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A Tech Repair Company Wants to Fix America’s Biggest Problem: McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines

A Tech Repair Company Wants to Fix America’s Biggest Problem: McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines

Could our prayers finally be answered?

iFixit, a smartphone repair shop, is on a mission to save the day for McDonald’s ice cream machines. You know, the machines that work every other day (if you’re lucky).

The company frequently posts “teardown” videos online, where they disassemble products to show people how they work and how they can be repaired at home.

And now, they have their sights set on McDonald’s ice cream machine. They promise they know how to fix it, but there’s a U.S. copyright law standing in their way. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is designed to stop people from fixing commercial equipment protected by copyright law, such as McDonald’s ice cream machines. For now, Taylor, the company that creates McDonald’s machines, are the only ones allowed to tamper with the devices.

In a dramatic teardown video, iFixit’s sustainability director explained that they have developed a way to prevent the ice cream machines from having a total meltdown, but the copyright law is standing in their way. (Cue the violins.)

So, what’s their genius plan? Well, first, they want a copyright exemption for ice cream machines. Because, of course, repairing ice cream makers is just as vital to society as fixing your iPhone. They also want Congress to reintroduce the “Freedom to Repair Act,” which would let them distribute their ice cream machine repair tools. It remains to be seen if Congress will unite for this important act.

iFixit is teaming up with a non-profit group, Public Knowledge, to campaign for these law changes. According to their policy counsel, “copyright should not prevent anyone from repairing a device they own,” whether it’s a smartphone or an ice cream machine.

Until then, McDonald’s customers will have to rely on McBroken, a website that tracks the fast food giant’s ice cream machines in real time because apparently it is that serious.

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