Wednesday, February 8

Governor Hochul Signs Digital Fair Repair Act into Law

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Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Digital Fair Repair Act (S4104-A/A7006-B) into law making New York the first state in the nation to guarantee the right to repair, protecting consumers from anticompetitive efforts to limit repair.

“As technology and smart devices become increasingly essential to our daily lives, consumers should be able to easily fix the devices they rely on in a timely fashion,” Governor Hochul said. “This legislation will empower consumers with better options to repair their devices, thereby maximizing the lifespan of their devices, saving money, and reducing electronic waste.”

The Digital Fair Repair Act (S4104-A/A7006-B) requires original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to make diagnostic and repair information for digital electronic parts and equipment available to independent repair providers and consumers if such parts and repair information are also available to OEM authorized repair providers and servicers. This legislation will make New York the first state in the nation to require such information from OEMs. Far too often, repairs of digital items are difficult to accomplish due to limited accessibility to parts and tools as well as a lack of manuals and diagrams. By signing this bill into law, New York is protecting consumers and opening the digital repair market up to competition and all its consumer, entrepreneurial and environmental benefits.

State Senator Neil Breslin said, “This new Right to Repair law, the first of its kind in the United States, will not only provide greater choice and affordability for consumers if they choose to repair their electronic devices, but also significantly reduce the amount of electronic waste, while providing more opportunities for small businesses. I want to thank Governor Hochul along with Assemblymember Fahy for their steadfast commitment to seeing this important new law come to fruition.”

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “New York leads the nation again — today, the United States’ first right to repair bill, the Digital Fair Repair Act, was signed into law — putting consumers first, leveling the playing field for independent repair shops, and reducing our e-waste in landfills. Under the law, electronics manufacturers must allow access to critical information and parts required by independent repair shops to complete repairs on many electronic products, ending what is a growing monopoly on the repair market by big tech, while incentivizing competition. At the same time, we’re also reducing an expected 655,000 tons of toxic e-waste discarded in each year in New York State, where 85% of that waste ends up in a landfill. Thank you to Governor Hochul for signing the legislation into law, Senator Neil Breslin for sponsoring the bill in the Senate, and all of the tireless fair repair advocates who worked for years to get the Digital Fair Repair Act over the finish line. While this new law represents a difficult compromise after a vigorous campaign against the right to repair by big tech, I am proud that consumers and small businesses prevailed in the end. We are hopeful this will spur other states into action, galvanize the effort to enact a right to repair law at the national level, and that all Americans will eventually enjoy a comprehensive and real ‘right to repair’.”


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