The New York State legislature has passed what iFixit calls the world’s first electronics right to repair law. The law just needs the governor’s signature now but once that’s done, companies that make digital electronic products will also have to make parts, tools, information, and software available publicly. The law is a boon for independent repair shops that can now compete with manufacturers.
The Fair Repair bill passed in the Senate on June 1 and then passed in the Assembly today. The next step is for it to be delivered to the Governor who will then sign or veto the bill. While the law will cover most of your gadgets, there are some exceptions including motor vehicles, home appliances, medical devices, public safety communications equipment, agricultural equipment, and off-road equipment. It’ll be interesting to see whether companies try to pass off smart home tech as home appliances.
Commenting on the bill, Representative Patricia Fahy said:
“The Digital Fair Repair Act puts consumers first, levels the playing field for independent repair shops, and reduces our e-waste footprint on the environment. By requiring digital electronics manufacturers to allow access to critical information and parts required by independent, local repair shops to complete repairs on most products, this legislation ends what is a monopoly on the repair market by corporate actors and incentivizes competition within the industry.”
Hopefully, this move will bring the cost to repair items down and also help to cover more problems. Making companies release information and software publicly could also assist people outside of New York State in repairing their devices.