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Oregon's strongest yet right-to-repair bill is now a law

The law bans the repair-restrictive practice of parts pairing.
By

Published onMarch 28, 2024

Samsung Galaxy Self Repair Program 1
Samsung
TL;DR
  • A new right-to-repair bill was signed into law in the US state of Oregon.
  • The law is the strongest one yet, banning a common anti-repair practice by manufacturers.
  • This could set a big precedent for consumer tech repair rights.

The state of Oregon just signed into law the strongest right-to-repair act, banning a common anti-repair practice by big tech manufacturers. This will make smartphone and tech gadget repairs in the state much easier and cheaper.

Oregon’s SB 1596, which follows similar laws from Minnesota and California, establishes that consumer electronics makers must offer fair access to tools, repair documentation, and parts for those who work on devices.

Oregon’s new law applies to electronics produced as far as 2015, including laptops, smartwatches, tablets, refrigerators, and more. But, it notably leaves out medical devices, farm equipment, devices running internal combustion engines, and video game consoles.

Why it matters to consumers

As we previously covered, what sets Oregon’s new law apart is that starting in 2025, it also bans “parts pairing,” or blocking/limiting third-party parts’ use in repair via software restrictions.

Big tech companies like Apple, for decades, have been blocking the use of parts that aren’t approved by the company itself, often blocking entirely or severely limiting features when third-party parts are used.

The passing of the new law sets a significant precedent for the right-to-repair movement as it could open the door for growth in third-party parts making, which ultimately means more choices and cheaper repair costs for consumers.

Moreover, making repairing and reusing electronics more accessible could reduce electronic waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and raw material use that comes with manufacturing new gadgets.

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