With the introduction of AB 221 in Nevada, 25 states across the country have considered active Right to Repair legislation so far in 2021, demonstrating the widespread appeal of the policy. These bills would reform existing laws to require manufacturers of electronic equipment to provide access to necessary items such as manuals, spare parts, diagnostics and special tools so people can repair their devices. In some states, the legislation targets farm or medical equipment, while in other states, the bills apply broadly. Later in the legislative season, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania joined in.
If you thought that consumers were going to let manufacturers take away our ability to fix the things we own lying down, you have another thing coming. People just want to fix their stuff, and they’ve been clamoring — here, there and everywhere — for lawmakers to protect their right to repair.
“We see and feel the momentum building. Legislation is moving not just in the United States, but also around the globe,” said Gay Gordon-Byrne, the executive director of Repair.org, which represents the independent repair industry. “The time for manufacturers to get on the right side of their customers — and history — is now.”
“Right to Repair is unstoppable and coming to a state near you,” added Kerry Maeve Sheehan, U.S. policy lead for iFixit, the world’s biggest online repair community. “Lawmakers everywhere are seeing that Right to Repair is common sense: You buy a product, you own it, and you should be able to fix it. With 25 states considering Right to Repair legislation in the U.S., it’s only a matter of time before Right to Repair is the law of the land.”
Senior Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair, PIRG
Nathan leads U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign, working to pass legislation that will prevent companies from blocking consumers’ ability to fix their own electronics. Nathan lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.