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EU: European Parliamentarians participate in Document Freedom Day

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Members of the European Parliament and their assistants are participating in this year's Document Freedom Day, a 'grassroots effort to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general', according to an announcement on the organisation's website. The three are hosting several presentations, in the Paul-Henri Spaak building of the European Parliament in Brussels, on Wednesday.

MEPs Malika Benarab-Attou, Indrek Tarand and Karima Delli are taking part “to emphasize the opportunities offered by digital technologies to broaden access to culture in Europe and in the world”, writes MEP Malika Benarab-Attou on her website. The MEPs say all documents formats and document applications should be readably by any machine and for any person. “The public domain needs to be protected from erosion and on the contrary nourished and extended.”

The MEPs have organised three presentations on open documents, by Stefan Gradmann, Professor of Library and Information Science at Humboldt-University in Berlin, by Håkon Wium Lie, Chief Technology Officer of Opera Software and Kaido Kikkas, Associate Professor at the Estonian Information Technology College and Associate Professor of Social and Free Software at Tallinn University, in Estonia.

Similar Free Document Day events are organised by organisations advocating open standards from EU member states including The Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Greece and Italy. For instance, for students and schools in Spoleto, Italy a series of talks are organised on the importance of using Open Document Format. And in the GNU/Linux Lab in Thessaloniki, Greece, there will be a speech about Open Document Format and the value of its use in the public sector. In Portugal several organisations joined forces to organise several talks and presentations, including speakers from Portuguese political parties.

More information:

Document Freedom day at the European Parliament

Document Freedom Day 2011

MEP Malika Benarab-Attou's website

MEP Indrek Tarand's website

MEP Karima Delli's website