2012 Holiday Giving Guide
Are you giving your loved ones holiday gifts they can use freely, or something a company will control?
Electronics are popular gifts for the holidays, but people often overlook the restrictions that manufacturers slip under the wrapping paper. Companies like Microsoft and Apple can and will use Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to prevent your loved ones from sharing apps on the laptop you got them or remixing the songs on their expensive new iPod. If the recipient of your gift is as unlucky as one woman this year, Amazon might even block all the books on their Kindle and refuse to explain why. Companies want us to accept this kind of intrusive control, but when you think about, it's unethical (and annoying!).
The good news is, for every device that uses DRM or has a remote "kill switch" like the Kindle, ethical companies have made a better one that doesn't, one that your loved ones will be free to enjoy however they wish. Here's a list of these smarter gifts, compared with their more well-known, but more restrictive alternatives. While you're reading, please remember that donating to a charity in your friend or family member's name is at least as meaningful as buying them an electronic device. Some of our favorite charities are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy, Software Freedom Law Center, and GNOME Foundation.
The Free Software Foundation's Holiday Giving Guide
The gifts in the left column respect your freedom much more than those in the right column.
Please share the Giving Guide with your friends and family members, especially those that might give you presents! (We're using the hashtag #givefreely.)
Operating System: Give the gift of free, flexible, and ethical computing
3D Printing: Give the maker in your life a 3D printer that promotes innovation, or buy one for yourself and 3D print all your presents this year!
|Lulzbot AO-100 3D printer||Makerbot Replicator 2
Gift Cards: Giving a gift card this season? Give one that has benefits the recipient can keep.
|FSF Membership Card
Laptops: Give a top-of-the-line laptop that comes with fewer strings attached
|ThinkPenguin GNU/Linux Notebook
Ebooks: The readers in your life deserve digital libraries that won't disappear on them
If you have ideas for more gifts that can be given freely, submit your recommendations to our growing page at libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:Giving_Guide_2012.
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