In a bill passed by the New York state legislature last week, digital electronics manufacturers – such as Apple or Samsung – would need to make repair instructions and spare parts available to consumers and independent technicians.
The “right to repair” legislation, which is awaiting the governor’s signature for it to become law, is the first of its kind in the U.S.. This follows a tedious campaign spearheaded by tech and environmental activists, who claim that manufacturers unfairly monopolize the ability to repair their products.
“This legislation ends what is a monopoly on the repair market by corporate actors and incentivizes competition within the industry,” said Patricia Fahy, an assembly member and the bill’s principal sponsor.
According to one study from the Public Interest Research Group, enabling American consumers to repair their electronic products instead of replacing them, would save $40 billion yearly. The group also said that electronic waste accounts for much of the nation’s waste stream, with more than 6.9 million tons annually.
The New York legislation would apply to digital devices such as phones and laptops, but exclude medical devices or agricultural products.
If signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, the law will take effect in mid-2023.
For more information, read the original story in Gothamist.