Respects Your Freedom Certificat

I really like the idea of framework and am interested in the future development.
I would like if framework would have a stronger statement on user freedom.
My suggestion would be to try and get the Respects Your Freedom Certificat.

I don’t know of the current state of the Intel’s Management Engine in framework laptops. That would most likely one of things that prevents user freedom.
There seems to be a way to disable/neutralize this in the manufacturing process:

As much as I generally respect the FSF, unless I’m misinterpreting the certification requirements, that certification would be completely infeasible for Framework.

Critically, the certification requires not only the ability to mostly run the device with free software, something which could well be a goal Framework might consider, but also requires that the seller essentially make it more difficult for the user to use non-free software. Framework would not be able to sell laptops with the option of having Windows installed. They would not be allowed to include or make available non-free Windows drivers, even if they also had free ones (for Linux or for Windows). They would not be allowed to even have any endorsement of working well with Windows that would ‘give an appearance of legitimacy to those proprietary packages’. It’s unclear to me whether Framework could support even the option of users using non-free hardware DRM.

Interestingly, it appears that the IME would not be a problem for the RYF certification, as it doesn’t run on the CPU, and there is an exception for this in the RYF certification. The BIOS would be the immediate problem, and that is apparently something that is being worked on.

In something that is more annoying and petty than critical, the certification also requires that the seller only use “FSF approved terminology.” As such, amongst other things, the seller may never refer to “Linux” as an operating system instead of “GNU/Linux”, or use ‘any other term that mentions “Linux” without “GNU.”’, and must ‘talk about “free software” more prominently than “open source.”’

But these requirements have nothing to do with respecting user freedom, and are entirely petty FSF and RMS promotional requirements. I even somewhat understand the GNU/Linux argument when glibc is used, and have qualms with the use of open source as a term, but adding these requirements appears to willingly sabotage a certification that might help promote user freedom in favour of self-promotion. They should be separate.

Overall, the certification seems intended not for manufacturers, but for FSF-aligned resellers who want to take products and, by adding documentation and drivers, and removing references and support for proprietary software, make them fit the requirements.


Chimaera Linux is NOT GNU/Linux. It’s BSD/Linux