Biden to McDonald’s: Fix Your Ice Cream Machines!

While crime plagues our cities and the illegal alien invasion continues, Joe Biden and his administration are focused on the real issues facing the country, like the size of a Snickers bar or a bag of chips.

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Now, he’s cracking down on another menace to our taste buds: McDonald’s oft-broken soft serve ice cream machines.

Of course, given Biden’s well-known (and perhaps dementia-induced) penchant for ice cream, it’s hard to say this is surprising.

As reported by The Verge, the Federal Trade Commision and the Department of Justice submitted a joint comment Thursday to the U.S. Copyright Office requesting an exemption to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which imposes penalties for violating software copyrights. The exemption would allow McDonald’s franchise owners to repair broken soft serve ice cream machines themselves without waiting for service from a technician employed by the company that manufactures the machines, Illinois-based Taylor Commercial Foodservices.

Citing another comment provided by the consumer rights advocacy group Public Knowledge and parts retailer iFixit, the FTC and DOJ note that broken soft serve machines cost around $625 a day in lost sales and that it can take up to 90 days for service from a licensed repair technician at a price of more than $300 per 15 minutes.

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Where do I sign up for that job?

I would argue protecting copyrights—a form of intellectual property—is one of the more legitimate functions of the federal government, but this seems over the top.

Admittedly, I’ve been told more than once I can’t get a McFlurry or frozen coffee because the machine at the local McDonald’s is down. Sure, it’s annoying, but I’ve never had a meltdown about it.

I might have had a different perspective if I had known the federal government was partly responsible for the situation. Maybe there’s more to this than getting Joe his ice cream fix.

In fact, the issue actually predates Biden’s tenure as president.

Back in 2020, someone with way too much time on their hands created a website that tracks the operational status of the soft serve machine at every McDonald’s location in the world. According to McBroken.com, nearly 11% of locations had an ice cream machine that was down at the time of publication.

Later that year, McDonald’s told its franchise operators that they shouldn’t use a device created by a startup called Kytch to troubleshoot and fix broken ice cream machines, claiming it could hinder repairs and cause “serious human injury.”

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The move was a blow to the startup’s sales, and Kytch sued McDonald’s for $900 million in 2022. The previous year, the company sued Taylor for trying to reverse engineer their device. Both cases are ongoing.

Following its 2021 report to Congress on the effect of copyright restrictions on product repairs, the FTC began looking into why McDonald’s ice cream machines break down so often.

None of the reports on the development mentioned whether Biden ordered the investigation when he was told he couldn’t get a McFlurry, but it’s not hard to imagine.

Fast forward three years, and the FTC is teaming up with the DOJ to turn the screws on McDonald’s and their machines.

Biden must be licking his lips. If he can fix this calamity, he might finally have something to run on.

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