[FSFE PR][EN] [GNU/FSF Press] Hardware we all want: FSF announces criteria for hardware endorsement program

peterb at fsf.org peterb at fsf.org
Thu Oct 14 05:10:12 CEST 2010

Hardware we all want: FSF announces criteria for hardware endorsement
program "Respects Your Freedom"


BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, October 14, 2010 -- The Free
Software Foundation (FSF) announced today that it has published an initial
set of criteria for endorsing computers and other devices. The FSF seeks
both to obtain feedback on the criteria, and raise interest in the program
among hardware manufacturers. Ultimately, the FSF plans to promote an
endorsement mark to be carried on products that meet the criteria:
respects your freedom.

"The desire to own a computer or device and have full control over it, to
know that you are not being spied on or tracked, to run any software you
wish without asking permission, and to share with friends without worrying
about Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) -- these are the desires of
millions of people who care about the future of technology and our
society. Unfortunately, hardware manufacturers have until now relied on
close cooperation with proprietary software companies that demanded
control over their users. As citizens and their customers, we need to
promote our desires for a new class of hardware -- hardware that anyone
can support because it respects your freedom," said Peter Brown, executive
director of the FSF.

The FSF's criteria seek to cover all aspects of user interaction with and
control of a device: they say the hardware must run free software on every
layer that is user upgradeable, allow the user to modify that software,
support free data formats, be fully usable with free tools, and more.

FSF license compliance engineer Brett Smith said, "Every software
component needed to produce endorsable hardware is now available. We have
several GNU/Linux distributions that only include free software, and are
completely functional on the right hardware. We have the LinuxLibre kernel
that does not include nonfree microcode. And we have cutting edge mobile
platforms like Android and MeeGo that are based on free software. In the
past we've spoken to manufacturers who were interested in making free
software-friendly hardware, but they worried about connecting with
customers. With our endorsement mark and the strong criteria that back it,
we plan to bridge that gap and demonstrate to manufacturers that they
stand to gain plenty by making hardware that respects people's freedom
instead of curtailing it."

The initial set of guidelines are available on the LibrePlanet wiki, at
http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Hardware/Endorsement_criteria. The FSF
welcomes contributions on the wiki discussion page, including suggestions
for improvements to the criteria, and ideas and art submissions for an
endorsement mark.

Hardware manufacturers interested in endorsement should contact
licensing at fsf.org.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in
freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its
GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF
also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of
freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and
gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations
to support the FSF's work can be made at http://donate.fsf.org. Its
headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

About Free Software and Open Source

The free software movement's goal is freedom for computer users. Some,
especially corporations, advocate a different viewpoint, known as "open
source," which cites only practical goals such as making software powerful
and reliable, focuses on development models, and avoids discussion of
ethics and freedom. These two viewpoints are different at the deepest
level. For more explanation, see

Media Contacts

Brett Smith
License Compliance Engineer
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 x18
brett at fsf.org


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