FSFE requires right of access and reuse of hardware

In a open letter to EU legislators signed by 38 organizations, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) calls for the universal right to install any software on any device. The FSFE argues that this right favors the reuse and longevity of the devices.

As part of several legislative proposals, the European Union is currently redefining eco-design criteria for products within the EU, reports the FSFE. These include the Sustainable Products Initiative, the Circular Electronics Initiative and the Right to Repair Initiative.

The goal of the new regulations is to extend the time of use of the hardware and advance in favor of a circular use of electronic devices. The current ecodesign regulation dates from 2009, informs the FSFE, and does not include criteria related to the nature and licensing of software as an important factor in the sustainability of electronic products. The FSFE writes that the software directly affects how long consumers can continue to use the devices.

The European Union regulator accuses Apple of restricting rivals' access to NFC payment technology in iPhone terminals. The technology giant thus once again demonstrates its proprietary lock-in by limiting the access of its smartphone users to the standard technology that allows contactless payments in stores through mobile devices.

Apple is one of the typical examples of companies that give users the feeling that the devices they have in their possession are not their property. Therefore, the Free Software Foundation Europe is taking a stand by campaigning for the universal right to install any software on any device in an open letter to lawmakers in the European Union.

In the letter sent comment the following:

Software design is crucial for eco-design and sustainability of products and materials. Free operating systems and services enable device reuse, redesign, and interoperability. The universal right to freely choose operating systems, software and services is crucial for a more sustainable digital society.

To: European Union legislators
CC: Citizens of the European Union

The ongoing digitization of infrastructure and services comes with an increasing number of electronic devices that are connected to the Internet, whether in private, public or commercial settings. Many of these devices require more energy and natural resources to produce than the energy they consume over their entire lifetime. And too many of these devices go to waste and cannot be repaired simply because the software stops working or is no longer updated.

Once pre-installed software drives users away from their hardware, restrictive ownership models prevent users from enjoying long-term use of their devices. Restrictions range from physical hardware lockdown to technical obscurity through the use of proprietary software and legal restrictions through software licenses and end user license agreements. However, manufacturers often prohibit the repair, access and reuse of their devices. Even after purchase, customers often do not own their devices. They can't do what they want with their own devices. If you can't install the software you want on your own device, you don't really own it.

We, the signatories of this open letter:

recognize that free access to hardware and software determines how long or how often a device can be used or reused;
We declare that greater longevity and reusability of our devices are necessary for a more sustainable digital society.
That is why we are calling on policymakers across Europe to seize the historic opportunity and deliver more sustainable use of electronic products and devices with the right to install and run any software on any device. To do this, we request:

That users have the right to freely choose the operating systems and software that run on their devices

That users have the right to freely choose the service providers to which they connect their devices

That devices are interoperable and compatible with open standards

That the source code of the drivers, tools and interfaces be released under a free license

Among the first to sign You will find repair alliances such as the European Campaign for the Right to Repair, the Repair Roundtable and the Network of Repair Initiatives, which together already represent hundreds of initiatives and associations in the European repair industry. Other signatories include iFixit, Fairphone, Germanwatch, the Open Source Business Alliance, Wikimedia DE, Digitalcourage, the European Digital Rights Initiative, and many more.

Finally, if you are interested in being able to know more about it, you can consult the details in the following link

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