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Right to Repair: Home


Welcome to the Right-to-Repair research guide! This guide will help you get started with finding resources on the topic.  It includes links to key library subscription resources, including article databases, journals and books, as well as open web content.

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What is Right to Repair?

What is “right to repair”?

The idea behind “right to repair” is in the name: If you own something, you should be able to repair it yourself or take it to a technician of your choice. People are pretty used to this concept when it comes to older cars and appliances, but right-to-repair advocates argue that modern tech, especially anything with a computer chip inside, is rarely repairable.

Legally, American shoppers are mostly already allowed to repair whatever they buy (those warranty-voiding stickers you’ve probably seen on gadgets are usually bogus under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act), but practically speaking, people are often denied the information or the parts to do so. This is where the right-to-repair movement comes in. The Repair Association, a right-to-repair advocacy group, has several policy objectives, including some that can be corrected with laws and others that require a shift in buyer expectations.

Those objectives are:

  • Make information available: Everyone should have reasonable access to manuals, schematics, and software updates. Software licenses shouldn’t limit support options and should make clear what’s included in a sale.
  • Make parts and tools available: The parts and tools to service devices, including diagnostic tools, should be made available to third parties, including individuals.
  • Allow unlocking: The government should legalize unlocking, adapting, or modifying a device, so an owner can install custom software.
  • Accommodate repair in the design: Devices should be designed in a way as to make repair possible.


Quoted from:
Klosowski, T. (2021, July 15). What You Should Know About Right to Repair. The New York Times.

Apple Yields to DIY Movement as 'Right to Repair' Bills Proliferate

Self-repair movement still has a long way to go, advocates say. They are pushing legislation in most states that would include not only phones but also farm equipment, medical devices and, in many cases, a broad range of tech devices.

Apple Inc. will offer some tools and parts so owners can repair their own phones, conceding to pressure from consumer groups, lawmakers who introduced bills in more than half the states and President Joe Biden.

The self-repair tools and parts will first be available for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, the company announced, with availability for Mac computers to come early next year.

"The new program isn't as comprehensive as the Right to Repair reforms discussed in more than two dozen state legislatures this year would be, said Nathan Proctor, senior right to repair director for U.S. PIRG, a consumer group, in an emailed statement. "Given current public information, Apple still maintains a lot of proprietary control over repairs on its devices, although more details are emerging."


Quoted from:
Povich, E. S. (2021, November 19). Apple Yields to DIY Movement as “Right to Repair” Bills Proliferate. Stateline.Org (Washington, DC).


CQ Researcher