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Right-To-Repair Laws Gain Steam In State Legislatures

Science Friday

03-06-2024 • 12 mins

If you have a problem with your phone, like a bad battery or a cracked screen, you might decide to just buy a new one. That’s partly because we don’t have a lot of options to repair our devices: Manufacturers can make it extraordinarily difficult—or expensive—to do so.

But for years now, the right-to-repair movement in the US has been pushing for legislation that forces companies to provide consumers with more options to fix the products they actually own, instead of having to go through manufacturers to get them fixed.

And in the past year, multiple states, including California, New York, Minnesota, and Oregon, have adopted such laws. Companies like Apple and John Deere have been fighting these kinds of measures for years.

Guest host Arielle Duhaime-Ross speaks to Jason Koebler, co-host of the 404 Media podcast, about the growing adoption of legislation, why companies have been lobbying against it, and what he thinks the future of the movement is.

Transcripts for each segment will be available after the show airs on sciencefriday.com.

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