The Culture of Repair Project is aligned with state, national and international bodies working to promote an awareness of the value of repair, to develop access to repair resources, and to reduce and eliminate obstacles to repair.
Right to Repair in California
California joined 19 other states this year to consider Right to Repair legislation.
March 19, 2019: Assembly Bill 1163, introduced by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), proposed amending existing CA law (Section 1793.03 of the Civil Code) that requires manufactures to make parts, tools and diagnostics available to authorized repairers. The change: to make parts, tools and diagnostics available to independent repair shops and owners.
April 6, 2019: In the Sunday New York Times, the Editorial Board endorsed Right to Repair Legislation across the country: It’s Your iPhone. Why Can’t You Fix It Yourself?
The amendment was vigorously opposed by Apple.
April 30, 2019: The bill was withdrawn by Talamantes Eggman on the eve of voting in the Committee for Privacy and Consumer Protection.
In her April 30th statement, Talamantes Eggman said, “Today I decided to pull Assembly Bill 1163 from consideration in the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, with the goal of moving the bill in January of next year. While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns. ... I will be working with members of the committee in the coming months to secure the support needed to make the Right to Repair a reality in California.”
For information about events in Sacramento, including Apple's claims and industry experts' rebuttals, see Motherboard's excellent coverage: CA Right to Repair.
Our position is that Apple's claims do not hold up, and that independent repair shops' participation in repair represents capitalism at its best, creating good local jobs, benefiting consumers, and promoting a robust and healthy economy. Further, owners should be able to fix their things. They own them.
Our position is further developed in our letter supporting the bill: Letter.
In introducing the bill Eggman said, “The Right to Repair will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, creating a competitive market that will be cheaper for consumers and reduce the number of devices thrown in the trash.”
Eggman’s introductory press release with further details is here: Press release.
Section 1793.03 of the Civil Code and the proposed language to amend are here: Assembly Bill 1163
Information and links to additional resources on Right to Repair:
BBC Business news 1:33 video on Right to Repair: BBC Business
iFixit’s short article about the CA initiative: Orientation
The Repair Association’s outline of the issues behind Right to Repair and legislative efforts to address them: Right to Repair
KQED’s Forum addressed Right to Repair on March 11th: Forum
Libertarians speak out: “The Right to Repair Is a Libertarian Argument” at www.beinglibertarian.com.
A balanced reflection in ZDNet on opposition to the bill: ZDNet
iFixit.org’s articles addressing Right to Repair — job creation, environmental protection, consumer cost containment, regaining authority over the things we buy.
In September 2018 Motherboard reported on a Resolution by the Massachusetts Senate to research the impact of Right to Repair. The introductory paragraphs summarize the Right to Repair issue and the Massachusetts resolution:
We live in a world where everyone uses technology and manufacturers don’t want anyone to repair their own stuff. Companies such as Apple maintain strict control of the tools and methods it uses to service broken devices. Farmers across America are hacking their tractors because manufacturer John Deere doesn’t want them to fix them themselves. The right-to-repair movement has been fighting against big tech’s repair monopoly for years and, in Massachusetts, it just took an important step towards busting that monopoly.
On July 25, the Massachusetts Senate approved a Resolution that would create a special commission that would research the feasibility of forcing device manufacturers to treat customers and independent repair shops the same as officially licensed repair outlets. According to the proposed study, that means providing customers and independent repair shops with “repair technical updates, diagnostic software, service access passwords, updates and corrections to firmware, and related documentation.”
See the entire Motherboard article HERE.
Advocates in the UK and Europe are likewise advancing Right to Repair policies. The Restart Project (London) is a powerful force, initiating, among many other important repair projects, The Manchester Declaration. More information about UK and European Right to Repair efforts is published on the The Restart Project website.