As reported by Motherboard, New Jersey assemblyman Paul Moriarty recently introduced a new bill known as the “Fair Repair Act,” passage of which would require electronics manufacturers who sell their products in New Jersey to sell gadget replacement parts to the general public, as well as to independent repair companies. New Jersey is the twelfth state to consider such legislation, which would work to end the stranglehold many tech manufacturing companies have on user repair efforts, requiring the purchasers of modern devices to come directly to the tech giants for repairs.
Electronic repair guides would also have to be made publicly available under New Jersey’s proposed law. It’s anticipated that Moriarty’s efforts will receive major attention from the tech industry’s biggest lobbyists.
“I assume it goes something like this – people introduce legislation, the industry hires lobbyists that descend upon the statehouse, they kill the bill,” stated Moriarty. “If we’re the 12th state, they have a well-oiled machine on how to tackle this, but I’m used to that.”
Moriarty noted that the outcome for the electronics right to repair legislation may ultimately resemble how the path followed by automotive right-to-repair laws. In that instance, a Massachusetts law turned into de facto nationwide legislation, obviating the need for different laws in different states. The Assemblyman was heavily involved in that work, which led to a huge win for consumers.
According to Motherboard, “Moriarty says his own family has gotten sick of having to take Apple products to the Apple store for repairs and says his office has regularly heard from constituents who feel the same way. He says right to repair legislation will help local repair companies hoping to start repair businesses.”
“When there’s a monopoly on who can fix a device or make repairs, the cost of those repairs is very high,” he explained. “Anyone who takes an iPhone to an Apple store can attest to that.”