Free Software Foundation encourages shoppers to 'Give Freely' with new Giving Guide
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Wednesday, November 28, 2012 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced its 2012 Giving Guide, a resource for people looking for ethical electronics gifts this holiday season. The 2012 Giving Guide, which can be found at http://www.fsf.org/givingguide, can be used to find great presents that also protect the recipient's freedoms as a technology user.
Many common electronics now ship with proprietary software that intentionally cripples what the device can do. This technique allows companies to do things like force people to use particular software on their devices or track the applications users download. It even allows purveyors of digital ebooks, music, and movies sold with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to remotely block or delete digital purchases without warning or explanation. The 2012 Giving Guide explains the ways in which these gifts are "Defective by Design" and provides givers with better alternatives.
"We created the Giving Guide to inspire people to consider ethical technology gifts this season, just as one might shop for environmentally friendly or locally made gifts for their loved ones. We're featuring laptops that come with fully free operating systems, ebooks that can be shared unfettered by DRM, and even a 3D printer that has been 'Respects your Freedom' certified by the FSF," said Zak Rogoff, campaigns manager for the Free Software Foundation.
"The most responsible gift this season might be a donation in honor of your loved one to a charity that is working to restore the freedoms that Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Sony, and others have been trampling on. For some devices, like tablets and ebook readers, the reason there aren't good options right now is that these companies are employing software patents, DRM, and other dirty tricks to prevent free replacements from emerging. The Giving Guide recommends some great charities working toward a better future," said FSF executive director John Sullivan.
The FSF plans to continue expanding and updating the Guide throughout the holiday shopping season.
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 http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html.
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