apc.au celebrates Document Freedom Day

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By Grant McHerron for apc.au

MELBOURNE, Australia, 26 March 2008

APC member apc.au (formally c2o / Toy Satellite) releases ten years of essays, lectures, reports and articles dealing with information communication technologies for cultural development (ICT4CD). The full list can be found at http://wiki.apc.org.au/index.php?title=Documents in both open and portable document formats. All the papers are available for sharing and re-publication under a Creative Commons Australia license.

A global initiative celebrated by roughly 200 teams from more than 60 countries, “Document Freedom Day” is aimed at increasing awareness of the value of open document standards. apc.au, an open standards advocate, is proud to support “Document Freedom Day 2008.”

Open standards allow any conforming application to work with the data they encode, preventing vendor lock-in and providing an open playing ground for competition. Open standards are public domain and do not require legal forms or commercial agreements to use them, allowing anyone to produce an application that meets the standard. Open document standards help drive competition and bring freedom of choice to the creators and consumers of information. By using open document standards we can ensure that our information is accessible as required, now and in the future, regardless of the applications in use.

“Many have experienced the pain of trying to convert from one proprietary format to another when exchanging documents (eg: from MS Word to Lotus),” says Grant McHerron, apc.au Technical Director. “Formatting is lost or broken and re-work is often required. This extends even to different versions of the same product, as those using Office 2000 are unable to read information created by MS Word 2007. Storing information in open document standards facilitates the flow of
information and prevents its loss when older applications become obsolete.”

In addition to the value of open standards for storing information, apc.au is also a champion of open licensing. Andrew Garton, apc.au’s Managing Director, says “The author may choose to reserve some or all rights through open licenses, providing consumers with immediate access to how content may be used, re-used and / or attributed without having
to communicate with neither the author nor any 3rd party. Open licenses puts rights management directly into the hands of authors of any form and medium.”

With support from the Free Software Foundation, Google, IBM, Red Hat Linux, Sun Microsystems and many other organisations, Document Freedom Day is a volunteer, grass roots effort to ensure people and organisations realise the importance of open document standards.

apc.au is a digital media communications organisation founded in 1997. We produce computer mediated collaborative “events” for public space, providing production, performance, research and design expertise drawn from the information technology and cultural development sectors.

For more information contact Grant McHerron on grant@apc.org.au / 0422 914 949, or go to:
http://wiki.apc.org.au
http://wiki.apc.org.au/index.php?title=Document_Freedom_Day_2008

(END/2008)

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