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HomeIllinois NewsStates Consider 'Right to Repair' Legislation to Defend Against Big Manufacturing

States Consider ‘Right to Repair’ Legislation to Defend Against Big Manufacturing



DotsFive years or so ago, frustration at John Deere's draconian tractor DRM culminated in a grassroots tech movement dubbed "right to repair." The company's crackdown on "unauthorized repairs" turned countless ordinary citizens into technology policy activists, after DRM (and the company's EULA) prohibited the lion's share of repair or modification of tractors customers thought they owned. These restrictions only worked to drive up costs for owners, who faced either paying significantly more money for "authorized" repair, or toying around with pirated firmware just to ensure the products they owned actually worked.

Of course the problem isn't just restricted to John Deere. Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and countless other tech giants eager to monopolize repair have spent years bullying independent repair shops and demonizing consumers who simply want to reduce waste and repair devices they own.

Fast forward to 2021, and roughly fourteen different states are all considering pending right to repair legislation that would put power back in the hands of consumers and independent repair shops. Some states, like Montana, are considering different types of legislation that would cover both consumer hardware and agricultural equipment.



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