Document Freedom Day 2014 Report
Spreading standards far and wide
Open Standards were celebrated to the ends of the earth for Document Freedom Day 2014, with 51 events in 22 countries. The campaign for interoperability was enacted from Tokyo to Rio, and Birmingham to Taipei.
Organisers were most active in Turkey and Brazil, who had 7 and 9 events respectively, while Libre Office communities celebrated in Venezuela, the USA, and online with a series of streamed presentations. 2014 saw some of the largest events yet, with audiences of 75 and 100 in Kathmandu and Istanbul.
Open Standards offer us the necessary degree of freedom to choose the best solution to any challenge -- New testimonial from Ignasi Labastida, Department Director, Barcelona University
Official Government events were endorsed by the Federal CISL Committee in Brazil, the Department of Information Technology in Nepal, and the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, Ghana. Teams sprang back into life in Ecuador, Japan, and Taiwan, following a lapse in 2013, with the latter again holding meetings in Taipei and Yulli Township. Events in English-speaking nations grew slowly but surely, with 2 events in the United States, and a prize awarded in the UK. Contact with Ghana's Document Freedom Day team was made for the first time, and their events were added to the map.
Thanks to the 51 teams who ran inspiring events for Document Freedom Day 2014, and to our sponsors Google, Freiheit GmbH, and Commons Machinery, for making the campaign possible.
Interoperability: give it a chance!
A special focus on new and localised materials bore fruit as more than 50 kilos of posters and leaflets were distributed worldwide. Thousands more were printed by local groups and distributed nationally, especially our newest leaflet "What are Open Standards?", translated into nine languages. Thanks to a dedicated team of volunteer translators, all official promotional goods were multi-lingual, including posters, which carry two sizes in Polish, French, German, Turkish, Portuguese, and English. Two shirts by professional illustrators made standards fashionable, proving particularly popular at the FOSDEM and Chemnitzer Linux-Tage conferences. A specially commissioned cartoon depicted the sorrow of a grandfather unable to view his diary and photos, and how Open Standards helped. Turkish children pinned enlarged copies around their school, and other teams made six translations of the (Open Standard) vector graphic for their own use.
Remix, reuse, recycle
Each year local event organisers remix Document Freedom Day artwork to adapt it for their needs. This year again saw creative interpretations for diverse audiences, including posters by political advisor Erik Josefsson for Document Freedom Day in the European Parliament.
Document Freedom Day Awards are presented each year in recognition of pioneering work with Open Standards; ten of them so far. Both this year's awards celebrated geographical standards. The 22nd of March saw the OpenStreetMap Foundation recognised in Birmingham for their work on emerging standards for geographic data exchange. These standards have been implemented as Free Software, and are widely used for embedded "slippy maps" and scientific research. For the second year in a row the German Green Party presented an independent Document Freedom Day award, this time to the Berlin-Brandenburg transportation Company, for their use of OpenStreetMap and its standards.
The icing on the cake
In the news
More than one hundred journalists and bloggers published news about this year's campaign, with primarily English, German and Spanish coverage. Apache got a lot of attention when they issued a press release supporting Document Freedom Day campaign, which was reprinted by CNBC, and helped raise awareness in North America. Leading technical news site Heise.de brought word to German audiences, while Libre Graphics Magazine published daily articles on the importance of Open Standards to artists for the duration of Document Freedom Day week. One month earlier, Linux Voice Magazine donated a half page advert to the campaign, encouraging readers to get involved and run events.
The Free Software Foundation Europe and Open Forum Europe wrote a letter to the European Parliament on Document Freedom Day, calling on them to break free from dependence on closed standards from a single vendor, and challenging their use of closed video standards for official broadcasts.
Other well known organisations also covered news of the campaign, including:
- The Open Knowledge Foundation
- Open Source Business Alliance
- IT World
- President of the Open Source Initiative Simon Phipps
- French Free Software Organisation April
- Linux Weekly News
Hundreds of messages set social media networks alight, where photos, live-streams, artwork and endorsements were shared and re-shared. The total number of social media followers doubled from last year, and several well known figures joined in, including James Bryce Clark of OASIS, creators of Open Document Format, replacing his Twitter profile picture in support.
United States of America
You made the day!
Thank you for participating in Document Freedom Day 2014 - you made it a success! Preparations are already underway for March 25th next year - where and what will your next event be? To be part of organising next year's activities join the campaign coordination mailing list. Now is also a great time to make a one off or recurring donation, as budgets are now being determined for new activities.
2014 Campaign sponsors
Thank you to the sponsors of Document Freedom Day 2014: