Apple’s home state of California could embrace the “Right to Repair” act if a new bill introduced by lawmaker Susan Talamantes Eggman is passed.
California is the 18th state in the U.S. to look into the possibility of making electronic devices easier to repair. The Right to Repair act would compel tech companies to release repair guides and make official parts available to any customers or third-party repair shops who want them. Doing so could have multiple benefits, such as reducing the amount of e-waste produced every year.
“The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence,” Eggman said in a statement.
“The bill is critical to protect independent repair shops and a competitive market for repair, which means better service and lower prices. It also helps preserve the right of individual device owners to understand and fix their own property,” said Kit Walsh, Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “We should encourage people to take things apart and learn from them. After all, that’s how many of today’s most successful innovators got started.”
Apple doesn’t love the Right to Repair
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple isn’t in favor of the Right to Repair. Records show that it has spent money lobbying against it. Under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple’s overall lobbying efforts have doubled.
Previously, Apple delegates have opposed the proposed Right to Repair bill in Nebraska, saying that giving users and third-party repairers access to its components and service manuals would make Nebraska would become a “Mecca for bad actors.”
A recent report suggested that the PR fallout from Apple’s slowing down of older iPhone models, courtesy of an iOS update, could turn out to be a boon for Right to Repair advocates. While none of these Right to Repair laws have yet passed, legislative activity surrounding them is increasing dramatically.
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