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New FSF logo highlights hardware that 'Respects Your Freedom'

Certification program aims to recognize devices that give users control over their technology.

Back in August the Free Software Foundation launched a new logo program aimed at helping buyers of digital content avoid products encumbered with Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions, so it only makes sense to see the advocacy group follow up this week with a similar effort targeting hardware.

Dubbed "Respects Your Freedom," the new program offers certification and an official mark that can be displayed on qualifying devices.

"The 'Respects Your Freedom' computer hardware product certification program encourages the creation and sale of hardware that will do as much as possible to respect your freedom and your privacy, and will ensure that you have control over your device," explained Joshua Gay, the FSF's licensing and compliance manager, in an announcement on Wednesday.

Free data formats

The FSF actually began work on the certification program about two years ago, including publishing an initial set of criteria and then inviting community feedback.

Now, the full set of specifications for certification are available on the nonprofit's site.

Essentially, to be certified under the new program, a hardware product must run free software, allow users to modify that software, support free data formats, and be usable with free tools.

For those that qualify, the maker can display the "Respects Your Freedom" certification mark as well as use the FSF name and related materials in press releases and advertising, and benefit from promotion through the FSF's own channels.

'You get it all'

Along with announcing the new program on Wednesday, the FSF also awarded its first Respects Your Freedom certification to the LulzBot AO-100 3D Printer sold by Aleph Objects.

"All of our printers ship with hardware designs, software, and documentation all under free licenses," said Jeff Moe, Aleph's company founder. "You get it all--source code, design documents, and specifications--everything needed to control, tinker, fix, and improve upon every aspect of the printer."

News about future Respects Your Freedom-certified products will be announced in the FSF's Free Software Supporter newsletter.

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