Free Software PDF Readers

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 in 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 to them how to improve their websites so that they respect our freedom.

What was already achieved

Every day, public institutions advertise non-free software on their websites. Some examples are below. With the help of our Fellows and of hundreds other Free Software activists, we have collected over one month 2286 bug reports coming from every countries in Europe, and also nine countries outside of Europe.

Finance ministry Brandenburg Foreign ministry Malta Justice ministry Sachsen ministère de l'éducation France

Our Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising On Public Institution Websites was signed by 90 organisations, 63 businesses and 2731 individuals. If you haven't signed it yet, do it now!

What is currently being done: Contacting the public sector

Finding public bodies that advertise proprietary PDF readers was only the first step of the campaign. 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. You can see the progress that is being done.

Help us contact the remaining institutions!

What you can do to help

FSFE is for the moment dealing with the answers of the institutions and recontacting those who didn't reply, so we don't have time to file for new bugs and contact other institutions. However, if you discover a page of a public institution of administration that advertises for non-free and is not yet or doesn't appear as resolved on the list, don't hesitate to contact them on your own. You can for this purpose use our model letter. You just need to change the address and the URL. You can send it per mail or post.
If you have any doubts in the process, contact us

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

Our argumentation

To go further