Software Freedom Conservancy

Let's stand up for software freedom together! The next 68 Supporters who join or renew by February 28th will be matched by an anonymous donor! Join today!
82 Supporters have been matched, out of 150 possible.

Software Freedom Conservancy

Software Freedom Conservancy is a not-for-profit charity that helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects. Conservancy provides a non-profit home and infrastructure for FLOSS projects. This allows FLOSS developers to focus on what they do best — writing and improving FLOSS for the general public — while Conservancy takes care of the projects' needs that do not relate directly to software development and documentation.

[RSS] Recent News

Clojars is Conservancy’s Newest Member Project

February 23, 2017

Clojars logo

Software Freedom Conservancy is pleased to announce the addition of Clojars as its newest member project. Clojars is a community-maintained repository for free and open source libraries written in the Clojure programming language. Clojars emphasizes ease of use, publishing library packages that are simple to use with build automation tools.

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15 Days Left to Double Your Support for Your Favorite Free & Open Source Software Projects

February 13, 2017

The next 89 Supporters to join Conservancy by the end of February will have their donation doubled! Join or renew today!

After Conservancy signed up over 60 Supporters in just one week, an anonymous donor has decided to extend their match through the end of Conservancy's fiscal year (ending on February 28). Our anonymous donor says, “It's important to expand Conservancy's base of support so that it has stable and predictable finances. It's a bit of a challenge to get people to pay attention to FOSS with a new horror here in the US every day, but free software is as important as ever--if not more so.”

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Bradley Kuhn Delivered Copyleft Keynote at FOSDEM

Emphasized how compliance empowers developers

February 13, 2017

At FOSDEM last week, Conservancy’s Distinguished Technologist Bradley Kuhn delivered a keynote “Understanding The Complexity of Copyleft Defense.” The speech reviews the history of GPL enforcement efforts, pointing out development projects such as OpenWRT and SamyGo that began thanks to GPL compliance work. Kuhn focused in particular on how copyleft compliance can further empower users and developers as more kinds of devices run GPL’d software, and he concluded his remarks urging developers to take control of their own work by demanding to hold their own copyrights, using mechanisms such as Conservancy’s ContractPatch initiative.

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Executive Director Karen Sandler Took the Main Stage at Campus Party Brasil

Talked to Students about Software Freedom

February 9, 2017

Last week Software Freedom Conservancy’s Executive Director, Karen Sandler, took the stage at Campus Party Brasil to talk about software freedom in her talk “Cyborgs Unite!” Campus Party Brasil 2017 was held in São Paulo, Brazil. This year 8,000 people attended the conference. Targeted at students, many of the attendees camp out in tents at the venue. There are hackathons, workshops, talks and games. The event is extremely festive, and talks are on stages throughout the enormous expo floor.

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Announcing a new match sprint for 150 Supporters

February 4, 2017

Conservancy is excited to announce that an anonymous donor has agreed to match 150 new or renewing Supporters. They’ve challenged us to meet the goal quickly: the match starts now along with FOSDEM in Brussels, and runs about a week to the end of Monday, February 13 (noon on Tuesday, February 14 UTC).

This is Conservancy’s most aggressive match program to date. After an impressive rally from the community to meet the end of the Private Internet Access match last month, we’re eager to see whether we can build off that momentum and the buzz of FOSDEM to sign up 150 Supporters in a week. So don’t hesitate: join or renew as a Conservancy Supporter today!

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[RSS] Conservancy Blog

Getting Started with Linux Development and Compliance: An Interview with Christoph Hellwig

by Karen Sandler on February 22, 2017

Photo of Christoph Hellwig speaking at DebConf 2015

Christoph Hellwig is a Linux developer, responsible for the code for several filesystems and the NVM Express drive. He’s a member of Conservancy’s GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers and the plaintiff in the case against VMWare, which still awaits appeal. We recently had a chance to catch up with him to hear how he got started working on Linux, what advice he would give newcomers, and why he supports Conservancy’s work.

Q: How did you become interested in Linux? Is there a contribution you are most proud of?

CH: When I was a kid in Germany I started using Usenet and got myself into programming more or less by accident. That lead to learning about Linux and installing it at home. Soon after I started hacking kernel to make the sound card in my computer work under Linux.

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Git Merge and FOSDEM 2017!

by Karen Sandler on February 17, 2017

Photo of Karen Sandler and Mike McQuaid at Conservancy's FOSDEM booth

For me, FOSDEM this year started two days early with Git Merge, the annual Git conference. Git Merge is organized by GitHub, and so far in all three years of its organization the conference has donated the proceeds from ticket sales to Conservancy! I’d been hoping to get to Git Merge one of these years, so I was very excited with the organizing team asked me to do an talk introducing Conservancy.

I got to kick off the conference, and introduced myself by explaining how investigating my heart condition and defibrillator caused me to become passionate about software freedom. I then delved into what Conservancy does and in particular talked about some of the work we’ve done with Git. The talk had a good impact, and all day long I was able to speak with people who were excited about Conservancy and thinking about the ethics of all of our software. It’s always especially thrilling to speak at our member projects’ conferences. I love meeting up with leadership committee members and also putting faces to the names that we see go by while monitoring the activities of our projects.

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Software Freedom Can Avoid the Looming Dystopia

by Bradley M. Kuhn on February 14, 2017

I encourage all of you to either listen to or read the transcript of Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with Joseph Turow about his discussion of his book “The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, And Define Your Power”.

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Supporting Conservancy Makes a Difference

by Bradley M. Kuhn on February 13, 2017

There are a lot of problems in our society, and particularly in the USA, right now, and plenty of charities who need our support. The reason I continue to focus my work on software freedom is simply because there are so few focused on the moral and ethical issues of computing. Open Source has reached its pinnacle as an industry fad, and with it, a watered-down message: “having some of the source code for some of your systems some of the time is so great, why would you need anything more?”. Universal software freedom is however further from reality than it was even a few years ago. At least a few of us, in my view, must focus on that cause.

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Why I Support Conservancy—and Joined Its Board

by Kate Chapman on February 8, 2017

When Karen first approached me about joining Software Freedom Conservancy’s board, I tried to think about when I first became aware of the organization. I think it probably involves some non-profit law geeking out somewhere at a conference. As someone who has started and been involved in a few non-profits in their early days I think the services Conservancy provides to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects are crucial. Many groups simply want to focus on developing software, rather than the legal and infrastruture tasks required to set up an entire legal entity. It adds another layer of complexity beyond simply organizing code and humans towards a common goal. This is one of the reasons I decided to join Conservancy’s Board of Directors.

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