A rapid evolution
In five years, April has considerably evolved, multiplying the number of its members by twenty, and winning in the same time in diversity. This diversity includes diversity amongst the physical members, but also amongst the legal entities which are members, including the arrival of new kinds of members such as public communities, university departments and even the first university in 2009.
The association also evolved by hiring its first full-time employees, by increasing strongly its visibility and by strengthening its activity in an unforeseen way — this year's moral report has over a hundred pages! We have all the reasons to be proud of this evolution, especially since it has been done while staying faithful to the mission of the association: the promotion, democratization, diffusion and protection of Free Software. Both the devotion, merits and imagination of the members, as well as the implication and the quality work of our 3 employees team must be thanked for it.
A "2009-2014" roadmap
The upcoming years will need us to be even more demanding and the outcome of the ongoing fights will be determined by our capacity to mobilize, act and adapt. For this, April sets its ambition and its thoughts in line for a new step of development and actions through a "2009-2014" roadmap.
April's priority remains the promotion of Free Software, the raising of public awareness regarding the stakes of open standards and interoperability and the politic and judicial defense of Free Software politically and legally. Free Software will not be able to develop without favourable political and legal environments. Thanks to its members and its employees, April's actions are precious and unique for all those who produce and/or use Free Software.
The world is currently going through a profound change. In 5 to 10 years, few will still doubt that cooperation and knowledge sharing are socially, politically and economically preferable to doctrine-based selfishness, restriction of usage rights, enforcement of a unique model on users... But until then, different lobbies which don't understand that change, or either can't follow it or don't want it - will still be present and will need to be opposed.
To accompany this movement and to accelerate it, April actively participates to create a collective awareness regarding the value of goods and informational public resources, first of which is Free Software.
Promotion and defense of Free Software
April chose to stay vigilant, to intensify and multiply the actions around promotion and defense that it has been leading for the last dozen years. These actions have made its reputation and have led to an increasing number of memberships, whether individuals, economic players, industrial players and associations of any size.
On one hand, April shall do its best to inform governments and parliaments, to show them that Free Software, interoperability, open formats and common informational goods are all strengths for the country and Europe, for citizens and the industries that they need to promote.
On the other hand, it shall be even more vigilant in order to denounce any additional attack against Free Software and digital freedoms, to prevent them whenever it is possible and to guarantee the security of Free Software development.
By 2014, April should reach 10,000 or even 15,000 members and a team of half a dozen employees, reinforcing its influence towards public administrations and its means of action. This shall be made possible by the fact that the memberships represent the major source of financing for the association.
April's evolution shall also be done through a broader opening to matters outside of France within the French speaking world and by a reinforced presence at the European level, both to better follow the activity at the European level and to improve communication with associations and NGOs from other countries when it comes to our work topics or similar topics.
In the short term, 2009 shall see the continuation of the Candidats.fr campaign during the European elections and of actions against the threats that are software patenting, DRM, bundled selling, treacherous computing, as well as the promotion of Free Software.
In the longer term, the activity of the association shall be driven by several topics that were identified as key:
- The four dangers (software patenting, DRM, bundled selling, treacherous computing);
- Open formats and interoperability;
- Raising awareness of new audiences;
- Public education;
- Companies & economy;
- International cooperation especially within the French-speaking community;
- Public administration and Free Software;
- Handicap and accessibility
The association shall continue its monitoring on other topics, including:
- Free infrastructures;
- Democracy and transparency;
- Digital solidarity;
- International legislation;
- 100 % Free systems (Free BIOS, firmware...);
- Online services;
- Scientific research;
- Digital solidarity / North-South cooperation;
- Methods and tools of Free Software.
A poster allows to present synthetically this roadmap:
SVG source: roadmap01.svg
April will be what we all make of it.
April's goal is to establish a structure promoting and defending Free Software, and whose means are fit for such important stakes. In order to achieve this, April needs your support.
Becoming a member of April doesn't require you to become an active member of the association. But strong of its thousands of members, April shall be heard much better by the citizens' elected representatives, the government and the economic and social decision-makers. Thanks to your memberships and your donations, it shall be capable of financing its employees and recruit the new employees required for the increasingly complex actions and topics it deals with.