This week, Congressman Joseph Morelle (D-NY) filed the Fair Repair Act with congress, national right-to-repair legislation that would require manufacturers to provide device owners and independent repair shops with everything needed to repair electronic devices, reports Vice.
Morelle has previously tried to pass right-to-repair legislation at the state level when he was Assembly Majority Leader of New York in 2018. The bill died before anyone could vote on it. But that was three years ago and a lot has changed. More than half the states in the country are considering some form of right-to-repair legislation. Last week, the New York state Senate passed right-to-repair legislation similar to what Morelle has filed at Congress.
The Fair Repair Act does more than force the manufacturer’s hand, it punishes them if they don’t comply. “This bill allows for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to penalize those who violate these provisions through civil penalties including payment of damages, reformation of contracts, and refund of money or property,” Morelle said in a press release. “It also empowers the FTC to promulgate any rules or regulations necessary to carry out these enforcement duties. The Fair Repair Act authorizes state attorneys general to enforce the bill’s provisions as well.”
Read more in Vice.
For those who do not have time to read this bill – it explicitly excludes all medical devices.