Canada Considering Right to Repair Legislation Tackling Repair Monopoly Over Brand-Name Devices

By CircleID Reporter

Ontario Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Michael Coteau has introduced a bill to enable consumers and independent professionals to repair brand-name computers and phones easily and economically. Jordan Pearson reporting in Motherboard: "Manufacturers make it incredibly difficult to repair our broken devices ourselves. Instead of taking a smashed phone to a local repair professional for an affordable fix, a complex matrix of trade secrets and government intervention often means consumers have to make a pricey trip to the Genius Bar or buy a new device entirely. This is bad for your wallet, but also bad for the planet. ... On Thursday, Coteau introduced a private member's bill in provincial parliament that, if passed, would be the first 'right to repair' law for electronic devices in North America. More than a dozen US states are currently considering similar bills, but nothing is on the books yet in the US or in Canada."

The Repair Association, non-profit group advocating the right to repair movement in the U.S. emphasizes the need for such laws stating: "The presence of technology parts in modern equipment has enabled manufacturers to reduce access to repair by proclaiming that repair might violate their 'Proprietary' rights. This is a marketing ruse and not grounded in law. Manufacturers do not have any rights to control property beyond the sale. Limitations on repair have become a serious problem for all modern equipment that also limits how equipment can be traded on the used market."

It is argued that the template for Right to Repair is similar to laws applied to the U.S. auto repairs agreed by the auto industry in 2012 (and later adopted by Commercial Trucks industry in 2015) in support of independent repair.

Related topics: Law, Mobile Internet