Celebrate Repair Independence Day!

Right-to-repair advocates have spent more than a decade working for a simple goal: to make sure you can fix and tinker with your own stuff. That should be true whether we’re talking about a car, a tractor, a smartphone, a computer, or really anything you buy. Yet product manufacturers have used the growing presence of software on devices to make nonsense arguments about why tinkering with your stuff violates their copyright.

Our years of hard work pushing for consumer rights to repair are paying off in a big way. Case in point: Today—July 1, 2024—two strong repair bills are now law in California and Minnesota. As Repair Association Executive Director Gay Gordon-Byrne said on EFF's podcast about right to repair, after doggedly chasing this goal for years, we caught the car!

Sometimes it's hard to know what to do after a long fight. But it's clear for the repair movement. Now is the time to celebrate! That's why EFF is joining our friends in the right to repair world by celebrating Repair Independence Day.

EFF is joining our friends in the right to repair world by celebrating Repair Independence Day.

There are a few ways to do this. You could grab your tools and fix that wonky key on your keyboard. You could take a cracked device to a local repair shop. Or you can read up on what your rights are. If you live in California or Minnesota—or in Colorado or New York, where right to repair laws are already in effect—and want to know what the repair laws in your state mean for you, check out this tip sheet from Repair.org.

And what if you're not in one of those states? We still have good news for you. We're all seeing the fruits of this labor of love, even in states where there aren't specific laws. Companies have heard, time and again, that people want to be able to fix their own stuff. As the movement gains more momentum, device manufacturers started to offer more repair-friendly programs: Kobo offering parts and guides, Microsoft selling parts for controllers, Google committing to offering spare parts for Pixels for seven years, and Apple offering some self-service repairs.  

It's encouraging to see companies respond to our demands for the right to repair, though laws such as those going into effect today make sure they can't roll back their promises. And, of course, the work is not done. Repair advocates have won incredible victories in California and Minnesota (with another good law in Oregon coming online next July). But there are a still lots of things you should be able to fix without interference that are not covered by these bills, such as tractors.

We can't let up, especially now that we're winning. But today, it's time to enjoy our hard-won victories. Happy Repair Independence Day!

Monday 1st July 2024 3:30 pm

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