Five States Are Considering Bills to Legalize the ‘Right to Repair’ Electronics

Electronics gadgets should be more repairable than today.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jason Koebler / Motherboard:
    Nebraska state senator warns that Apple is opposing the state’s proposed “right to repair” bill; similar bills are making their way through 7 other states — Apple is inventing new and interesting arguments to prevent you from fixing your iPhone: It’s lobbying Nebraska lawmakers to kill …

    Apple Tells Lawmaker that Right to Repair iPhones Will Turn Nebraska Into a ‘Mecca’ for Hackers

    Inside Apple’s absurd lobbying strategy.

    Apple is inventing new and interesting arguments to prevent you from fixing your iPhone: It’s lobbying Nebraska lawmakers to kill “right to repair” legislation, telling them unauthorized repair will turn the state into a “mecca” for hackers.

    Right to repair bills, which are currently making their way through eight states (Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Wyoming, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, and Massachusetts), would require electronics manufacturers to make repair parts and diagnostic and repair manuals available to independent repair professionals and consumers, not just “authorized” repair companies. Electronics right to repair legislation is modeled on a 2012 Massachusetts law that preserved the right to repair cars.

    The most logical reason for manufacturers to oppose the bills is that it would democratize the repair economy, making it possible for consumers to fix their own things and cutting into the profits of repairs done at, for example, the Apple store.

    “They said that doing this would make it very easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska.”

    “Apple said we would be the only state that would pass this, and that we would become the mecca for bad actors,”

    Brasch said the representatives made two other main arguments: They said repair could cause lithium batteries to catch fire, and said that there are already enough authorized places to get iPhones repaired, such as the Apple store.

    “When you’re talking about safety, there’s a greater chance I’ll fall down and hit my head. I told them until you have an app that defies gravity, I don’t think we have to worry about safety. There’s always a risk and there’s always a disclaimer,”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jason Koebler / Motherboard:
    Lobbying records in New York state show Apple, Verizon, and tech trade orgs oppose the Fair Repair Act that would prohibit software locks that restrict repairs

    Apple Is Lobbying Against Your Right to Repair iPhones, New York State Records Confirm

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The European Parliament believes that the Commission, EU countries and manufacturers of goods should ensure that only products that can be easily repaired and upgraded are available to consumers. Especially electronics, mobile phones and software are now in the focus.

    Members of the European Parliament want goods and software to be easier to repair or upgrade. They called for the EU to intervene in intentional short service life and to offer spare parts to consumers more economically.

    According to reports from the EU a couple of years ago, 77% of consumers in the EU would prefer old products instead of buying new ones. According to MEPs, new “Minimum Standards for Sustainability” should be introduced for product groups from design.

    In Parliament, French Green Pascal Durand said: “We must make all the products sold to be repaired. We need to make sure that batteries or batteries are no longer glued to the product but fixed so that the phone does not have to be discarded when its battery stops working ‘

    The European Parliament asks the Commission to consider a ‘voluntary European label’, which should make it clear, in particular, how product is sustainable, ecologically designed, able to change parts through technological development and product remediation.



  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Keeping old equipment alive

    De-soldering the 100 µF filter cap and checking it with an ohmmeter told the whole story; it wasn’t a capacitor anymore. Then I thought, “Oh heck, I don’t have any parts, I recycled them in New York.” I could have looked online and ordered a replacement but I wanted to get this repair finished that day if possible.

    Fifty cents bought me a replacement capacitor; but, I spent an hour in the store, more reminiscing than shopping. Then I was on my way marveling at how things go in circles.

    With the capacitor replaced, the power supply worked like a charm and I had my oscillator back. I also had a new place to shop with my grandson for science project components.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Bit Of Mainstream Coverage For The Right To Repair

    Entitled “A ‘right to repair’ movement tools up“, it lays out the issues and introduces the Repair Association, a political lobby group that campaigns for “Right to repair” laws in the individual states of the USA.

    You might now be asking why this is important, why are we telling you something you already know? The answer lies in the publication in which it appears. The Economist is aimed at politicians and influencers worldwide. In other words, when we here at Hackaday talk about the right to repair, we’re preaching to the choir. When they do it at the Economist, they’re preaching to the crowd who can make a difference. And that’s important.

    If it’s broken, you can’t fix it
    A “right to repair” movement tools up

    From tractors to smartphones, mending things is getting ever harder

    AS DEVICES go, smartphones and tractors are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. And an owner of a chain of mobile-device repair shops and a farmer of corn and soyabeans do not usually have much in common. But Jason DeWater and Guy Mills are upset for the same reason. “Even we can no longer fix the home button of an iPhone,” says Mr DeWater, a former musician who has turned his hobby of tinkering into a business based in Omaha, Nebraska. “If we had a problem with our John Deere, we could fix it ourselves. No longer,” explains Mr Mills whose farm in Ansley, a three-hour drive to the west, spreads over nearly 4,000 acres.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Repairs: The Joy and Frustration

    Some things are easy to take apart and hopefully fix, while others don’t want you to get inside — but why not?

