One More Right-to-Repair Law Just Passed in the US

Repairing a Samsung Galaxy S21

Everyone should have the right to fix their own stuff if they paid for it, and it looks like the state of Minnesota agrees. A new law passed in the state will require everyone selling electronics in Minnesota to let independent repair shops and consumers repair them on fair terms.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has just signed the bill after it was passed by the state legislature in April. This new law will require companies selling electronics in the state to offer residents the equipment to fix those electronics in “fair and reasonable” terms, in addition to providing repair documentation free of charge. Basically, if you’re a company and you want to sell someone an electronic device in the state of Minnesota, you need to provide the means to repair it, including parts, tools, and documentation.

This bill is largely considered a big win for the right-to-repair movement. The free documentation requirement, in particular, will be very helpful to everyone, not just Minnesota residents. Companies like Apple, which have been historically hostile to third-party repairs, have started to ease up as pressure mounts, with Apple setting up a self-service program that allows people to get official parts and tools to repair Apple devices.

Apple, however, has not been very committed to easy and accessible repairs. The iPhone 14, which will sooner than later turn one year old, is not repairable through this program, and parts are still not officially available months after the release. This new law should help tighten Apple’s screws in this regard.

Notably, the rules don’t apply to certain categories. Farm equipment, game consoles, motor vehicles, and medical devices are excepted from the law. Still, smartphones and laptops are all within the scope of the law, and this should make things way easier for everyone, much to Apple’s chagrin.

Source: The Verge

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