Today, Representative Mondaire Jones (D-NY) introduced the “Freedom to Repair Act” to protect consumers’ right to repair their own electronic products. The bill amends Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to allow users and repair services to circumvent digital locks in order to maintain, repair, or diagnose broken software-enabled devices. It also permits the use, manufacture, importation, and provision of digital tools needed to perform these repairs. Public Knowledge urges Congress to pass this bill to eliminate the DMCA’s right-to-repair barrier for consumers once and for all.
The following can be attributed to Kathleen Burke, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“We’re thrilled to see Congress reforming Section 1201 to eliminate the need for consumers to request an exemption to repair their own electronic devices. If passed, this legislation will mark a major victory for the right to repair and move the needle forward on solving the convoluted Section 1201 exemption process. The DMCA was never intended to prevent consumers from repairing things they own. Unfortunately, Section 1201 of the DMCA is used as a weapon to limit consumer repair rights and access to repair services all too often.
“By allowing consumers to repair their own devices without needing to get the Copyright Office’s permission every three years, this bill will save the public from participating in a bewildering legal process just to secure the right to repair things they already own. We look forward to working with Rep. Jones on protecting the public’s crucial right to repair.”
You may view our blog post, “Everything About the Section 1201 Process is Mad,” for more information on the Section 1201 process.
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