Right to Repair in 2023 Update

by | Jan 9, 2023 | Repair

From The Repair Association:

ICYMI – Our Digital Fair Repair Act was signed into law by NY Governor Kathy Hochul very late in the evening of December 28. The law will be effective for products made or sold after July 1st of 2023.

The law is a far cry from the original legislation as passed in the legislature, but it remains a significant win for the overall battle for a comprehensive “right to repair” regardless of product shape, size or cost. The Governor was determined to support repair only for small consumer electronics, very much at the behest of TechNet – a large Washington DC-based trade association.

The plan going forward is to continue to push other state legislation over the finish line that will both make for a crazy quilt of differing requirements and expand the scope of products to include everything made with a digital electronic part. There are already 21 bills filed or being filed – and many targeted opportunities are underway to expand laws to include products exempted from the NY law. More laws in more states are going to drive manufacturers to comply more effectively and more quickly than ever before. Will a computer maker be able to refuse to sell repair materials for computers in NY but have to sell them in Minnesota, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania? How long can that hold up?

TechNet and CTA cannot count on the same access and support as they had to the NY Governor in other states. They will have to fight through more obvious awareness of the tricks they used to buffalo (pun intended) the Governor and her staff into accepting that repair is dangerous and bad for everyone. Other states will want to seek the economic advantages of an expanded market for repair including products used by businesses, government, education, and industry.

Going into 2023 – we’ll also have the advantage of a first win. The same companies (Apple, Google, Samsung, Sony) that fought against R2R in NY didn’t get everything they wanted. They will get less elsewhere. Other states are moving statutes with fewer loopholes and retroactive effective dates. Products such as home appliances that were exempted in New York won’t be exempt elsewhere. Farm equipment repair is obviously needed and enjoys non-partisan solid support.

We need to do more…

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