California has become the latest state to propose the Right to Repair Act, which would require manufacturers of electronic products to provide information and repair parts to the owners of the products and to third-party repair shops and services.
The bill was proposed earlier this week by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, and would require companies like Apple to make it possible for customers to repair their devices by themselves or in other locations than Apple stores or approved Apple retail stores.
The bill would require companies to provide parts and instructions for users to repair their devices themselves.
California joins 17 other states: Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia, which have proposed similar legislation. .
That said, it will be an uphill battle to get right to repair legislation to pass. Most major technology companies, including Apple and Microsoft, oppose the idea of allowing users to fix their own devices on the grounds that it represents a security risk for users. That means that it is almost certain that the bill will have to face the full force of the considerable financial and political capital of these companies that will be used to press against any new legislation.
We have seen this work before in New York, where the right to repair the bill languished for months in the New York state legislature before it failed. On the other hand, as Motherboard points out, California also has some of the best repair laws on the books, which require companies to offer services for electronic devices for at least seven years. Maybe things will work out this time.