New York state legislature has passed the first Right to Repair bill for electronics in the United States. According to The Verge, this measure called the Digital Fair Repair Act, requires all manufacturers in the state who sell “digital electronics products” to make tools, parts, and instructions for repair available to customers and independent shops.
After passing legislature, the Right to Repair measure is now awaiting a signature of approval from New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Additionally, the Digital Fair Repair Act will go into effect one year after it officially passes into law.
Right to Repair advocates like iFixit are happy about the outcome of this measure. In a blog post, the group calls the law “one giant leap for repairkind”.
The passage of this bill means that repairs should become less expensive and more comprehensive: People who want to fix their own stuff can. And your repair experience should improve even if you’re intimidated by the thought of cracking open your laptop or phone. Where before, manufacturers could push consumers to use manufacturer-authorized shops, now they’ll have to compete.
Apple’s Self-Service Repair program
Apple has been a critic of Right to Repair in the past. However, the company recently rolled out its Self-Service Repair program for certain iPhones in the United States. Through this program, users can purchase genuine iPhone parts to perform their own repairs. While customers can participate in this program, independent repair shops cannot at the moment.
Learn more about Apple’s Self-Service Repair program:
Right to Repair’s ripple effect
While only in one state, this law will surely benefit consumers outside of New York. As manufacturers have to make their repair manuals available, they’ll end up online for others to see worldwide. Since you can’t restrict a website to a state, the documents should be available for others to see. iFixit has hope that manufacturers will make these manuals public broadly in the future regardless of which states pass Right to Repair laws.
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