Free Software PDF Readers

Let's get rid of non-free PDF advertisement

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 – Your Government”?


When it comes to software that opens PDF files, many public sector organisations do this every day. With the campaign we have turned the spotlight on government organisations who behave this way, exposing how frequent such advertisements for non-free software are. With the help of activists across Europe, we are contacting these organisations and explain them how to improve their websites so that they respect our freedom.

First FSFE's volunteers created All of the PDF readers on are Free Software, respecting your basic four freedoms to use, study, share and improve them. This gives you control over your computer and helps protect your privacy.

Contacting public bodies

With the help of our Fellows and of hundreds other Free Software activists, we have collected over 2000 bug reports ( FSFE has sent a letter to all the public administrations on our list asking them to either remove their advertising for proprietary software or at least run equal advertising for Free Software, so that users of their websites realise that they have a choice. Currently more than 550 public bodies changed their websites accordingly.

Petition to remove advertisement for non-free software

Our "Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising On Public Institution Websites" was signed by over 90 organisations, 60 businesses and 2690 individuals. You can see the list of the signatories at!

What we want to do

We will maintain We will continue to contact the remaining organisations, and remind them to fix their bugs. Therefore, we will continue to improve our documentation how to contact public bodies, as well as information how to contact companies.

Contact institutions on your own

If you discover a page of a public institution or administration that advertises non-free software and is not yet or does not appear as resolved on the list, do not hesitate to contact them on your own ( For this purpose you can use our model letter ( just change the address, the URL, and the name. Then send it out per mail or post.

Inform us about the institutions you are contacting, and the progress you are making. We will publish the positive results alongside with the other reported institutions.

Free Software Foundation Europe
Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49-30-27595290