FSFE insists on promoting free PDF readers

By EDRi · September 22, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [FSFE fordert weiterhin die Verbreitung freier PDF Reader | http://www.unwatched.org/node/2204]

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) calls on all Europeans to seek
out advertisements for proprietary PDF readers on their government’s
websites, and report them. In addition, FSFE has prepared a petition
demanding an end to such advertising practices, and encourages the public to
sign it.

“Every time that state websites link to non-free applications and encourage
visitors to use them, they needlessly encourage citizens to throw away their
freedom”, says Karsten Gerloff, FSFE’s President.

As websites such as pdfreaders.org demonstrate, Free Software PDF readers
exist for all major operating systems. Fellows of FSFE launched the project
in 2009 in response to public bodies’ habit of advertising a particular
non-free product on their sites.

FSFE’s Fellowship Coordinator Matthias Kirschner comments: “What would you
think about a sign on the highway saying ‘You need a Volkswagen to drive on
this road. Contact your Volkswagen dealer for a gratis test drive’? When it
comes to PDF readers, governments seem to think that this is acceptable.”

Such endorsements give unfair advantage to whichever proprietary product
they recommend, and are often accompanied by inaccurate statements
presenting the application as the only available option.

The hunt begins on 13 September 2010 and will continue until 17 October
2010. Prizes will be awarded at the end of October to the individuals and
groups who report the greatest number of proprietary software advertisements
on government websites.

Free Software PDF Readers

Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising On Government Websites

Get a Free Software PDF reader!

(Thanks to Free Software Foundation Europe)