    It’s not news that many of today’s products are simply not repairable at the end-user level. It may be that the source of the problem can’t be localized without special test equipment, or a device is one “big” IC that contains almost all the functions, or just about anything inside the unit is a custom, specialized component for which replacements are unavailable.

    Still, the problems I see are often related to connectors and interconnects, and these are issues which are often visible and repairable, if you can get to them. Sometimes the problem is simply opening the unit. I recently had a pair of opposing experiences in this area, both times with toy products. I obviously don’t know if the designs were done this way deliberately, if it was just an issue of convenience, or perhaps it was lack of thought (or “don’t care”).

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple SUES iPhone screen repair shop and LOSES!

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kyle Wiens / iFixit:
    New DRM rules allow jailbreaking of voice-assistant devices and unlocking of new phones, but don’t allow game consoles to be fixed or HDCP to be bypassed

    Copyright Office Ruling Issues Sweeping Right to Repair Reforms

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In Groundbreaking Decision, Feds Say Hacking DRM to Fix Your Electronics Is Legal

    The new exemptions are a major win for the right to repair movement and give consumers wide latitude to legally repair the devices they own.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A New Generation of Students Is Teaching Us How to Reduce E-Waste

    In colleges and universities across the United States, students are taking classes on how to repair our electronics that normally end up as e-waste.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EU brings in ‘right to repair’ rules for appliances

    Household appliances will become easier to repair thanks to new standards being adopted across the European Union.

    From 2021, firms will have to make appliances longer-lasting, and they will have to supply spare parts for machines for up to 10 years.

    The rules apply to lighting, washing machines, dishwashers and fridges.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Debullshitifying the Right to Repair excuses Apple sent to Congress

    Apple’s response to the Congressional committee investigating monopolistic behavior by tech giants contains a chapter on Right to Repair, whose greatest enemy is Apple — the company led successful campaigns to kill 20 state level Right to Repair bills last year.

    Ifixit (previously), a business that sells tools and manuals to the independent repair sector, has published a detailed rebuttal calling Apple’s response “intentionally misleading.”

    The response shows how using misleading terminology and by mischaracterizing its own history, Apple makes it sound like it embraces the independent repair sector, when this is far from the truth.

    Apple Told Congress How Repair Should Work. They Were Intentionally Misleading.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Told Congress How Repair Should Work. They Were Intentionally Misleading.

    The House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into Apple’s policies back in September with an eye toward anticompetitive practices, including repairs and warranties. An Apple VP has responded (PDF) and some of their answers are a doozy. Here’s our response.

    actual questions and answers are at

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Congress To Consider National Right To Repair Law For First Time

    About five years ago, frustration at John Deere’s draconian tractor DRM culminated in a grassroots “right to repair” movement. The company’s crackdown on “unauthorized repairs” turned countless ordinary citizens into technology policy activists, after DRM and the company’s EULA prohibited the lion’s share of repair or modification of tractors customers thought they owned. These restrictions only worked to drive up costs for owners, who faced either paying significantly more money for “authorized” repair, or toying around with pirated firmware just to ensure the products they owned actually worked.

    Since then, the right to repair movement has expanded dramatically, with a heavy focus on companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sony and their attempts to monopolize repair, driving up consumer costs, and resulting in greater waste.

    It has also extended into the medical arena, where device manufacturers enjoy a monopoly on tools, documentation, and replacement parts, making it a nightmare to get many pieces of medical equipment repaired. That has, unsurprisingly, become even more of a problem during the COVID-19 pandemic due to mass hospitalizations and resource constraints, with medical professionals being forced to use grey market parts or DIY parts just to get ventilators to work.

    Hoping to give the movement a shot of adrenaline, Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Yvette D. Clark have introduced the Critical Medical Infrastructure Right-to-Repair Act of 2020 (pdf), which would exempt medical equipment owners and “servicers” from liability for copying service materials or breaking DRM if it was done so to improve COVID-19 aid. The legislation also pre-empts any agreements between hospitals and equipment manufacturers preventing hospital employees from working on their own equipment, something that’s also become more of a problem during the pandemic.

    While numerous states have attempted to pass right to repair legislation, none have succeeded so far. In large part because companies like Apple have lobbied extensively to thwart them, (falsely) claiming that letting customers and independent repair merchants fix devices (usually for far less money) would be a privacy and security nightmare. In Nebraska, Apple even tried to claim that such legislation would turn the state into a mecca for hackers


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