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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] The GNU ethical repository criteria will only

From: arthur_torrey
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] The GNU ethical repository criteria will only harm free software.
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 04:08:22 +0000 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification John, it does make the RYF label a bit less 
onerous, but I thought I remembered that the restriction on mention of 
proprietary operating systems seemed more than a bit restrictive and 
one-sided....  So I looked it up
at and found the part I 
had remembered pretty much correctly...

The RYF certification comes with the right to use the RYF logo on packaging, 
literature, websites and so on...  The proprietary companies, for instance 
Microsoft, have similar logos that say 'runs on x'...  

But the RYF rules say:

>Companies awarded RYF certification for a given product, <BOLD>must not 
>distribute any product-related materials with endorsements >or badges to 
>proprietary software, such as "Works with Windows" or "Made for Mac" 
>badges,</BOLD> because these would give an >appearance of legitimacy to those 
>proprietary packages, and may make users think the product requires them. 
>However, we don't >object to clear factual statements informing the user that 
>the product also works with specific proprietary operating systems

In other words, you can have an RYF badge, OR a "Works with ...." badge, BUT 
NOT BOTH! You do grudgingly allow a statement that a product works with 
proprietary software in the fine print on the back of the box...

I have purchased products that were labeled with prominent 'Works with ....' 
badges, and had lots of other labeling that "give an appearance of legitimacy 
to those proprietary packages, and may make users think the product requires 
them" but the CD-ROM that came with the product included GNU/Linux drivers, and 
or at least some mention about using the product with GNU/Linux in the 

But RYF says:

>Some device manufacturers include a CD-ROM with their product that has 
>proprietary Windows drivers for the device. This is >unacceptable because it 
>does not meet the conditions above. The seller must either make those Windows 
>drivers free software, >or not include special Windows drivers.

Thus while they may not encourage it, the obvious impression is that Microsoft 
and Apple DO NOT prohibit product manufacturers that earn their 'Works with' 
badges / labeling from ALSO having a "Works with Linux" label and including 
drivers and documentation for it...

So it seems to me like a bit of a double standard....  And I repeat my 
hypothetical opinion that if I made a product that worked with both GNU / Linux 
and the proprietary software, I'd look at the respective market shares I could 
get for each badge program and not even consider applying for an RYF label...  
Hurts the effort to promote Free Software, Hurts the consumers looking for 
products that run on GNU/Linux, might cost me some sales to those customers, 
but not nearly as many as I'd lose by not promoting that I ran on those other 

I'm not surprised that you don't know of cases where the labeling question has 
been a deciding factor, since given the RYF restrictions I'd consider a 
manufacturer that wanted to be able to sell to Windows users to be crazy to 
even apply....  They would get to the page and see that it wouldn't do them any 

I'm not saying that RYF has to change, though I think it should... I am saying 
that we need a NON-DISCRIMINATORY 'Runs on GNU/Linux' badge program with logos 
that can be put on products NEXT to the 'Runs on other stuff' badges!

Arthur Torrey - <>

----- Original Message -----
From: John Sullivan <>
To: arthur torrey <>
Cc: libreplanet-discuss <>
Sent: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 02:11:58 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] The GNU ethical repository criteria will 
only harm free software. writes:

> It's the same problem I have with the RYF label - because you don't
> allow the label to be used on a product that also has a 'Works with
> <proprietary>' system label, you cut your own throats - like it or not
> that is a big set of users, and a manufacturer would be foolish to
> ignore a potential market segment. If I made a hardware product that
> ran on both, I wouldn't even think of applying for an RYF label
> because of that restriction. As a hardware consumer I am HURT, because
> in most cases I can't look at a product box and see a 'Runs on
> GNU/Linux' label next to the 'Runs on <other system>' label. The Free
> Software world is HURT because the proprietary system user never gets
> to see that he can use his hardware under GNU/Linux as well as the
> proprietary system....

FWIW, that's not quite what that criterion says. Compatibility labeling
for proprietary OSes is allowed under RYF. ("However, we don't object to
clear factual statements informing the user that the product also works
with specific proprietary operating systems.") What's not allowed is
promotional labeling for proprietary OSes, which makes sense, given the
purposes of the program.

I also know of no cases where this has been a deciding factor in


John Sullivan | Executive Director, Free Software Foundation
GPG Key: 61A0963B | |

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