|| ||Peter Brown <peterb-AT-fsf.org>|
|| ||info-press-AT-fsf.org, info-fsf-AT-gnu.org|
|| ||[GNU/FSF Press] Environmental and social justice groups unite to
condemn Microsoft Vista|
|| ||Wed, 29 Aug 2007 02:32:53 -0400|
International coalition of environmental and social justice groups
condemn Microsoft Vista and call for the adoption of free software
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Wednesday, August 29, 2007 -- Today,
environmental and social justice groups united to call for the rejection
of Microsoft Windows Vista and for society's adoption of free software,
highlighting environmental concerns and technology restrictions
associated with proprietary software.
The Green Party, New Internationalist, Friends of the Earth
International, People and Planet, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF)
have signed a statement at http://freesoftwarefreesociety.org calling on
social activists and progressive organizations to join with them in
rejecting Microsoft's Vista operating system, and to encourage instead
the adoption and use of free software.
Free software operating systems are now widely available in a form
called GNU/Linux. Free software is about freedom, not price. It is
software whose authors intentionally extend users the freedoms to study,
copy, modify and share their work. While proprietary software functions
by dividing people and using technical restrictions to block
communication between them, free software was created with individual
freedom and social and solidarity in mind.
Derek Wall, Green Party principal speaker said, "Free software offers
social activists an alternative to what Vista represents. Using free
software we can further social and environmental justice without
supporting growth based on waste, control and short-term profit." He
continued, "I would urge social movements to develop a migration
strategy, including a commitment not to move to Vista."
The statement highlights the disposable-computer mentality embodied in
the excessive hardware requirements of Microsoft Windows Vista. Often
new hardware is necessary to support new software features, but the
coalition says in this case, Vista's requirements are to enable the
operating system to more effectively restrict the user at the request of
media companies seeking to prevent copying of music and video files.
These restrictions create a problem not only for the environment but
also for social activists, who according to the statement become
"dependent upon software owned and exclusively controlled by entities
that design their software in ways directly opposed to grassroots social
Peter Brown, FSF's executive director, said, "Free software is an issue
of free speech when we depend upon our computers for social activism and
political campaigning. Freedoms that we have been defending so
vigorously for so long are being handed away through the adoption of
software that restricts user freedom."
Groups and individuals who support the statement are being asked to add
their own signatures at http://freesoftwarefreesociety.org. The
statement will be used to encourage non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) to develop policies in support of free software, and, through the
collection of free software adoption success stories, encourage the
development of organizational migration plans to free software.
==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. Its Web site, located at www.fsf.org, is
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.
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