Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Document Freedom Day 2009

Today is Document Freedom Day, the second year it's been celebrated. We have a great opportunity in front of us this year. With Microsoft promising to support ODF any day now in their latest office suite (and with the ODF plug-in already freely available for their older versions), it will become politically acceptable for organisations everywhere to standardise on ODF for their documents.

This is an important step, because ODF is widely supported and implemented, openly developed and provides a baseline that will be readable for years to come. That protects the ability of future generations to read our documents in just the same way that we are able to read the documents that explain what went on in previous generations.

So what can you do to celebrate? Here are some ideas:

  • Steer your organisation to adopt the Open Document Protocol, with the intent of sharing only widely available and open formats with other organisations.
  • Give a friend a copy of OpenOffice.org
  • Give a friend who's locked in to Microsoft Office a copy of the ODF Plug-in
Happy DFD!

Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

Document Freedom Day

Comma - Open

The news just went out that March 26 2008 will be the world's first Document Freedom Day, celebrating and championing the cause of true freedom for our data. You may recall that I wrote about this back in 2006 and also gave a speech at the European Commission. I coined the term "Freedom To Leave", referring to the liberty to take your data and go elsewhere uninhibited by DRM, closed interfaces or file formats that require a particular program for faithful reproduction and use.

I believe this to be the new front line in defending the freedoms of computer users. Richard Stallman's four freedoms are now driving the mainstream of software (especially here at Sun), and while software freedom is not yet a given, the next challenge for us is our freedom to own and move our own data anywhere, any time.

Defining Data Freedom

I believe there are multiple dimensions to data freedom.

  • There is the personal dimension - being able to take the data I "own" and use it with any software or service that's appropriate.
  • There is the historical dimension, ensuring future researchers have access to the electronic information that is driving directions in society today.
  • There is the commercial dimension, ensuring that data interfaces remain open, equitable and interoperable so that we have a fair yet competitive marketplace.
All of these converge on Document Freedom Day. I'll be taking time on March 26 this year to celebrate and campaign for each of us to have the Freedom to Leave, with our data - I hope you will too.

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Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.

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