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GNU is Not Unix Software Hardware

FSF Announces Hardware Endorsement Criteria 273

Posted by Soulskill
from the ideals-inside dept.
sveinungkv writes "The Free Software Foundation has announced criteria for the hardware endorsement program 'Respects Your Freedom.' From the announcement: '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. (...) 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.' While it currently contains some requirements that many may find broader than what they personally need, the remaining criteria would make the FSF endorsement a useful tool when looking for devices that give the owner control over the device they have bought and paid for. The criteria are still open for feedback."
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FSF Announces Hardware Endorsement Criteria

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  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday October 15, 2010 @01:37PM (#33910984)

    I believe that the concept is that hardware can be made to prevent free software from loading, for instance, a chip to check for digital signatures to prove the code is "authorized", and that therefor the non-libre hardware can prevent you from running the software you want, forcing you to have to use software that isn't libre.

  • Re:Good news (Score:4, Informative)

    by melikamp (631205) on Friday October 15, 2010 @01:40PM (#33911042) Homepage Journal

    People do understand the difference, they just overwhelming don't care.

    No they don't. By and large, people don't understand what "software" is, or how "data" is different from "executable code", much less the difference between open and proprietary solutions and the way it affects them as consumers and users. Go talk to just about anyone out of the field. They all carry around smartphones: general purpose computers with internet access, but they have NO idea how or why they work. At the very best, they've learned that they can download "apps" from a "store".

  • Re:Good news (Score:2, Informative)

    by Desler (1608317) on Friday October 15, 2010 @01:46PM (#33911144)
    Exactly and the first response to my post is a perfect example of said snobs.
  • by CyprusBlue113 (1294000) on Friday October 15, 2010 @02:00PM (#33911314)

    No, they are quite clear its about freedom of the *users*, not everyone.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Friday October 15, 2010 @02:07PM (#33911398)
    Not really, what they refer to as free is really freedom from restrictions. Meaning that they're focused on the end user being free to use the whatever as they please. Hardware manufacturers by both necessity and practice don't have that luxury. If they want their USB doodad to function, then it damn well better fit in the port, and it has to be able to function with the USB chip and if they want it to function there must be a driver, either generic or provided to make it work.

    What the FSF is saying here is that if you want to distribute hardware that we've endorsed, then the end user needs to be able to do certain things. What you do internally with the hardware is up to you, but it must interface with free software

    Beyond that there's some clauses that are just general if you want to associate with us, you must behave in a way which is of reasonable ethics. No spying for instance.

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