FSFE convinces 1125 public administrations to remove proprietary software advertisements

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Tue Oct 13 07:53:06 CEST 2015

 = FSFE convinces 1125 public administrations to remove proprietary software advertisements =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2015/news-20151013-01.sk.html ]

After six years of activity, the PDFreaders campaign[1] is coming to a
close this month as one of our most successful campaigns.

The campaign began in 2009 with the intent of removing advertisements
for proprietary PDF reader software from public institutions' websites.
To start it all off, volunteers submitted 2104 "bugs", or instances of
proprietary PDF software being directly promoted by public authorities,
and the FSFE listed[2] them online. Since then, hundreds of Free
Software activists took action by writing to the relevant public
institutions and calling for changes to their websites. We received a
lot of positive feedback from the institutions thanking us for our
letters, and to date, 1125 out of the 2104 websites (53%) edited their
websites by removing links to proprietary PDF readers, or adding links
to Free Software PDF readers.

In addition to writing letters, FSFE also collected signatures for a
petition calling for an end to advertisement for proprietary software
products on government websites[3]. 90 organizations, 63 businesses, and
2731 individuals signed this petition.

Furthermore, we were able to push for change at both national and
international levels.

- In Germany, national parties[4] gave statements in favor of free PDF
  readers and the German Government itself has recommended the usage of
  our text snippet in their migration guide[5]. FSFE's coordinator for
  Germany, Max Mehl, covers it[6] in more detail on his blog.

- In the EU: the European Parliament directly asked[7] the European
  Commission what were the reasons for advertising a specific software
  and which steps were taken to solve this problem.

- In 2011 one of our pdfreaders.org coordinators, Hannes Hauswedell, was
  in contact with Google[8], asking them to release the PDF reader
  included in their Chrome browser as Free Software. Finally, in May
  2014, the pdfium sources were published openly[9], and while FSFE's
  enquiry might not have been the only reason they were released, it
  marks an important change for the widespread adoption of Free Software
  PDF readers.

    "This success would not have been possible without the help and hard
    work from our volunteers and the support from our donors. *Thank
    you!* While many public and private web-sites still promote
    proprietary readers, the level of awareness has changed
    significantly during our campaign and now it should be much easier
    for you to approach the remaining web-site administrators. Also most
    internet users today already use Free Software when they open a PDF
    file in their browser -- a huge difference from 2009!" says Hannes
    Hauswedell who started the campaign. "Of course work still remains
    and we invite you to keep on reminding (public) administrators to
    use Open Standards and not recommend proprietary software. And with
    your support, we too, will continue to fight for a web that respects
    its users' privacy and freedom!"

To get involved[10] you can use our sample letter[11] to send to the
relevant public administration, or you can write one of your own. Just
make sure to include where to find a list of Free Software PDF
readers[12] that could replace the link from their website.

A special thanks again to the activists, volunteers, and donors who
helped make this campaign a success!

  1. https://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.sk.html
  2. https://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/buglist.sk.html
  3. https://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/petition.sk.html
  4. http://gruen-digital.de/2012/03/document-freedom-day-kleine-anfrage-zur-werbung-fuer-adobe-reader-eingereicht/
  5. http://www.cio.bund.de/Web/DE/Architekturen-und-Standards/Migrationsleitfaden-und-Migrationshilfen/migrationsleitfaden_node.html
  6. http://blog.mehl.mx/2015/german-government-wants-authorities-to-advertise-pdfreaders/
  7. https://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/parliamentary-questions-eu.en.html
  8. http://blogs.fsfe.org/polina/2015/09/10/free-pdf-reader-for-the-web-browser/
  9. https://twitter.com/nasko/status/469595752734269440
 10. https://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/follow-up.sk.html
 11. https://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/letter.sk.html
 12. http://pdfreaders.org

  == About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to
  control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our
  lives; and it is important that this technology empowers rather than
  restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use,
  understand, adapt and share software. These rights help support other
  fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy.

  The FSFE helps individuals and organisations to understand how Free
  Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.
  It enhances users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software
  adoption, encourage people to use and develop Free Software, and
  provide resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software
  in Europe.


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