New York state took a historic step toward curbing the power of Big Tech when lawmakers passed the Digital Fair Repair Act, giving citizens the right to fix their phones, tablets, and computers. For years, advocates for the “right to repair” have pushed for such legislation in statehouses nationwide. They argue that making it easier to repair gadgets not only saves consumers money, but also reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing and electronic waste. Most of those bills have failed amid intense opposition from tech companies that want to dictate how and where their products are serviced.
The passage of the Digital Fair Repair Act last June reportedly caught the tech industry off guard, but it had time to act before Governor Kathy Hochul would sign it into law. Corporate lobbyists went to work, pressing Albany for exemptions and changes that would water the bill down. They were largely successful: While the bill Hochul signed in late December remains a victory for the right-to-repair movement, the more corporate-friendly text gives consumers and independent repair shops less access to parts and tools than the original proposal called for. (The state Senate still has to vote to adopt the revised bill, but it’s widely expected to do so.)
The new version of the law applies only to devices built after mid-2023, so it won’t help people to fix stuff they currently own. It also exempts electronics used exclusively by businesses or the government. All those devices are likely to become electronic waste faster than they would have had Hochul, a Democrat, signed a tougher bill. And more
— source themarkup.org | | Feb 08, 2023