[FSFE PR][EN] EU Ecodesign: 38 organisations demand the right to access and to reuse hardware

press at fsfe.org press at fsfe.org
Wed Apr 27 06:16:13 UTC 2022

 = EU Ecodesign: 38 organisations demand the right to access and to reuse hardware =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2022/news-20220427-01.en.html ]

The FSFE publishes an open letter, co-signed by 38 organisations and
companies, to ask EU legislators for the right to install any software
on any device, including full access to hardware. These rights support
reusability and longevity of our devices. The alliance is composed of
entities from environmental, economic, and technological sectors.

The European Union is about to redefine the ecodesign criteria for
products in several legislative proposals, including the Sustainable
Product Initiative, the Circular Electronics Initiative, and the Right
to Repair. These proposals aim at extending the usage time of hardware
and facilitating circular use of electronic devices. The current
regulations date from 2009 and do not include any criteria regarding the
design and licensing of software as an important factor for the
sustainability of electronic products. Software directly influences how
long consumers can keep using their devices.

Nowadays, users who want to keep using their devices for a longer time,
or to reuse their hardware in a creative way, face a wide range of
software barriers: from obsolescence to an unexpected end-of-support,
from spare part serialization to locked boot loaders. In practice, these
artificial restrictions on using and reusing hardware are ultimately
imposed by software. Neither consumers nor professional third-party
services can overcome them, often simply due to the obscurity of
proprietary software licensing models. Free Software licensing solves
many of these issues and in this way becomes crucial for an eco-friendly
design and the sustainability of hardware; this is the core message of
an Open Letter published today by the Free Software Foundation Europe
and co-signed by 37 European organisations and companies [1].

Among the initial signees are large repair unions as the European Right
to Repair Campaign, the Round Table Repair, and the Netzwerk Reparatur
Initiative - together representing hundreds of initiatives and
associations of the European repair sector. Together with iFixit,
Fairphone, Germanwatch, Open Source Business Alliance, Wikimedie DE,
Digitalcourage, European Digital Rights Initiative, and more, they build
an alliance of 38 organisations, that ask European legislators for a
more sustainable digital economy by giving users the right to freely
choose operating systems, software, and services. The letter divides
this right into four core demands:

 === Universal right to install any software on any device ===

Users must have the universal right to install and develop any operating
system and software they want on any device. Legal, technical, or other
obstacles to reusing these devices for any purpose must not be allowed.

 === Free choice of online service providers ===

Using certain hardware must not dictate which online services to use.
The obligation to connect online services via Open Standards must
empower users to choose services from diverse manufacturers, including
self-hosted services or those hosted by any third party.

 === Interoperable and compatible devices ===

Using certain hardware must not dictate which other hardware to buy in
order to keep those devices connected. Manufacturers must provide any
data necessary to run a device in Open Standards format, allowing
interoperability of devices. Artificial incompatibility of devices must
not be allowed.

 === Publication of source code of drivers, tools, and interfaces ===

Manufacturers must enable users to repurpose, replace, or repair any
part of a device. This is only possible if users can access and reuse
the source code of all necessary drivers, tools, and interfaces to run
the device and its components. This means that the source code of tools,
drivers, and interfaces of every piece of hardware within a device must
be published under a Free Software licence.

The FSFE and 38 European organisations and companies stress the above
demands as necessary for sustainable use and reuse of our hardware.
Empowering users with the right to freely choose operating systems,
software, and services will allow them to use and reuse their devices
for a longer period.

The initial signatories of the open letter include civil society
organisations from the environmental, economic, and technological
sectors. Several companies support these demands as well, showing that a
more sustainable digital society and economic growth are not
contradictions. The list of these initial signees in alphabetical order

1. /e/ Foundation

2. Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (ANSOL)

3. European Open Source Business Association (APELL)

4. Back Market

5. Barcelona Free Software Group

6. Citizen D

7. Deutscher Naturschutzring

8. Digitalcourage

9. Digitale Gesellschaft CH

10. Document Foundation

11. Environmental Coalition on Standards

12. Epicenter.works

13. European Digital Rights (EDRi)

14. Elektronisk Forpost Norge

15. European Right to Repair Campaign (repair.eu)

16. Fairphone

17. Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche
    Verantwortung e.V. (FifF)

18. Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)

19. Germanwatch

20. Greek Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS)

21. Heinlein Support

22. iFixit

23. KDE

24. Mailbox.org

25. Mouvement Ecologique

26. Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU)

27. Netzwerk Reparatur Initiativen

28. Nextcloud

29. Nitrokey

30. Norwegian Unix User Group

31. Oekozenter Pafendall

32. Open Kowledge Foundation DE


34. Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA)

35. Runder Tisch Reparatur

36. Shift

37. Vrijschrift

38. Wikimedia DE

 1: https://fsfe.org/activities/upcyclingandroid/openletter.en.html

  == About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to
  control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our
  lives; and it is important that this technology empowers rather than
  restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use,
  understand, adapt and share software. These rights help support other
  fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy.

  The FSFE helps individuals and organisations understand how Free
  Software contributes to freedom, transparency and self-determination. We
  enhance users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software adoption,
  encourage people to use and develop Free Software, and provide resources
  to enable everyone to further promote Free Software in Europe.


More information about the Press-release mailing list