The Morning After: New York’s governor signs a weakened right-to-repair bill

Some last-minute concessions lessened the impact it'll have.

Aziz Taher / reuters

New York governor Kathy Hochul has finally signed a right-to-repair bill into law, over half a year since the state legislature was passed. Representatives for Microsoft and Apple pressed Hochul's office for changes, as well as industry association TechNet, which represents many notable tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Dell and HP. Critics say the amendments will weaken the law's effectiveness. The bill's revised language excludes enterprise electronics, like devices used in schools and hospitals. Home appliances, motor vehicles, medical devices and off-road equipment were also previously exempted.

Whatever aims the right-to-repair bill had when first proposed have been weakened. Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG), a collective of consumer rights organizations, said in a statement to Engadget: "Such changes could limit the benefits for school computers and most products currently in use." It continued: "The bill now excludes certain smartphone circuit boards from parts the manufacturers are required to sell and requires repair shops to post unwieldy warranty language."

– Mat Smith

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