New York’s Right to Repair bill is a great start, but it doesn’t cover all electronic devices

New York’s Right to Repair bill is a great start, but it doesn’t cover all electronic devices

Having the power to repair your own electronic devices has been a hot topic for debate over the past couple of years. Now, the city of New York has passed legislature on an electronics Right to Repair bill. If the governor signs the bill, it will require manufacturers that sell electronic products in the city of New York to offer parts, tools, repair manuals, and necessary software directly to consumers and independent repair shops.

For years, electronics manufacturers have guarded parts, tools, and repair guides required to repair their products. This has made it quite difficult for consumers and independent repair shops to perform repairs, which has been a point of contention. Although the bill still requires an official signature from the governor of New York to make it official, it is expected to pass without issue. When the bill is officially signed, it will give consumers and independent repair shop owners access to everything required to perform repairs on their own.

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Of course, this might not be all that it seems, as we have recently seen Apple launch parts, tools, and repair guides for its products, with mixed results. While the fundamentals are all in place, for a normal consumer, the cost and labor involved might not outweigh the benefits of having it repaired by Apple. But, it really is about having the choice to repair that is vital.

Naturally, this is just the beginning, as the right to repair movement has steadily pushed for better conditions in all states. The bill passed in New York will certainly have an impact, but just how much and to how many remains to be seen.

As a final note, those looking for support with agricultural or off-road equipment, home appliances, medical devices, or public safety communications equipment need to know that these types of electronic devices will not the covered by the new bill. While some of these exceptions make sense to an extent, the lack of coverage for some excluded electronics, particularly home appliances, is a bit concerning. Nonetheless, it’s a great start, and we hope legislators address these concerns with future amendments.


Source: The New York State Senate
Via: iFixit

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