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New York Passes Right to Repair Act; it’s the first state to do that

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Right to Repair is finally coming, after years of talk. utilities, Vice reports that New York is the first state to pass a Right to Restoration Act by the state senate.

New York is the first state to pass the Right to Repair Act

The right to repair of electronics has now passed the New York State Senate by a vote of 59 to 4. It then passed the Assembly by a significant 145 to 1 vote. Now the bill called the Digital Fair Repair Act goes to Gov. Kathy Hochul for final approval. This, as you might imagine, has the potential to significantly change the balance of power between the big tech companies and consumers.

The Digital Fair Repair Act covers all consumer electronics. The law basically requires companies to sell repair parts and tools and to provide repair documentation to users on “fair and reasonable terms”.

You may have heard that Apple, Microsoft and Samsung have started a somewhat semi-voluntary process to sell certain repair parts and provide repair manuals to customers. But this was done because of a voluntary policy that has no force of law: something the Digital Fair Repair Act would have once it became law.

This New York law follows the example of a similar law applied to automobiles, which was passed in Massachusetts in 2012. When the legislation went into effect, automakers signed a “memorandum of understanding,” prompting the legislation to become a national policy. It became so because automakers didn’t want to deal with slightly different versions of the same law in different states.

That said, there is a possibility that this could also happen with the Digital Fair Recovery Act.

Apple’s self-service repair program is the first to actually hit the market, and it’s been a bit controversial. Well, the point is Cupertino sends a report 79 pounds worth of tools for an iPhone repair, and a $1,200 credit card reserve for the tools the user rented.

Here’s to hoping those “fair and reasonable terms” the Digital Fair Repair Act talks about can make this process a little smoother for someone looking to replace their iPhone’s battery. Or a phone battery, for that matter. The legislation doesn’t focus on what “fair and reasonable terms” mean, and that remains to be seen.

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