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About DFF

Started in 2004 to promote Free Software with Software Freedom Day, Digital Freedom Foundation later registered as a charity in the USA under the Software Freedom International name in 2007, is the non-profit organization at the origin of Software Freedom Day, Education Freedom Day and Hardware Freedom Day. The name change came progressively starting in 2011 in order to reflect the changes in our directions and also because we had to change registration territory.

In 2016 DFF has taken the responsibility of running the Document Freedom Day to promote open standards to each corner of the world.

Our Scope

DFF has transitioned over the past ten years from a marketing events organizer to advocate the user of Free Software to an organization which has broaden its scope to digital knowledge in general covering free software, open hardware and content (OER, free culture), and assembled or created all the required pieces to drive an educational project aimed at educating the people in needs. 

As a worldwide organization with hundreds of local groups and associations taking part in our efforts, we hope to extend our reach into the Open Education field to every corner of the world in the long run.

DFF handles sponsorship contracts, official team registrations, sending out schwags to teams, the annual Best SFD Event Competition, and marketing Software Freedom Day, Document Freedom Day, Education Freedom Day and Hardware Freedom Day. Hundreds of teams around the world manage the local celebrations and help to send out an educational global message. So do drop by and attend an SFD, DFD, EFD and HFD events nearby!

Our Vision

Our vision is to provide access to knowledge via technology in which everybody can participate and learn from. 

Our mission

The mission of the DFF is to meet a tremendous need for technology in today's society by providing computes equipped with Free Software, content and a curriculum which can equally serve young children in needs, adult looking for a knowledge upgrade or anyone else interested.

All the software and content is available online and created together together with interested parties including the teachers providing the classes so that anybody can reuse the solution and adapt it to anywhere else.

Through its international days DFF encourages local communities around the world to educate the general public about the movement and bring the message forward.



Board of Directors

DFF is run by a Board of Directors who meets regularly with a Matrix conference to discuss various topics pertaining to the regular activities of Digital Freedom Foundation. The remaining of the time we us a mailing list to cover day-to-day operations. The Board has elected members and can be contacted through our contact form or contacted on info(at)digitalfreedomfoundation(dot)org. You can regularly find us on the Matrix channel too.

The current board consists of:

  • Laura Michaels, USA
  • Marcos Marado, Portugal
  • Ruwan Ranganath, Germany
  • Mostafa Ahangarha, Iran
  • Jan Huzar, Chzech
  • Jurgen Gaeremyn, Belgium

 

How did DFF (SFI) begin?

 

Sometime in January of 2004, Matt Oquist concluded that...

 

  1. Free Software had improved to the point of being suitable for public use, and 
  2. Public ignorance was one of the primary roadblocks to public acceptance. 

He remembers driving past a retail store that he knew had piles of AOL CDs lying around, and he thought to himself that a CD filled with software such as Open Office, Firefox, and the GIMP would be of vastly greater value to the public. He planned to burn such CDs and try to get permission to distribute them at the retail store in question.

After contacting his local LUG regarding this idea he was referred to TheOpenCD project, which maintains a CD of high-quality Free Software for Windows that matched Matt's (so far vague) vision. Matt proposed the idea of an international day of handing out Free Software CDs in TheOpenCD forums, and project leader Henrik Omma and project contributor Phil Harper both shared this vision and began collaborating immediately. After considering several proposals of dates, names, and logistics, Henrik, Phil, and Matt agreed on "Software Freedom Day" because they believed that ultimately, everyone without a vested interest in proprietary software can unite to educate the worldwide public about the ideals of Software Freedom and the practical benefits of Free Software. August 28th, 2004, was the first annual Software Freedom Day.

Henrik, Phil, and Matt recruited Fred Noronha and Jules Sidenburg to have the required total of five board members to found a non-profit corporation in the state of New Hampshire, USA.

Since that time the board has been pleased to welcome Sidsel Jensen, Joe O.A Olutuase, Benjamin Mako Hill, Robert Schumann, Pia Waugh, Frederic Muller, Pockey Lam, Patrick Sinz, Julien Forgeat and many more who bring a wealth of energy and experience to the organization.  

 

Digital Freedoms, Education Freedom Day and more to come...

 

Software Freedom International, started in 2004 to promote Free Software with Software Freedom Day. With Frederic Muller being SFI President since 2010, he came up with an idea of operating SFI under the name of Digital Freedom International. It is without a doubt that the Free Software movement has spread to new territories beyond the realm of software itself but intimately linked and equally important to Free Software. The teams celebrating SFD have gradually taken note of this phenomenon over the previous years and need to adopt new strategies as both the audience and the subject matters are very spread in nature.

Since then, DFF launched Culture Freedom Day, Hardware Freedom Day and Education Freedom Day as additional days to raise awareness of open educational resources and open licenses of any creative work and content.

In parallel the Greenboard project was started by DFF board members in 2007, is  now operating under the umbrella of DFF. Greenboard being a China-based project, at the end of 2012 it is decided to have a board membership closer to our activities and an organization registered in our region. Therefore the decision was made to create a charity in Hong Kong to facilitate all our administrative matters and be able to spend more time on working on our goals. To represent our goal i.e. promoting access to knowledge via technology we renamed our organization Digital Freedom Foundation in 2013.

In 2023 - after a dramatic death of Director Patrick Sinz and two intense years of COVID19, Frederic Muller announced on the mailing list that the board would retire and help a new team take over the organisation.