A bill filed in the Georgia legislature seeks to require that manufacturing companies offer materials and other items to independent service providers and other owners of electronic equipment companies.
The bill has been stamped as the “Right to Repair Act” and is sponsored by Republicans Scot Turner, Clay Pirkle, and Robert Dickey.
House Bill 286 requires the release of documentation, tools, and parts through systems “designed for secured release” and mandates that any “unlocking materials” be made available to “any independent service provider or owner of digital electronic equipment that is locked on fair and reasonable terms.”
By definition, the bill levels the playing field for companies and service providers that are not ‘authorized repair providers’ under contract with manufacturers of different equipment and devices. The bill says that manufacturers are only required to release what is ‘otherwise available to an authorized repair provider.’
The legislation provides exemptions for parts no longer available, anything related to motor vehicles, and company trade secrets (unless it’s necessary to unlock devices). It further states that any agreements between manufacturers and ‘authorized repair entities’ will stand in full force and not be impacted by the legislation, if passed. It would apply to any equipment ‘sold or in use on or after July 1, 2019.’
Any violation of the release of documentation or parts would put the company in violation of the ‘Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,’ which is an act enforced by the state Attorney General. Any remedies seen fit by the AG would be permissible for enforcement.
This is the lead sponsor of the bill’s second initiative filed in the 2019 session dealing with private entity operations. The other bill prohibits ride-sharing companies from disallowing the carrying of a firearm while drivers are on the clock for the company. Turner works in the technology field and consults with a number of technology and service companies.HB 286_2019