April: a New President, a Strenghtened Management Team, But the Same Enthusiasm As Ever

Paris, 11 February 2015. Press Release.

April just published its activity report for 2015, and is delighted to announce the election of its new Board of Directors. This year, the Board will be chaired by Jean-Christophe Becquet.

“After three years as the president of an organisation which has become essential for the protection of citizens' freedoms, it is my pleasure to hand the job over to Jean-Christophe. He will know how to lead April's fight for free software and defense of freedoms even further”, states Lionel Allorgue, the former president of the organization.

Jean-Christophe Becquet, who lives in Digne-les-Bains, works as an instructor and counsel in free IT. An April Board member since 2007 —lately vice-chairman of the Board— Jean-Christophe has been involved in various free software communities since 1997. He has worked in particular on the relation between free software and popular education. He also initiated Expolibre, a gallery devoted to free software art covered by the Creative Commons BY-SA license.

“I am pleased to be the new president of April, an organisation which owes its legitimacy to the work of its permanent staff and the commitment of its members. I intend to follow through on our outreach activity toward institutions, business, community networks, actors in education and training, as well as toward the general public; promoting and defending free software is more essential than ever in a world where IT is widespread”, says Jean-Christophe Becquet. He adds, “2015 has many challenges in store for us: elections in France, debates on the copyright reform, a consultation process initiated by the French Ministry of National Education and ensuing decisions, to mention only a few.”

Beyond the chair transition, renewal of the organisation's management team features the arrival in the Board of Directors of Véronique Bonnet, a philosophy teacher, and Marianne Corvellec, a developer of scientific software. Véronique lives in Paris and Marianne lives in Montreal.

“I am very happy to join April's Board. I plan, via forums and lectures, to use the tools of philosophy to the benefit of free IT, which appears to me as heir to the philosophy of the Enlightenment, since it defends access to the Commons and is one of the means to avoid confiscation of knowledge by the powerful”, states Véronique Bonnet.

“I will place my enthusiasm and experience at the service of April. Indeed, our fights and our participation in overseas events need some skills, especially with regard to the international dimension”, adds Marianne Corvellec.

In 2014, April's activity in favour of free IT was strong, as shown by our activity report. As regards outreach toward institutions, April took action on key issues (DRM, software patents, interoperability, TAFTA, etc.) Also worth noting is the campaign for open formats in public education; the Free Software Pact campaign, in collaboration with activists from all over Europe and in connection with European elections; the reprinting of our Guide Libre Association (a guide for the use of free software by community organisations). Our awareness-raising activity is directed toward the general public and involves the presence of April at many events. The promotion of free software also owes a lot to the various workgroups of April, such as Education, Transcriptions, Libre association, Outreach, Translations, etc.

“Free software is an essential building block in the fight for freedoms. More than ever, during this new year, April will be on the front line to promote and defend Free Software”, concludes Frédéric Couchet, April's Executive Director.

About April

A pioneer of Free Software in France since 1996, April is a major player in the democratisation of Free Software and open standards, and in their spread to the general public, professionals and institutions of the French-speaking world. In the digital era that is ours, it also aims to inform the public on the dangers of an exclusive appropriation of information and knowledge by private interests.

The organisation is a non-profit and it has over 4,000 members, who use or produce Free Software.

For more information, you may visit http://www.april.org/, contact us by phone at +33 1 78 76 92 80, or use our contact form.

Press contacts:

Jean-Christophe Becquet, President, jcbecquet@april.org+33 6 25 86 07 92

Frédéric Couchet, Executive Director, fcouchet@april.org +33 6 60 68 89 31