Say what you will about trends, but when they get to California, and the Silicon Valley in particular, the stakes usually get sky high, and the fresh electronics repair legislation proposal is no different. Introduced by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, the California Right to Repair Act seeks to mandate Apple and other gadget makers, to make their repair manuals and guidelines available to everyone - from users, to small independent repair shops.
As we continue to evolve in our dependence for technology, we go through and create a lot of electronic waste. It just feels as though corporate America developed a business practice that sells you something, but you can only go back to them to fix for another $1,000. In my day, when you bought a microwave, it lasted a really long time and you would repair it on your own.
While that last part may sound a bit Luddite, the proposal makes California the 18th state where such laws are considered. Apple, IBM, Cisco and other tech giants have been fighting tooth and nail against their passage, though, as, they argue, they want to control the repair process to ensure safety and environmental compliance.
The Right to Repair Act proponents say that in the last two decades, manufacturers have monopolized repairs by withholding manuals, and introducing custom parts, down to the pentalobe screws that Apple uses in its iPhones. It's going to be an uphill legal fight, so get your popcorn ready, Californians!