Oregon’s new Right to Repair bill targets anti-repair practices

Oregon’s new Right to Repair bill targets anti-repair practices

Oregon is set to become the latest state to pass a Right to Repair law. The Oregon House of Representatives passed the Right to Repair Act (SB 1596) on March 4, two weeks after it advanced from the Senate. It now heads to Governor Tina Kotek’s desk, who has five days to sign it.

California, Minnesota and New York have similar legislation, but Nathan Proctor, the Public Interest Research Group’s Right to Repair Campaign senior director, calls Oregon’s legislation “the best bill yet.” (It’s worth noting that Colorado also has its own Right to Repair legislation that has a different remit around agricultural equipment rather than around consumer electronics.)

If made into law, Oregon’s Right To Repair Act would be the first to ban “parts pairing,” a practice that prevents individuals from swapping out a piece for another, theoretically equivalent one. For example, a person might replace their iPhone battery with an identical one from the same model, but they’ll likely receive an error message that it either can’t be verified or used. The system forces people to buy the part directly from the manufacturer and can only activate it with their consent — otherwise users will have to buy an entirely new device altogether. Instead, under the new bill, manufacturers would be required to:

  • Prevent or inhibit an independent repair provider or an owner from installing or enabling the function of an otherwise functional replacement part or a component of consumer electronic equipment, including a replacement part or a component that the original equipment manufacturer has not approved.

  • Reduce the functionality or performance of consumer electronic equipment.

  • Cause consumer electronic equipment to display misleading alerts or warnings, which the owner cannot immediately dismiss, about unidentified parts.

Along with restricting parts pairing, the act dictates that manufacturers must make compatible parts available to device owners through the company or an authorized service provider for the most favorable price and without any “substantial” conditions.

The parts pairing ban applies to any devices first built or sold in Oregon starting in 2025. However, the law backdates general coverage of electronics to 2015, except for cell phones. Oregon’s mobile devices purchased starting July 2021 count — a stipulation in line with California’s and Minnesota’s Right to Repair bills.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/oregons-new-right-to-repair-bill-targets-anti-repair-practices-143001457.html?src=rss

By John Routledge

Founder and owner of Technoshia.com - I'm an avid tech junkie, a lover of new gadgets and home automation. You will often find me reading, writing, and learning about new technologies. I've been featured in many leading technology magazines where I've written about my favorite topics.