In a first for the globe, the New York state legislature has enacted a “right to repair” bill requiring digital electronics makers to make available to customers and independent repair businesses all necessary parts, equipment, information, and software.
The “Fair Repair Act” was enacted in response to government demand to protect consumers’ rights to repair and refurbish purchased products.
Independent repair shops will now be able to compete with manufacturers and defy the repair market concentration caused by manufacturers’ restrictions on access to parts and tools.
59 percent of independent repair businesses said in a recent study that they may be forced to close without the passage of “Right to Repair.”
Self-repair organisations such as iFixit applauded the decision as “one great stride for repairkind.”
“People who wish to repair their own items can do so. Even if you are terrified by the prospect of disassembling your laptop or phone, your repair experience should improve “iFixit stated in a blog post on Friday night.
Previously, manufacturers could encourage consumers to purchase from manufacturer-authorized retailers, but now they must compete.
Gay Gordon-Byrne, Executive Director of the Repair Association said “Every consumer in New York is going to benefit from this landmark legislation. We’ll all be able to fix the stuff we like, stop being forced to buy new things we don’t want, and make it possible for the secondary market to provide high quality options for reuse,”.
This bill covers the majority of electrical equipment, however there are important exceptions.
It excludes motor cars (which are currently governed by a nationwide Right to Repair agreement between automakers and the aftermarket), household appliances, medical gadgets, public safety communications equipment such as police radios, agricultural equipment, and off-road equipment.
NY Assembly member, 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,”.