[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE : 2286 public websites advertise non-free software

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Mon Oct 18 15:18:35 CEST 2010

= 2286 public websites advertise non-free software =

[permanent URL : http://www.fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20101018-01.html]

During Free Software Foundation Europe's pdfreaders.org[1] campaign,
Free Software activists from 41 countries have reported 2286 public
sector institutions which advertise non-free PDF readers on their
websites. FSFE will now contact these institutions, trying to get as
many advertisements for non-free PDF readers as possible removed before
the end of the year. Progress will be documented on the list of reported

"Public bodies are right to try and make things easy for citizens by
explaining how to open the files on their sites. But by advertising
non-free software, they're doing citizens a disservice", says Karsten
Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. "Democratic
governments are supposed to give us freedom, not to drive us into
dependence on a single software vendor."

Most versions of the PDF file format are Open Standards[3], but the
advertised readers are proprietary. These advertisements help to build a
brand for the one particular non-free software company. The public
sector becomes a marketing channel for that company and its products,
making it harder for Free Software PDF readers[4] to gain market share.

"We're frankly astonished at the amount of responses we got", says
Matthias Kirschner, FSFE's Fellowship coordinator. "The number of
reports we've received show that the problem is endemic across all
levels of the public sector." In just four weeks, hundreds of activists
from 41 countries submitted 2286 reports[5] about advertisement for
non-free software to FSFE. Beside that, already 37 organisations, 45
businesses and 1418 individuals have signed FSFE's petition asking
public bodies to remove advertisements for non-free software from their
websites. "This shows how many people across Europe care about software
freedom and are willing to get active to help the public sector solve
its advertising problem", continues Kirschner.

FSFE encourages public institutions to remove advertisements for
non-free software from their websites, or at least change their websites
so that they no longer discriminate against Free Software[6]. In
February 2009 Fellows of FSFE[7] started pdfreaders.org[8], a website
listing Free Software PDF readers for all major operating systems. The
website also provides recommendations based on a range of practical
criteria, such as integration with the operating system and ease of

== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

      The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
      non-governmental organisation active in many European countries
      and involved in many global activities. Access to software
      determines participation in a digital society. To secure equal
      participation in the information age, as well as freedom of
      competition, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues
      and is dedicated to the furthering of Free Software, defined by
      the freedoms to use, study, modify and copy. Founded in 2001,
      creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software
      politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by supporting
      development of Free Software are central issues of the FSFE.


1. http://www.fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.en.html
2. http://www.fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/buglist.en.html
3. http://www.fsfe.org/projects/os/os.en.html
4. http://www.pdfreaders.org/
5. http://www.fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20100913-01.en.html
6. http://www.fsfe.org/about/basics/freesoftware.en.html
7. http://fellowship.fsfe.org/
8. http://pdfreaders.org/

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