pdfreaders campaign

Sam Geeraerts samgee at fsfe.org
Sun Jul 17 22:22:39 CEST 2011

Martijn Brekhof wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-07-15 at 17:54 +0200, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
> I think using the unwanted software (spyware?) argument is dangerous as
> this does not count for all non-free software. IMHO it feels like
> spreading FUD.

True. And I noticed that some free software projects (e.g. PeaZip and 
PDFCreator, iirc) also include (non-free!) toolbars and such.

>> b) Do we keep the advertisement story like in the original letter? 
>> Martijn said that it comes across as a "don't buy from them, buy from 
>> us" pitch, in this case politically rather than commercially flavoured.
>> --> I think the advertisement argument is good for our target audience, 
>> but maybe we should soften it up a bit.
> The last few years there has been a lot of debate regarding the use of
> free software in governmental institutions in the Netherlands. AFAIK
> they concluded that Open Standards is more important than the use of
> free software. This meant that the focus is on using software that uses
> Open Standards and not on free software. Therefore I think the Open
> Standard argument might have a bigger impact. 

I see. But what is the open standard argument? As I see it, they're 
already using an open standard (as opposed to e.g. Word documents) and 
we want to give that a thumbs up. But seeing as non-free PDF readers 
already support the standard, that in itself is not sufficient to get 
them to change it to pdfreaders.org.

I think advertising on government websites is considered very 
inappropriate by everybody. When we point out that they're doing it, 
that should be a real eye opener for many and they'll also realize that 
they're not even getting paid for it.

Maybe there's even a law about advertising in government publications?

> I agree. Besides I do not think we will be the only ones using
> pdfreaders.org as reference. So there will be a higher demand to keep
> the website running and up-to-date.

True. I forgot for a moment that the website is refered to around the world.

>> d) Can we point to a "comply or explain" policy?
> I do not think it is wise to put that card on the table. I noticed about
> 2 years ago at the "Overheid en ICT" conference that a lot of ICT
> departments within the governmental institutions do not really like the
> policy. They happily explained to me that they can easily get passed the
> policy by finding some ridiculous feature not supported by the free
> software alternative.

Good to know. Let's drop that then.

>> f) Can we give high profile examples that already link to pdfreaders.org 
>> (like Munich was an example for OpenOffice.org)?
> Good idea. Using good examples usually takes the edge off of critical
> admins.

I see on the bug list [1] that 2 Dutch institutions are "solved". 
Rijksoverheid is high profile, but they're listing multiple readers 
(including non-free) instead of linking to the website. Vlissingen is a 
better student, so I like it better as an example.

[1] http://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/buglist.en.html#NL

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