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Document Freedom Day 2013

March 12, 2013 in Events, Featured Project, Open Standards

What is document freedom?

Have you ever been stuck with some data that you have not been able to open because it was in a format that needs some specific kind of software to open it? The same thing happens tens of thousands of times each day. Can you imagine how much knowledge exchange doesn’t happen just because sender and receiver (intentionally or not) are using different data formats? Can you imagine how much knowledge future generations will lose if we keep on using proprietary, closed data formats that one day no one will ever be able to open because the company behind it had business secrets and patents on it but then went bankrupt?

Open Standards, on the other hand, are data formats that have an open documentation and everyone is free to use or implement in their own software. The first characteristic (open documentation) guarantees that now and even in a hundred of years everybody interested can understand the data format and read it. The second characteristic (free to use) guarantees that now and in even in a hundred years everybody is free to write some piece of software to give everyone else the ability to read a specific piece of data. That is why everyone and every public institution should be using Open Standards.

This is exactly the point where our document freedom campaign comes in. Every year on the last Wednesday of March, the Free Software Foundation Europe runs a global campaign that is called “Document Freedom Day”. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the usefulness of Open Standards. Therefore we encourage local groups to organise an event that highlights the importance of the use of Open Standards. Last year there were more than 50 events in more than 20 countries. This year, Document Freedom Day (DFD) will be on the 27th of March 2013.

The most important part of the whole campaign is done by guys like you and me! In order to celebrate information accessibility and Open Standards, we heavily depend on local activity on public places, in universities, in hackerspaces or everywhere you can imagine. I am pretty sure that you have very good ideas what you can do to raise some attention.

If you are interested, please have a look at some ideas of what you can do and feel free to support your event with our promotion material that you can order for no cost. You can order the material on the webpage. Finally, if you are planning some activity, don’t forget to register your event on our events page.

Thank you very much for your attention. Your participation in Document Freedom Day can make the difference!

Images: Last year’s audience in Jakarta; DFD around the world; Document Freedom Day in Rio de Janeiro. All CC-BY-SA

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