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New York passes first US electronics right-to-repair law by a wide margin
- New York has passed the Digital Fair Repair Act.
- The bill is the first in the US to require electronics manufacturers to support right-to-repair.
Right-to-repair advocates scored a major victory, with New York passing the first such law in the US by an overwhelming majority.
Right-to-repair has become a growing concern across many industries, but especially the electronics industry. As phones, computers, and tablets have become more complex, they have become increasingly difficult for consumers to repair on their own. In some cases, any attempt to do so voids the warranty. New York is the first state to tackle the issue with the Digital Fair Repair Act (DFRA).
According to Vice, the DFRA passed the New York Senate by a vote of 59—4. The margin was even more significant in the New York House, passing by a vote of 145—1. The bill will now go to Governor Kathy Hochul to be signed into law.
The new bill requires electronics makers to sell the necessary tools and parts for consumers to be able to repair their devices, as well as provide the necessary documentation to assist them.
Some manufacturers, such as Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, have already begun self-repair programs, despite pushing back against such legislation. Initial reviews of Apple’s program, the first to actually reach the market, have been less than stellar. Reports have emerged of users receiving 79lbs of tools to make a simple iPhone repair. Meanwhile, the company also puts a $1,200 block on the user’s credit card to ensure the return of the tools they’re renting.
New York’s law requires companies to provide the documentation and sell the tools under “fair and reasonable terms.” It remains to be seen what those are and how well they will be enforced.