New York has become the first state in the country to pass an electronics right-to-repair law, a historic win for consumers and independent repair shops across the U.S., not just in New York.
The new law called the Digital Fair Repair Act applies to all consumer electronics’ companies and will require these companies to sell repair parts, tools, and provide repair documentation under “fair and reasonable terms”.
Apple and Samsung, as well as medical device provider companies, video game companies, and electronics trade organizations have spent years and thousands of dollars lobbying against this sort of legislation in New York and all over the country. Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Valve have begun to semi-voluntarily sell certain repair parts and offer repair guides to consumers after President Joe Biden suggested that the vast majority of companies’ existing policies were illegal or were monopolistic. Right-to-repair advocates like US PIRG, iFixit, and Repair.org have said those voluntary policies were a step in the right direction, but do not have the force of law that the Digital Fair Repair Act will have.
This bill covers most products containing electronics but has some notable carveouts. It does not include motor vehicles (these are already handled by a national Right to Repair agreement between the automakers and the aftermarket), home appliances, medical devices, public safety communications equipment like police radios, agricultural equipment, and off-road equipment.