legislators to pass "Right to Repair" bills.

Gordon-Byrne earned her bachelor's degree from Colgate University. She's author of the book Buying, Supporting, Maintaining Software and Equipment: An IT Manager's Guide to Controlling the Product Lifecycle.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Fiona Geiran and James Delahoussaye and edited by Katie Simon. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at [email protected].

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Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Fiona Geiran
James Delahoussaye
Katie Simon
Katie Simon is the Supervising Editor for Embedded, which showcases premier enterprise documentary storytelling for NPR and the NPR Network.