New York breaks the right to repair bill as it’s signed into law

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The Digital Fair Repair Act enforces a consumers right to repair and refurbish their purchased goods. The version signed into law late last month in NYC included some adjustments that critics say make the bill “functionally useless”. Applicable electronic devices become eligible for coverage on July 1st 2023. Learn more at The Verge

New York governor Kathy Hochul signed the Digital Fair Repair Act on December 28th, 2022, and the law will go into effect on July 1st, 2023 — a full year after it was originally passed by the NY State legislature. The bill establishes that consumers and independent repair providers have a right to obtain manuals, diagrams, diagnostics and parts from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in order to repair their own devices. However, the bill was meaningfully compromised at the last minute by amendments that give OEMs some convenient exceptions and loopholes to get out of obligations that many right to repair advocates had been hoping for.

One of the most controversial adjustments in the signed law is that it allows OEMs to sell assemblies of parts instead of individual components if they choose to. The bill also won’t require OEMs to provide “passwords, security codes or materials” to bypass security features, which is sometimes necessary to do to save a locked, but otherwise functionally fine device.

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