The Document Liberation Project is a home for the growing community of developers united to free users from vendor lock-in of content.
A routine problem encountered by computer users today is the discovery of personal digital content created years ago and stored in old, outdated file formats. Frequently, these old files cannot be opened by any application on the user's current operating system. The users are, put simply, locked out of their own content. The most common reason for this inability to access old data is the use of proprietary file-formats that result in vendor lock-in.
What happens when not just an individual, but an entire organization such as a government is unable to read or access digital data from past years? The consequences of any vendor lock-in are reaching much deeper than what people would expect. When documents are stored and used by a public administration via proprietary or undocumented formats, they unintentionally restrict access to essential information to citizens, administrations and businesses. Astonishingly enough, sometimes governments themselves are unable to open their own documents after an upgrade of their operating system and office software.
Going forward, the obvious solution to this problem is to use true open standards that are duly and fully documented. But as things stand today, we must face a daunting reality: a significant amount of our legacy digital content is encoded in proprietary, undocumented formats.
The Document Liberation Project was created in the hope that it would empower individuals, organizations, and governments to recover their data from proprietary formats and provide a mechanism to transition that data into open file formats, returning effective control over the content from computer companies to the actual authors.
Interested in joining us in this endeavor? Please check out the Contribute Page for ways in which you can help!