Introducing Document Freedom Day

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The Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for document liberation with grass roots action for promotion of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general.

The DFD was initiated and is supported by a group of organisations and companies, including, but not limited to, the Free Software Foundation Europe, ODF Alliance, OpenForum Europe, IBM, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems, Inc.

On 26 March 2008, the Document Freedom Day will provide a global rallying point for Document Liberation and Open Standards. It will literally give teams around the world the chance to "hoist the flag".

A "DFD Starter Pack" containing a flag, t-shirt, leaflets and stickers is in preparation and is planned to be sent out in the first weeks of March to the first 100 teams that sign up. Sixteen teams already signed up during the preparation phase of the DFD prior to this release. Sign your team up now!

"We're proud to support this global effort to encourage open and inclusive information exchange," said Marino Marcich, Managing Director, OpenDocument Format Alliance.  "Document freedom means creating, exchanging, and preserving your electronic documents without having to buy software from a particular vendor."

"Data lock-in and subsequent vendor lock-in are some of the most severe issues users are facing today," says FSFE president Georg Greve. "Yet most people only realise this connection when it is too late and they have effectively lost control over their own data. We are supporting the Document Freedom Day to help raise awareness for this issue by starting with something that affects pretty much all users of computers, accessing text documents, spreadsheets and presentations."

"Free document formats and open standards are important elements in the continued expansion of the global open source community," said Tom Rabon, executive vice president, Corporate Affairs at Red Hat.  "Red Hat strongly supports Document Freedom Day and encourages participation by all who look forward to the day when documents are controlled by those who own them, not necessarily by those who create the technology to access those documents."

Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer, Sun Microsystems stated, "As I explained in my paper "Freedom to Leave*" , it's fundamental in the emerging market for people to be free to use any software they desire to handle their data. I fully support the goals of Document Freedom."

Alexandre Oliva of the Free Software Foundation Latin America (FSFLA) comments: "When you save your documents using a Free Open Standard format such as ODF, you're also saving your own future, ensuring your continued ability to access, decode and convert their contents."

Graham Taylor Director of OpenForum Europe: "OpenForum Europe applauds the announcement of Document Freedom Day. The whole essence of 'openness' is captured by the right of users, citizens, governments to be able to freely access and exchange documents today and in the future. Nothing gives greater meaning to the prevalent danger of lock-in to proprietary solutions, and for the need for Government to act now."

About the Document Freedom Day

The Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for document liberation. It is a day of grass roots effort around the world to promote and build awareness for the relevance of Free Document Formats in particular and Open Standards in general. The DFD is supported by a large group of organisations and individuals, including, but not limited to Ars Aperta, COSS, Esoma, Free Software Foundations Europe and Latin America, IBM, NLnet, ODF Alliance, OpenForum Europe, OSL,  iMatix, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Inc., The Open Learning Centre, Opentia, Estandares Abiertos.

The list of DFD supporting groups can be found at http://documentfreedom.org/Who

The list of DFD teams is available at http://documentfreedom.org/Category:Teams

Further information: http://documentfreedom.org

* http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dhb29vwq_3dzb2cs

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