After years of lobbying lawmakers and waging media campaigns, supporters of right-to-repair legislation have managed to push a bill to a governor’s desk.
At the 11th hour before adjournment, the New York State Legislature approved a right-to-repair bill that forces OEMs to provide the parts, information and tools that independent companies may need to repair electronics. This marks the first time such a bill focused on electronics has passed out of a legislature.
In a vote of 59-4, the New York Senate approved S4104a, the Digital Fair Repair Act, on June 1. Two days later, on June 3, the state Assembly approved the bill in a 147-2 vote. The session officially ended on the morning of June 4.
The bill requires OEMs to make available documentation, parts and tools required for the diagnosis, maintenance or repair of digital electronic equipment. The manufacturer would have to supply these to any independent repair provider or consumer “on fair and reasonable terms,” either directly from the manufacturer or through the manufacturer’s authorized repair providers.
For devices that have electronic security locks or other security-related functions, the OEM shall make available, again “on fair and reasonable terms,” any special documentation, tools and parts needed to access and reset the lock or function. “Such documentation, tools, and parts may be made available through appropriate secure release systems,” the bill language states.
The legislation now heads to the desk of Gov. Kathy Hochul for a possible signature.
In its newsletter, Repair.org noted the veto-proof majorities voting in favor of the bill.
“This is a milestone – the culmination of years of work by right-to-repair advocates who, previously, had seen more than 100 pieces of legislation killed off, typically in closed committee sessions under heavy lobbying from high tech firms like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and others,” the group wrote. “But not this time.”
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