BIG TECH, NEVADA REPAIR SHOPS CLASH OVER ‘RIGHT TO REPAIR'
Techlife News|Techlife News #492
Trade groups representing big tech companies faced off with independent repair shop owners during a committee hearing in the Nevada Legislature over a proposal that would require manufacturers to give repair shops the ability to fix devices like computers, phones, tablets and printers.
Whether government should require companies to provide independent shops — rather than just authorized dealers — access to the parts and schematics needed to fix devices is one front in a larger societal battle over how to regulate the technology industry as their products become more necessary in everyday life.

So-called “Right to Repair” bills like the one in Nevada, which are under consideration in 25 statehouses, are loosely based on a Massachusetts ballot initiative that voters approved last year to make car parts and plans available to vehicle repair businesses.

Nevada’s bill would apply to consumer electronic devices worth less than $5,000 wholesale and exempt gambling equipment in a state where the casino lobby has huge influence.

The debate centers on how and where consumers can fix broken smart phones and the extent to which the companies that produce them have the right to safeguard their intellectual property.

Elsewhere in the U.S., lawmakers in Nebraska have tailored repair legislation to agricultural equipment while California is considering requiring medical equipment manufacturers to make available information on how to repair devices like ventilators.

Las Vegas Assemblywoman Selena Torres, an English teacher who once worked at a battery store that did repairs, said adding the requirement for independent shops to get what they need from bigger companies to make repairs into state law would protect jobs in the electronics repair industry.

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