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[GNU/FSF Press] FSF demonstrates iPhone's incompatibility with free soft

From: John Sullivan
Subject: [GNU/FSF Press] FSF demonstrates iPhone's incompatibility with free software and GPLv3
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 13:13:00 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.110009 (No Gnus v0.9) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, July 31, 2008 -- The Free Software
Foundation (FSF) has published a statement exposing Apple's hostile position
towards free software on its iPhone mobile computing platform.

The statement contrasts the iPhone with other proprietary computer operating
platforms that have allowed free software access, saying "For many years, we
have been suffering from Microsoft's PC monopoly; a platform that has allowed
Microsoft to inflict untold harm on computer users and the computing industry.
The free software community has been working for many years to give people an
opportunity to escape to GNU/Linux from Windows, but the iPhone would allow no
such escape route."

FSF operations manager John Sullivan explained, "The severity of the
restrictions imposed by Apple's iPhone are contingent on the idea that you see
it as just a phone. But that justification is an attempt to whitewash ethical
standards that have been intrinsic to general-purpose computers. Apple's new
restrictive model gives them unprecedented and unjust control over iPhone
users. We should reject the iPhone and the model it represents, and instead
support companies that respect and encourage our freedom."

Other mobile computing companies are in fact embracing the free software
community and ensuring that users and developers have full access to improve
and share their software. The statement cites the Neo FreeRunner as a prime
example of this approach, and encourages the free software community to support
it. The Free Software Foundation is also calling for people to contact Apple's
CEO Steve Jobs, asking him to change Apple's stance and allow free software on
the iPhone.

Published at
"Why free software and Apple's iPhone don't mix" is one of a series of articles
detailing the threats posed by Apple's iPhone to the free software community.
It focuses specifically on Apple's "tivoization" model of requiring every
application installed on the iPhone to have an approved cryptographic
signature, a restriction which is incompatible with version 3 of the GNU
General Public License and with user freedoms to share and modify free software
in general.

### 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, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important
source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can
be made at <>. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

### Media Contacts

John Sullivan  
Operations Manager  
Free Software Foundation  
+1 (617) 542 5942  


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