Software Freedom Conservancy

Conservancy will continue our basic community services, thanks to our first 750 Supporters! We still need 820 more Supporters to avoid reducing licensing work & hibernating our enforcement efforts in 2017.
1,029 have joined so far. Thus, our 750 goal was achieved & 279 have joined beyond that. Also, match pledges reduced our 2,500 maximum need by 651 !

Become a Conservancy Supporter!

Software Freedom needs your help.

Conservancy must move to a Supporter-driven organization so we can focus on critical free software issues that nobody else is tackling. Stand up for the GPL, support great member projects, and make your voice heard in support of free software.

The world today is powered increasingly by Free Software. But what many people don't realize is how much support is needed to keep all of these projects free and open. The work that we do every day ensures the success and the continued freedom of the projects that the developers of our member projects dedicate themselves to. Projects like Git, Samba, Wine, BusyBox, QEMU, Inkscape, Selenium, and dozens more.

We are asking for you to but this is more than our usual annual fundraising appeal. As described in more detail below, after the events of 2015, we must substantially increase our individual support to be able to continue defending software freedom for our member projects and the entire free and open source software community. We needed at least 750 of you to become annual Supporters just to continue our basic community services, and we thank you so much that you responded. But we still need 2,500 (total) of you to become annual Supporters now to continue our licensing work, including enforcing copyleft licenses. If you don't become a Supporter now, we will be forced to radically restructure and wind down a substantial portion of our operations.


2015 successes

Software Freedom Conservancy has had a lot of major successes this year:

And we did all of this with only three full time employees.

We are focused on the most important ethical issues in software freedom. We work tirelessly and don't shy away from difficult issues.

We're a unique organization — a staunch defender of copyleft (for Linux, Debian and many of our member projects), a source of education and champions of diversity for the community via Outreachy and other programs, and are the legal home to over 30 member projects that are essential to developing free software.

We undertake these critical programs because they are essential to the future of technology. We do them because they are right. But we cannot do them without you. If we do not meet our fundraising goals, we will be forced to radically restructure.

Our fiscal sponsorship model is not financially self-sustaining by itself: we cannot afford even one staff member and basic overhead with the revenue we take in from our projects. With 750 supporters, we can now sustain the basic work and we will survive. But to thrive, and handle the really complex tasks like copyright and licensing advice, and license enforcement, we need even more resources. That's why our final target is 2,500 Supporters. If you use or care about our member projects, which include some of the most widely used free software, you can help them all by .

Fighting for the GPL

Many consider our GPL compliance and enforcement controversial. We don't think it is: we stand up for the GPL at the request of the Linux kernel community, the Debian community, and our member projects. Most recently, that has resulted in our funding of the suit against VMware, which is the first lawsuit on derivative works and the GPL. While this work is extremely important to the continued long-term success of software freedom and copyleft not to mention in the long term interest of the industry as a whole, it makes fundraising from companies very difficult. Some companies have withdrawn from funding us and some have even successfully pressured conferences to cancel or prevent talks on our enforcement work. We do this work because we think that it is good for everyone in the long run, because we know it is the right thing to do, and because we know that we are in the best position to do it. But that's not enough — you have to think it's right too and .

*** The Conservancy T-Shirt that Supporters Receive ***

It's up to you

We have raised enough money to continue the VMware case, but our overall enforcement work needs additional support to be able to continue. As we state in the Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement, we cannot prioritize profit in these actions without compromising on the end goals of that work which is to help companies become free and open source software users and contributors.

Moreover, we have lost committed general funding from companies explicitly because of our enforcement work. Continuing this work without individual support is no longer possible.

As a result, we need 2,500 Supporters in order to maintain the staff and resources in the organization to properly undertake enforcement. We hope you will to help us achieve this. If we don't reach our goal, we will have no choice but to hibernate enforcement until we have the resources to pick it up properly at some point in the future.

If you care about the GPL, so we can stand up for the GPL together.

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Please and spread software freedom!



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Join as an Annual Supporter

Note: annual supporter is not an automatic renewal relationship. If you join today, you'll receive an email in about one year to remind you to optionally renew.

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