Texas A&M Law Review

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Consumers are keeping their electronic devices longer today than in the past because the prices of the devices have increased. Increased prices have culminated in more consumers needing their devices repaired. In turn, manufacturers use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal law, and digital rights management to force consumers to get their devices repaired by either the device manufacturer or one of its authorized repairers. In response, states have considered right-to-repair laws which require manufacturers to make repair tools, equipment, and software available to device owners and independent repair shops. While almost half of the country’s state legislatures have considered these bills, no state has enacted one fearing that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will preempt any state’s action on the issue. Critics of these bills argue that the bills conflict with federal law, and therefore, federal law preempts right-to-repair laws. However, this Article argues that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act would not preempt a state’s right-to-repair law.

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