Oregon’s Right to Repair Law Is the First to Ban Parts Pairing

Oregon has signed into law one of the strongest right to repair bills in the United States. With the new law, it will become the first state to ban “parts pairing,” which is when replacement parts are prevented from working unless the manufacturer’s software approves them. The pairing protections also forbid companies from limiting functionality for off-brand parts. Apple — which endorsed California’s right to repair law, passed in October — pushed back against the pairing provision. Only devices made after January 1, 2025, when the Oregon law goes into effect, are prevented from parts pairing.

The Verge reports that much like laws in Minnesota and California, “Oregon’s other right to repair rules only apply to phones sold after July 1, 2021, or to other consumer electronics equipment sold after July 1, 2015.”

The Oregon House passed SB 1596 42-to-13, sending it to Governor Tina Kotek, who signed last week. Oregon’s law “will push manufacturers to provide more repair options for their products than any other state so far,” reports Wired.

As with legislation passed in the previously mentioned states, as well as New York, Oregon will require manufacturers to provide the parts, tools and documentation made available to their own repair teams to individuals and third-party shops.

Wired emphasizes that “Oregon’s bill goes further, preventing companies from implementing schemes that require parts to be verified through encrypted software checks before they will function, known as parts pairing or serialization.”

Oregon has “improved on the other states’ right to repair laws “by making sure that consumers have the choice of buying new parts, used parts or third-party parts for their gadgets and gizmos,” The Repair Association Executive Director Gay Gordon-Byrne says on iFixit.

Although California’s right to repair law mandates parts and documentation support for seven years following production for devices that cost more than $100, Oregon doesn’t stipulate a time frame.

Apple Senior Manager for Secure Design John Perry “testified at a February hearing in Oregon that the pairing restriction would ‘undermine the security, safety, and privacy of Oregonians by forcing device manufacturers to allow the use of parts of unknown origin in consumer devices,’” according to Wired.

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