P2P Foundation

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Concern about EU Commission usage of proprietary document formats: open letter

Via Wouter Tebbens:

Dear all,

as some of you know we are very much concerned about the European Commission using and requiring the use of proprietary document formats within their projects.

Many EU Member States have in recent years adopted government policies to require Open Standard file formats, such as the Open Document Format (ODF), PDF, etc. And in fact, the EC agency for interoperability and eGovernment, IDABC, does strongly recommend the use of ODF and Open Standards in general.

As we have seen in R&D FrameWork projects, and especially in the Lifelong Learning Programme, Excel spreadsheets and .doc documents are still the formats required for communicating between the EC and the projects they fund. They do not only force other organisations to purchase that specific software, but they give a completely wrong example of how in Europe we want to give shape to the Knowledge Society.

Therefore the idea was born to write a letter requesting the EC representatives of funding agencies like the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) to adhere to existing policies for the use of Open Standards.

We had this idea initially in the Free Knowledge Institute and in the Free Technology Academy Consortium. And then we found out that many project coordinators and European organisations share this concern with us. So why not write such a letter together and join our effort in presenting it to the various EC representatives.

In the FKI wiki I made a start of such letter, in this case to the LLP, but that we can later use for other EC bodies. see here: [1]

Please comment on the text, improve it, comment on the possible contacts we should send it to and whether you are willing to undersign the letter.

If you find this effort interesting, most practical would be to just join the FKI's general discussion list at [2] and subscribe to the wiki at [3].

Best regards,

Wouter Tebbens
Free Knowledge Institute

[1] http://freeknowledge.eu/wiki/index.php/OpenStandardsLetter
[2] http://mail.freeknowledge.eu/mailman/listinfo/discussion
[3] http://freeknowledge.eu/wiki/index.php?title=Special:Userlogin&returnto=OpenStandardsLetter

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