A Number One!! NY Passes Digital Fair Repair Act
Opponents of a Right to Repair had a 99% success rate defeating right to repair laws. Then came New York.
These little town blues are fading away…after the New York Assembly voted 145-1 on Friday afternoon to pass Assembly Bill A7006B, The Digital Fair Repair Act. In doing so, New York became the first state legislature in the nation to enact a right to repair consumer electronics, after the state’s Senate passed S4104A, an identical bill, on Thursday.
A Milestone After Years Of Disappointments
This is a milestone - the culmination of years of work by right to repair advocates who, previously, had seen more than 100 pieces of legislation killed off, typically in closed committee sessions under heavy lobbying from high tech firms like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and others.
But not this time. With the backing of NYPIRG, the state chapter of the Public Interest Research Group and the Repair Coalition, working with sponsors NY Assembly member Patricia Fahy and State Senator Neil Breslin’s shepherded the Fair Repair Act through committees and to the floors of the Assembly and Senate for a vote. In addition to the 145-1 slam dunk, the Senate bill passed 59-4, both “veto proof” majorities with both measures winning solid Democratic and Republican support.
A win for consumers, small business and the environment
“This is a terrific win for consumers, local businesses and the environment,” said Russ Haven, NYPIRG General Counsel in a statement (PDF). “New Yorkers just want to fix their stuff. We know that repair cuts waste and saves them money. But too many of the things we are trying to fix have unnecessary barriers because most of the top manufacturers won’t provide access to spare parts, repair software or service diagrams.”
The bill covers a wide range of devices with a microprocessor, including cell phones, tablets and IT equipment. But it isn’t perfect.