back to article New York State Senate first to pass landmark right-to-repair bill – but don't go popping the Champagne just yet

The New York State Senate has approved landmark right-to-repair legislation which forces original equipment manufacturers to provide schematics, parts, and tools to independent repair providers and consumers. S4104, which advances the Digital Fair Repair act, was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. At a virtual …

  1. Snake Silver badge

    Lawmakers

    are not technologically inclined. Their job is to administrate, not understand the technology they use to help them do this.

    So, the best way to solve the right-to-repair problem is not lobbying, it is education. Educate the lawmakers so that they understand the bollocks that fill the anti-rights cause, and call them out on it. They don't need to graduate with an electronics degree but, for example, set up a very small repair in front of their eyes so that they understand that replacing an SMD does not mean accessing the source code, or pretty much any code at all (unless you get anti-repair tech like Apple's serialization, then show them why it hurts the consumer's interest in long-term ownership and what can be done without violating copyright laws).

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Lawmakers

      Their job is to get re-elected.

      So their day job is to fund raise for their election campaign - anything else is a distraction.

      One of the drawbacks of this is that roles that don't attract a lot of industry bribes doesn't get smart ambitious lawmakers - the worst one of these is science.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Lawmakers

        "So their day job is to fund raise for their election campaign - anything else is a distraction."

        Another problem is if the legislation isn't passed before the next election cycle, the support may wind up going away.

      2. sebacoustic

        Re: Lawmakers

        >Their job is to get re-elected.

        Alternatively, just get rich in the current term and then not get re-elected. Anyone remember Governor Varius Flavus in "Asterix in Swizerland"?

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Lawmakers

      It's easy enough to send them a link to one of Louis Rossmann's YouTube videos where he's repairing a MBP ( and talking about moving operations to Florida as there is nearly no walk in business anymore).

      I agree, I don't need any code to make repairs. If the code is faulty, there would be nothing I could do about it. Auto repair shops aren't going to muck about with putting spyware in customers cars. The Bad Guys® may look for exploits, but a shop manual isn't likely to help them out with that.

  2. Dave 15 Silver badge

    If they reject the bill call them out

    Apparently we are to forego coal fires and so on for the environment yet people are willing to damage the environment with excess waste. I was repairing a motorcycle, while getting the parts I checked the price of some washers from triumph. They wanted over a pound each, a pack of 50 was 50p from the market, they were cheap nylon washers, nothing special. Manufacturers of all types go out of their way to prevent repairs by over pricing Spares, using single use fittings, over complex assembly and similar tactics, hell HP even build iron their printers and cartridges software to prevent you using anything but their own 10times the price of the alternatives ink. We should all just stop buying from these people. I don't, it's doing me no harm. HP and Lenovo are two of a long list because of their poor practice

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: If they reject the bill call them out

      We manufacture parts for <redacted>, we make them something like 100 000 + parts of various descriptions per year(we never bother counting after a while)... so we made them 1000 6mm pins.

      and had to argue over the price (about $0.05 each).

      Imagine my surprise when I discovered one of these parts in a shop ... nicely wrapped in blister pack for $15 .....

      And then started investigating the mark up on some of their other products......

  3. Tempest
    Thumb Up

    iFixit and the Rossman Group deserve hat-tips for their investments in time and money for supporting this incentive.

    We shouldn't forget all the outfits like ManualsLib.com who do a great job in providing GENUINE copies of manufacturers technical documents.

  4. Swarthy
    Go

    Anyone remember Haynes Manuals?

    The ones I can find now (when I can find them) are about half the size they used to be, with ~1/4 the information.

    This needs to happen.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Anyone remember Haynes Manuals?

      Not surprisingly, Haynes have had to move into other areas - too few are interested in even checking their own oil levels these days to make manual production worth while. And I've tended to buy the manufacturer's official dealer manuals - Land Rover are happy to sell these to anyone.

      I recall when they had instructions on how to overhaul everything - engines, gearboxes, differentials. Now (well actually, a decade or two ago when I last looked) they are full of "not a DIY job" notices where the overhaul sections used to be.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Anyone remember Haynes Manuals?

        With everything computerized, and undocumented by the manufacturer, "not a DIY job" is often the sad truth with more-recent models.

        My 2015 Volvo XC70 was recalled once for a firmware update for the differentials. I'd be leery of trying to service a computerized differential without comprehensive documentation. What sensors is it using? Do they need to be recalibrated afterward?

        And that car isn't nearly as bad as current Volvos, with their accursed touchscreens and spyware – which are now par for the course.

        It's a pity, because DIY auto repair used to be a good way to learn plenty of useful skills, like problem diagnosis and tool use. Oh, well. At least I can still work on my 1991 Toyota Truck, and try to interest the grandkids in it when they get old enough.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Anyone remember Haynes Manuals?

        A couple of decades ago people owned their cars and houses, which came with a drive, a garage and a garden big enough for a workshop. This enables space to store certain bits of kit to do basic work, such as axle stands etc.

        Now people don't own their cars (which are on perpetual rent schemes like PCP's) so your not allowed to do that sort of work in the first place. Even if you were, the houses with a drive, garage and a large garden with a workshop are priced well out of the point that normal people can afford which prevents people from being able to do work on their own cars since most of the time doing jobs on the road is a bit dodgy.

        Add to the fact that even if you do a job perfectly mechanically, the car will demand that it's plugged into a authorised garages computer to do things in software before it will work again, and you can see why DIY jobs are less popular these days.

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