Free Software Foundation statement on the new iPhone, Apple Pay, and Apple Watch

Today, Apple announced new iPhone models, a watch, and a payment
service. In response, FSF executive director John Sullivan made the
following statement:

It is astonishing to see so much of the technology press acting as
Apple’s marketing arm. What’s on display today is widespread
complicity in hiding the most newsworthy aspect of the announcement
— Apple’s continuing war on individual computer user freedom, and
by extension, free speech, free commerce, free association, privacy,
and technological innovation.

Every review that does not mention Apple’s insistence on using
Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to lock down the devices
and applications they sell is doing an extreme disservice to
readers, and is a blow to the development of the free digital
society we actually need. Any review that discusses technical specs
without first exposing the unethical framework that produced those
products, is helping usher people down a path that ends in complete
digital disempowerment.

Keep a tally of how many reviews you read today mention that Apple
threatens anyone who dares attempt installing another operating
system like Android on their Apple phone or watch with criminal
prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Keep
a tally of how many reviews mention that Apple devices won’t allow
you to install any unapproved applications, again threatening you
with jail time if you attempt to do so without Apple’s blessing.
Keep a tally of how many reviews highlight Apple’s use of software
patents and an army of lawyers to attack those developing a more
free computing environment than theirs.

We’ve seen several examples since the last Apple product
announcement of times when smartphones and other computers have been
used for political activism and important free speech. We’ve also
seen several examples of times when such expressions have been
censored. If we continue allowing Apple this kind of control,
censorship and digital “free speech zones” will become the permanent

There is a reason that the inventor of the US’s first internally programmable computer shuns
Apple devices as antithetical to vital kinds of creativity
. But
it’s not enough to just say “Don’t buy their products.” The laws
Apple and others use to enforce their digital restrictions, giving
them a subsidized competitive advantage over products that respect
user freedom, must be repealed.

At least the watch did end up having a clasp so you can remove it —
we were worried.

We urge users to investigate ways to support the use of mobile and
wearable devices which do not restrict users’ essential freedoms. Such
projects include Replicant, a free software fork of Android, and
F-Droid, an app repository of exclusively free software for
Android. People should also let Tim Cook at Apple know how they

Source: Free Software