Monday, January 23, 2023

New York enacts ‘right to repair’ bill for electronic devices

New York Daily News:
Finding ways to fix smartphones and other electronic devices will soon be a little easier for New Yorkers (under) a bill that will eventually require manufacturers to make diagnostic manuals, tools and other parts necessary for repairs available to the public and independent service shops.

The measure, considered the first so-called “right to repair” law in the country, will only apply to products made or sold after July 1, 2023.

The new law will cover digital electronic products, such as phones, tablets and IT equipment, and require companies provide access to the parts, tools and information needed to repair equipment.

Environmental advocates celebrated the legislative victory and said the new law will help reduce the threat from toxic chemicals found in many of the devices when they are prematurely discarded.

However, at least one “right to repair” advocate has declared that changes made to the bill by Gov. Kathy Hochul have rendered the law “functionally toothless”:
Right to Repair advocate Louis Rossmann has made a bitter YouTube video expressly saying that Governor Hochul's statement is "the exact opposite of what's going to happen with this bill because of how it was amended."

Central to Rossmann's argument is that the purpose of Right to Repair is to allow consumers to fix or replace individual components that have broken. As passed, he argues that the bill effectively allows companies free reign to declare a single component as unrepairable, and instead offer a costly assembly of several related parts.

"[The] manufacturer will tell you that when you have a bad $28 chip on your motherboard that what you need to do is replace the $745 Motherboard," he says.

For a complete copy of the new law, click here.