New York state governor Kathy Hochul has signed the Digital Fair Repair Act into law, months after it had passed both chambers of the state’s legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. The bill had originally passed in June, but it was only formally sent to Hochul’s desk earlier this month; the governor had until midnight on December 28th to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to pass into law without her signature.
The Digital Fair Repair Act is the country’s first right-to-repair bill that has passed through a state legislature (as opposed to being implemented via executive order), and has been hailed as “precedent-setting” by right-to-repair advocacy groups like iFixit. The law will require companies to provide the same diagnostic tools, repair manuals, and parts to the public that they provide to their own repair technicians.
But tech industry lobbyists and trade groups like TechNet had already worked to weaken the law as it made its way through the state legislature, and the bill as signed by Hochul contains even more conditions and exceptions, ostensibly added to address the governor’s concerns about “technical issues that could put safety and security at risk, as well as heighten the risk of injury from physical repair projects.”
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