The Next Morning: New York governor signs a weakened right to repair bill

New York governor Kathy Hochul has finally signed a right to repair bill, more than six months after the state legislature passed it. Microsoft and Apple representatives pressed Hochul’s office, as well as industry association TechNet, which represents several key tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Dell and HP. Critics say the changes will weaken the law’s effectiveness. The revised language of the bill does not cover corporate electronics such as devices used in schools and hospitals. Household appliances, motor vehicles, medical devices and off-road equipment were also previously exempted.

Whatever purposes the right to repair bill had when it was first proposed, it was weakened. The Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG), a community of consumer rights organizations, told Engadget: “Such changes could limit the benefits of school computers and most products currently in use.” He continued: “The bill now excludes some smartphone circuit boards from parts manufacturers must sell and requires repair shops to issue cumbersome warranty language.”

– Matt Smith

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