California Joins ‘Right to Repair’ Fight With New Bill | News & Opinion


California is the latest state to join the “right to repair” fight.

Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, on Wednesday announced plans to introduce the California Right to Repair Act, which would require electronics manufacturers like Apple to produce repair manuals and sell replacement equipment and parts for their devices.

“The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence,” Eggman said in a statement.

Seventeen other states have introduced similar legislation, including: Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Apple, IBM, and other manufacturers have successfully lobbied against similar legislation in the past, so don’t expect these new measures to go through without a fight.

The California bill has been endorsed by the nonprofit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and environmental advocacy organization Californians Against Waste, among others. In a statement, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kit Walsh said the legislation is “critical to protect independent repair shops and a competitive market for repair.”

“It also helps preserve the right of individual device owners to understand and fix their own property,” Walsh said. “We should encourage people to take things apart and learn from them. After all, that’s how many of today’s most successful innovators got started.”

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