“If you can’t install the software of your choice on your device, that means you don’t really own it,” argue FSFE activists.
The right to install any software on any hardware, simply, without barriers from manufacturers and without losing the right to the guarantee. This is the proposal presented by the Free Software Foundation to the EU institutions. A new corollary to add to the principles already included in the Digital Market Act, the text that will revolutionize the rules governing the market for digital services and products.
The FSFE has presented an open letter addressed to European lawmakers. The manifesto was signed by over 100 organizations (private individuals can join freely at this link).
The universal right to install any software on purchased computers, smartphones and tablets – explains the foundation for free software – would not only break down artificial barriers that affect competition and consumers’ freedom of choice, but would also introduce important advantages for the ‘environment.
“Every year, millions of fully functional devices are thrown away just because their official software stops working and is no longer supported by the manufacturers,” activists explain. But what if one day it becomes possible to install an apocryphal fork of iOS (or an independent OS based on Android) on old iPhones designed specifically to extend the longevity of the phone? Perhaps it would no longer be necessary to replace smartphones every 3 or 5 years.
“If you can’t install the software of your choice on your device, you don’t really own it”Advertisement
say the FSFE activists.
Hence various requests, starting with the right for users to be able to freely choose the operating system and programs to install on their devices (such as smartphones). Hence the need to remove – by law – all those obstacles (legal, but also of an IT and hardware nature) which in fact limit the freedom of consumers, tying the devices to the proprietary software of the respective manufacturers.