Home Money Oregon’s Breakthrough Right-to-Repair Bill Is Now Law

Oregon’s Breakthrough Right-to-Repair Bill Is Now Law

by Elijah
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Oregon's Breakthrough Right-to-Repair Bill Is Now Law

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek signed yesterday the state’s Right to Repair Act, which will push manufacturers to offer more repair options for their products than any other state to date.

The law, as introduced New York, CaliforniaAnd Minnesotawill require many manufacturers to provide the same parts, tools and documentation to private individuals and repair shops as they supply to their own repair teams.

But Oregon’s bill goes even further, preventing companies from implementing schemes that require parts to be verified via coded software checks before they can function, known as part pairing or serialization. Oregon’s bill, SB 1596, is the first in the country to focus on this practice. Senator Janeen Sollman of Oregon and Representative Courtney Neron, both Democrats, sponsored and pushed the bill through the Senate and Legislature.

“By lifting manufacturers’ restrictions, the Right to Repair will make it easier for Oregonians to keep their personal electronics running,” said Charlie Fisher, director of Oregon’s chapter of the Public Interest Research Group, in a statement. “This saves valuable natural resources and prevents waste. It is a refreshing alternative to a ‘disposable system’ where everything is considered disposable.”

Oregon law is not stronger in every respect. First, there is no set number of years for a manufacturer to support a device with repair support. Linking parts is only prohibited on devices sold in 2025 and later. And there are exceptions for certain types of electronics and appliances, including video game consoles, medical devices, HVAC systems, motor vehicles and – as in other states – “electric toothbrushes.”

Apple opposed Oregon’s repair law because of its ban on linking parts. John Perry, senior manager for secure design at Apple, testified at a hearing in February in Oregon that the link restriction would “undermine the safety, security, and privacy of Oregon residents by forcing device manufacturers to allow the use of components of unknown origin in consumer devices.”

Apple surprised many observers with it support for California’s 2023 repair billalthough it did so after urging repair shops to disclose when they use ‘non-original or used’ components and to prevent repair shops from disabling the security features.

According to Consumer Reportsthat lobbied and testified in support of Oregon’s bill, the repair bills passed in four states now cover nearly 70 million people.

This story originally appeared on Ars Technica.

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