Give DRM-free this holiday: here's how

by Libby Reinish and Kÿra

Holiday season is upon us, which means a bombardment of advertising for the latest and greatest tech toys, and the onslaught of enticing deals is extremely effective. On Cyber Monday, hordes of virtual shoppers took to the Web in search of the newest gadgets to bestow upon their loved ones.

This includes many devices that actively work against the wishes and interests of the users. These "gifts" are trojan horses that will spy on their recipients, prevent them from doing what they want with their device, or maybe even block access to their favorite books or music.

To help educate shoppers and provide gift ideas that avoid the restrictions on many popular devices, the Free Software Foundation presents the 2012 Giving Guide. The Giving Guide features gifts that will not only make their recipients jump for joy, these gifts will also protect their freedom as technology users.

You can give copies of the Giving Guide to friends and family to encourage them to get you gifts that respect your freedom. And as you do your own holiday shopping, think about giving the gift of free software, and the hardware that supports it, to your loved ones.

Here are some of the gift ideas based on the Giving Guide:

  • Help your parents ditch the DRM-laden iTunes store by upgrading them to a laptop that comes pre-installed with a fully free GNU/Linux distribution.
  • Give the gift of DRM-free ebooks to the readers in your life.
  • Give a membership to the Free Software Foundation to help us fight DRM, or make a donation on behalf of a friend to another worthy organization, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation or Creative Commons.

So take a look at the 2012 Giving Guide for some great, ethical gift ideas, and make sure everyone you care about sees it too. Please share the Giving Guide with your networks on and other social media sites you use, using the hashtag #givefreely.

Thanks for helping us give the gift of free software this holiday season.