The Repair Association is actively engaged with promoting legislation at both the state and federal level. There is no single solution. State laws can require manufacturers to share the information necessary for repair, which isn't a copyright issue. Copyright reform can limit or remove DRM, which states cannot do. Both types of laws are necessary and we work on both.
State Legislation: Right to Repair & Fair Repair - Now in 11 States
Fair Repair is resonating widely as a consumer protection measure that helps every consumer in every corner of every state. Nearly identical measures are being considered across the US with support of all types of politics, geographies, income and education. We all need to be able to fix our stuff.
All these efforts are based on the same template (PDF here) which it itself based on the 2012 Automotive Right to Repair Law passed in Massachusetts in 2012, which led to a national agreement with the auto industry.
The concept is simple. The digital electronics within automobiles are the same parts used in thousands of other devices, suffer the same types of failures, are controlled by the same types of firmware, and are repaired using the same information, parts, and tools. Since repair is the same, the rules for repair should also be the same.
Bills are now circulating in NY, MA, MN, NE, KS, WY, IL, TN, MO, NC, and IA.
Visit our Advocacy Page to help move repair-friendly legislation in your state.
COPYRIGHT REFORM IN CONGRESS - Not This YEar
The Copyright Office completed a study regarding problems of repair and reuse in Copyright Law and did not recommend any changes. They agreed there are problems and abuse of copyright law, but that the real culprit is in contracts, particularly End User License Agreements ("EULA") which supersede existing protections for repair under the DMCA. The USCO points towards a solution states as having control over unfair and deceptive contracts -- which has been our position since we began.
For more details and analysis - click here.
COPYRIGHT STUDY ON SECTION 1201 (DRM)
The Copyright Office also conducted a separate study on the potential need to reform Section 1201 (known as "Anti-Circumvention") for Congress. This study did not find any new reason to push Congress for reform. We disagree, of course. Reform is badly needed but its not going to happen under Chairman Goodlatte of the Judiciary Committee.
For further information on how US copyright law hinders consumers and the right to repair, see following articles: