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<title>Open letter for the right to install any software on any device</title>
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<p id="category"><a href="/activities/upcyclingandroid/upcyclingandroid.html">Upcycling Android</a></p>
<div id="join" class="color-box background fullwidth" data-color="android-blue">
<h4>Open Letter</h4>
<h3 id="the-universal-right-to-freely-choose-operating-systems-software-and-services">The universal right to install any software on any device</h3>
</div>
<blockquote>
<p>
Software design is crucial for the ecodesign and sustainability of
products and hardware. Free Software systems and services enable
reuse, repurposing and interoperability of devices. The universal
right to freely choose operating systems, software and services is
crucial for a more sustainable digital society.
</p>
</blockquote>
<h2>To: Legislators in the European Union</h2>
<h2>In copy: Citizens of the European Union</h2>
<p>
The ongoing digitization of infrastructures and services comes
along with a continuously growing number of electronic devices
that are connected to the Internet - be it in private, public or
business environments. Many of these devices need more energy and
natural resources to be produced than the energy they consume
during their entire lifespan. And way too many of these devices are
being wasted and not reparable simply because the software stops
working or is not being updated anymore.
</p>
<p>
Once the pre-installed software stops users from continuing to use
their hardware, restrictive ownership models prevent users from
helping themselves to enjoy longer use of their devices.
Restrictions span from physically locking down hardware, to
technical obscurity by using proprietary software, to legal
restrictions via software licenses and end user license agreements.
This way, manufacturers often prohibit repairability, access and
reuse of their devices. Even after purchase, customers often do
not really own their devices. They are not able to do what they
want with their very own devices. <strong>If you cannot install the
software you want on your own device – you don’t own it.</strong>
</p>
<p>
We, the signees of this open letter,
</p>
<ul>
<li>
recognize that free access to the hardware and software determines how long or how often a device can be used or reused.
</li>
<li>
declare the increased longevity and reusability of our devices to be inevitable for a more sustainable digital society.
</li>
</ul>
<p>
<strong>That is why we ask legislators in the European Union to make use of the
historic chance and enable a more sustainable use of electronic
products and devices with a universal right to install and run any
software on any device.</strong> To this end, we demand that:
</p>
<div class="color-box background rounded" data-color="android-blue">
<h3 id="users-have-the-right-to-freely-choose-operating-systems-and-software-running-on-their-devices">Users have the right to freely choose operating systems and software running on their devices</h3>
</div>
<div class="with-image-left small-img">
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/4bc66bc88db53000d4c61158a2c59ed8.png" alt="three gears in different colors and sizes integrate with each other, while one has the coding abbreviation on it" />
<div>
<p>
Our tablets, phones and other connected devices are general purpose
computers. Replacing software and operating systems on these
devices enables us to extend the initial lifespan of a device and
to make full use of our hardware. For the ability to reuse and
repurpose our resources in a creative and sustainable way we need
<strong>the universal right to install and develop any operating
system and software we want on any of our devices.</strong> Any
legal, technical or other obstacles to reuse these devices for any
purpose must not be allowed.
</p>
</div>
</div>
<div class="color-box background rounded" data-color="android-blue">
<h3 id="users-have-the-right-to-freely-choose-between-service-providers-to-connect-their-devices-with">Users have the right to freely choose between service providers to connect their devices with</h3>
</div>
<div class="with-image-left small-img">
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/3a188e6f8005efc058a948f46f8055fe.png" alt="a phone-like device out of which come three arrows, one to the left, one to the right and one straight ahead" />
<div>
<p>
Users must have the free choice of providers offering software
related services, meaning they can use the device from one
manufacturer with the service provided by another. Many connected
clients today go to waste simply because their online services go
offline. Free choice of services allows these clients to be reused
by connecting to another service.
</p>
<p>
Operating systems and embedded software determine possible
interactions between generic sensors, modules and systems with
their connected online services. For users to exercise free choice
of services, they must be able to use the device from one
manufacturer with any online service, which could be supplied by
any other third party or by themselves. <strong>Connected services
as well as the software on connected devices and applications must
offer interoperability and full functionality of a device&#39;s
initial purpose with the use of Open Standards.</strong>
</p>
</div>
</div>
<div class="color-box background rounded" data-color="android-blue">
<h3 id="devices-are-interoperable-and-compatible-with-open-standards">Devices are interoperable and compatible with open standards</h3>
</div>
<div class="with-image-left small-img">
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/5d9d8a311d507cef799ce719b554094f.png" alt="four different geometrical figures are connected via bridges" />
<div>
<p>
Software designs and architectures determine accessibility and
compatibility of hardware via standards, drivers, tools, and
interfaces. Proprietary software and protocols hinder competition
among manufacturers, undermine repairability of devices and create
an artificial incompatibility of different devices within the same
infrastructure. Interoperability of single devices however is
crucial for the creation of sufficient, sustainable and
long-lasting IT infrastructures. To enable interoperability,
<strong>manufacturers must ensure that any data necessary to run a
device&#39;s primary function is compatible with and possible to
import/export in open standards.</strong>
</p>
</div>
</div>
<div class="color-box background rounded" data-color="android-blue">
<h3 id="source-code-of-drivers-tools-and-interfaces-are-published-under-a-free-license">Source code of drivers, tools, and interfaces are published under a free license</h3>
</div>
<div class="with-image-left small-img">
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/2846e7dcfaca4da119444ed8563f9f78.png" alt="a phone like device looks like a lock that has been opened" />
<div>
<p>
Smaller components of a device often require specific drivers,
tools, and interfaces to operate. Users need full access and free
reusability of the source code of those drivers, tools, and
interfaces to analyse and integrate a device within a set of
interconnected devices from different manufacturers. Source code
reusability is also key to exercise the full right to repair for
any third-parties from professional repair shops to repair cafés to
end users.
</p>
<p>
A free license is any license that gives everyone the four freedoms
to use, study, share and improve the software, including Free
Software and Open Source Software licenses. <strong>The obligation
to publish drivers, tools, and interfaces under such a free license
after market entry are key for full access to our devices and
exercising the universal right to repair.</strong>
</p>
</div>
</div>
<h2 id="signatures">Signatures</h2>
<sigtable/>
<br></br>
<hr></hr>
<p>
Does your organisation or company support the users’ right to
freely choose operating systems, software and services? Please reach us with an email to contact [at] fsfe [dot] org to sign the open letter and join the alliance.
</p>
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