The right to repair your own devices has been a growing issue around the world, as some companies make self-repair increasingly more difficult. The US state of New York just passed the first modern Right to Repair law, but what does it actually do?
Many modern electronics are difficult to repair, partially because miniaturization and waterproofing make accessing internal components more time-consuming, and also because many companies restrict access to repair manuals and replacement parts. Apple is one of the worst offenders, as it restricted manuals and parts to authorized technicians for years, and the company’s new self-repair program requires renting expensive equipment. The problem isn’t limited to consumer electronics, either — farmers have pushed for repair legislation so they can fix their own tractors and other equipment.
The Digital Fair Repair Act
There have been a few bills in state and federal legislatures that outline the right to repair, but most of them haven’t made it far. The Fair Repair Act was introduced in the House of Representatives in June 2021 by Rep. Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY-25), but…
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