ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New legislation at the New York Capitol aims to make it easier to fix digital products — from cell phones to smart washing machines — with the Digital Fair Repair Act.
More than 400,000 cell phones are thrown out in the United States daily, according to a report from the United States Public Interest Research Group. And a pair of New York State Senate and Assembly bills aims to cut down on waste and save consumers money.
“We want to make sure that an individual has the right to repair; that he can go to a repair shop and have the directions on how to fix it from the manufacturer,” Sen. Neil Breslin said.
“Repair shops and do-it yourselfers will get the information, will get the tools they need, and get the parts so that they can repair items rather than throw them out,” Russ Haven, NYPIRG General Counsel, said.
Breslin says requiring manufacturers to make diagnostic and repair info for digital items available to customers will make the fix easier and cheaper.
“Whenever you have exclusivity to fix something, there isn’t the competition between and among, and prices tend to rise up,” he said.
And that could also help farmers with their tech equipment like GPS.
“Farmers want to fix things and need to fix these things in the field and having information where they are able to do that is incredibly important to them, especially when we have short growing systems,” Jeff Williams with the New York Farm Bureau said.
“We’re not looking in this legislation to not protect trade secrets,” Breslin said. “They still will be valued, but it gives a nice degree of competition to correct and fix products that are out in the marketplace.”
A similar law is already in effect for motor vehicles.
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