Oregon Passes Right-to-Repair Law Restricting Parts Pairing oregonlive.com

Mike Rogoway, Oregon Live:

Oregon became the fourth state to pass a bill giving consumers a legal right to fix their own home electronics Monday with legislation that requires manufacturers provide access to the tools, parts and manuals required to repair their gadgets.


“We remain very concerned about the risk to consumers imposed by the broad parts-pairing restrictions in this bill,” John Perry, principal secure repair architect for Apple, said at a legislative hearing last month.

While Apple supports consumers’ right to repair their devices, Perry — who works at an Apple office in Beaverton — said the language in Oregon’s bill is too broad. He said it could introduce vulnerabilities to biometric security and battery safety and could potentially increase theft.

Quick note: the bill (PDF) specifically exempts restrictions on parts pairing related to battery safety in paragraph 3(f). Of course, Apple has made the same dire warnings for years in protest of right-to-repair legislation, and it is hard to know how seriously to take these claims. Oregon’s law does impose some new rules about the ways parts pairing can be used which appear to address some gaps in Apple’s repair policies. It was signed into law today.

One thing we do not know yet is how many people are using resources like Apple’s Self Service Repair Store or Google’s Pixel parts store on iFixit. I could not find a press release from either party about how many products have been repaired, how many kits have been sold, or similar celebrations.

A lack of uptake, however, is not a reason to argue about whether laws like these ought to exist. Right-to-repair legislation is imposed as a baseline expectation for how businesses ought to approach products. It should be possible to repair things and, where pairing or calibration are needed, those practices ought to be justified. If they are legitimate, there should be no problem.