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Radio News: New York legislature passes right-to-repair law

Jun 05, 2022 11:33 pm

Scharon Harding reports for Ars Technica that New York's state legislature on June 3 passed the Digital Fair Repair Act, a bill requiring digital electronics manufacturers, such as laptop and smartphone manufacturers, to make diagnostic and repair information available. Consumers will be allowed to fix many radio-related items, or have them fixed at independent repair shops, instead of being forced to buy a new model or go without. Medical devices, home appliances, agricultural and off-road equipment, or public safety communications equipment is exempt from this bill, so John Deere tractors and dishwashers still can't be fixed by consumers in New York if Gov. Kathy Hochul signs the bill. "Nothing prevents third-party repairers from being technically competent to complete digital repairs other than the lack of information being withheld by manufacturers," the bill states. "In too many instances, repairs of digital items are intentionally limited by the manufacturer." New York Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said the bill would "help to reduce the 655,000 tons of toxic e-waste produced [and] typically discarded in a single calendar year here in New York state." A previous study from the U.S. Public Interest Group predicted that the average New York family would save around $330 per year and reduce electronic waste by 22 percent with the right to repair. Now right-to-repair advocates hope other bills like this one will be passed elsewhere. Read more about this story at Ars Technica.