April is launching a membership campaign « Giving Priority to Free Software »

PRISM image"Using free/libre software […] is the first step in taking control of our digital lives, and that includes preventing surveillance." wrote Richard Stallman (President of the Free Software Foundation).

April is launching a large-scale membership campaign with the theme “giving priority to free software”. April relies on its many members' resources for the required means and the legitimacy to conduct its institutional work. The tremendous mobilisation following the 2008 campaign allowed April to achieve some very important work in defense and promotion of free software, mainly at the institutional level.

Thanks to April, 2013 saw a rising awareness of free software issues among policymakers —mainly representatives and senators— during the preliminary hearings for several bills related to education, upper education and research, consumer rights, etc. Also noteworthy is the investigation and documentation of the Open Bar Microsoft/Defence affair. It subsequently led to the adoption, for the first time in France, of a legislation giving priority to free software. Our awareness-raising action in favour of free software has also targeted a general audience, with April representatives and members attending many events.

At the international level, The PRISM scandal, which revealed the extent of the generalized wiretapping untertaken by the United States and some of its allies on the communications of all citizens, has reminded us of the importance of controlling one's computing. Free software programs, by the very fact that they can be reviewed and improved by everyone, are essential for designing computing that is at the service of its users, rather than a tool for those wishing to subjugate them. Free Software, while not the definitive solution for this problem, is nevertheless an essential building block in the fight for users' freedoms.

Let's give priority to free software! At the political level, of course, but also at the individual level. Regaining control of our computing requires an effort, but this is a necessary civic effort. Everyone must try to give free software priority in her IT choices.

April is launching a membership campaign to increase its operational capacity, to prioritise free software, and help build a freer, more egalitarian, and more caring society. This campaign is being launched with the support of Richard Stallman, who is encouraging anyone who would like to promote freedom and human rights in computing to support April through a membership.

Together, let's keep developing free computing!