Document Freedom Day 2013 Report
Thanks to the hard work of local groups around the world, Document Freedom Day 2013 was larger than ever, with 60 events in 30 countries. Several of these were celebrating for the first time, including Niger, Indonesia, and the United States. Open Standards are international by nature - they can be implemented by anyone, anywhere, and the more widely they're used, the more compatible society becomes. That's why Document Freedom Day's global reach is so important, and why it's so exciting to see it grow.
Highlights from this year include more than a hundred press articles and blogs, four times more events in Turkey than last year, Libre Office's publication of a new migration guide, support from Lawrence Lessig, and a storm of social media coverage and discussion.
Robots: dancing around the world
As the big day approached, action packs were dispatched to 50 hackerspaces around Europe, containing briefings for 2013 activities, and a range of promotional tools to aid them in their challenge. Each received 6 posters bearing robots engaged in entangled tango: "Compatibility hard-wired", and a variety of fliers and stickers. Hundreds of other proponents commissioned their own packs and assisted in spreading the promotional media as far afield Nicaragua, The Netherlands, Nepal, and Niger.
Reaching the public
Advocating Open Standards to the general public is one of the campaign's hardest and most important tasks. Several events took on this challenge and ran information booths on highstreets in Caen (France), Vienna (Austria), and Munich (Germany).
Event organisers took the opportunity to create their own promotional materials, among them localised websites (Turkey, Switzerland), and a variety of fliers and posters (Germany, France, Spain).
- Spanish leaflet about "¿Formatos Abiertos? ¿Qué; es eso?" by GUL-NIC, Nicaragua
- German leaflet about "Warum ist Kompatibilität wichtig?" by Vienna's FSFE Fellowship group, Austria
- French poster about Fomats ouverts, pour quoi faire?" ( English version) by April, France
- Turkish leaflet about Belge Özgürlügü Günü ( English version) by Belge Özgürlügü
Inspirational events: music, cakes, and jamming
Three events which employed special creativity: engaging conference attendees at Chemnitzer Linux-Tage (Germany) by crafting a variety of paper doves representing different standards, and the freedom that they offer. In Portugal a night of Free Culture performances showcased the potential of Open Standards for the arts. Whilst in Zurich people were invited to jam with their data, and used Open Standards to turn Open Data into visual and acoustic entertainment.
Cakes have a proud tradition within Document Freedom Day, to commemorate awards and celebrate events. Maybe you were lucky enough to try one of them!
Talks, awards, and meetings
Presentations and workshops remained the most popular way to celebrate Document Freedom Day in 2013, and for the first time funding was available for event organisers. Topics varied widely, including:
- Using Open Standards to be productive with Open Data, in Poland
- How to audit the use of Open Standards by local government, in Spain, Canary Islands
- How to use different audio and video formats with HTML5, in Romania
- How copyrights and patents affect Open Standards, in Czech Republic
- EPUB3: books in the XXI century in Brazil
The European Parliament hosted the third Document Freedom Day Conference, sponsored by MEPs from the European Greens party and the Pirate Party. FSFE president Karsten Gerloff gave the keynote speech, and provided expertise on two Q&A panels. The first addressed data portability and privacy relating to digital health records, the second concerned the importance of Open Standards to government infrastructure, and discussed strategies for making greater use of them.
Giving local groups more resources: Document Freedom from Berlin to the world!
In Berlin (Germany) the newspaper taz.die tageszeitung (taz) was awarded this year's German Document Freedom Day Award for adopting and promoting Open Standards. Taz's regular publication of their newspaper in several Open Formats including ePub, PDF, and HTML, without DRM, earned them the prize.
Getting rid of non-Free Flash websites
A new sub-campaign was launched this year, targeting popular websites who're locking their users to closed standards using Flash videos. The team asked for web addresses that should switch to Open HTML5 technologies, and so far more than a hundred have been reported. Soon, educational packs will be delivered to their organisations, imploring them to change, and including a graphic illustration of the restrictions they're imposing on users.
About Document Freedom Day
Document Freedom Day campaigns to celebrate information accessibility and introduce non-technical audiences to Open Standards. Open Standards are a basic condition for freedom and choice in software; ensuring the freedom to access data, and the freedom to build Free Software to read and write information. Since 2008, Document Freedom Day is celebrated around the world on the last Wednesday of March each year.
Events around the world
Rio de Janeiro
More information about the event can be found here
Video of the third 3rd Document Freedom Day in the European Parliament
Document Freedom Day in Nepal covered by Prakash Neupane
More information about Document Freedom Day in Turkey can be found on their national website
Code for America Hampton Roads Brigade Celebrates Document Freedom Day 2013
Many thanks to everyone who participated in organising a local Document Freedom Day event and helped getting the message spread. You, and our two main sponsors, Google and OpenSUSE made Document Freedom Day possible for the 6th time running!