Software Freedom Conservancy

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

Copyright Office Agrees to Continue DMCA Exemptions for Smart TVs, Medical Devices

October 30, 2017

On Friday the US Copyright Office published a proposed rulemaking to renew all existing exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Activities covered by exemptions cannot be prosecuted as criminal acts under the law. Two exemptions slated for renewal are one proposed by Conservancy to allow people to install new firmware on smart TVs they own; and one advocated by Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler to allow security researchers to evaluate medical devices.

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Conservancy Announces Partnership with the Digital Impact Alliance

October 23, 2017

Software Freedom Conservancy is honored to partner with the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) to provide services in support of its new Open Source Center. DIAL, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation, is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The Center will provide resources to free and open source software projects serving international development and humanitarian response.

Conservancy is positioned to help participating projects deal with a variety of challenges including basic asset stewardship services and trademark management. Software projects participating in the DIAL Open Source Center will have priority access to Conservancy’s comprehensive fiscal sponsorship services, enabling them to offload the complex management issues that a standalone foundation would involve.

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SFLC Files Bizarre Legal Action Against Its Former Client, Software Freedom Conservancy

by Conservancy's Staff on November 3, 2017

About a month ago, the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), the not-for-profit law firm which launched Conservancy in 2006 and served as Conservancy's law firm until July 2011, took the bizarre and frivolous step of filing a legal action in the United States Patent and Trademark Office seeking cancellation of Conservancy's trademark for our name, “Software Freedom Conservancy”. We were surprised by this spurious action. In our eleven years of coexistence, SFLC has raised no concerns nor complaints about our name, nor ever asked us to change it. We filed our formal answer to SFLC's action yesterday. In the interest of transparency for our thousands of volunteers, donors, Supporters, and friends, we at Conservancy today decided to talk publicly about the matter.

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Join me at Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit!

by Bradley M. Kuhn on November 2, 2017

I'm delighted to be en route to Oslo, Norway as I write this post. I'll be speaking this weekend at FSCONS, the Free Society and Nordic Summit. FSCONS is admittedly a small event, but has a theme that is absolutely intriguing and incredibly important to the future of software freedom. As can be read on the FSCONS website, the conference looks at the intersection of society, culture and technology. They invite speakers from throughout the Open Source and Free Software world as well as Free Culture and privacy and other technology activists.

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How Additional Permissions (aka Exceptions) Impact a Project's License

by Bradley M. Kuhn on October 20, 2017

When first learning about FLOSS (Free, Libre and Open Source) licenses, most of us learned them by their specific names, and generally when someone asks: What license is your project under?, the answer is a short moniker like GPLv2-only or GPLv3-or-later. However, since the earliest advent of FLOSS licenses, the concept of “additional permissions” — or, the older term for it: “exceptions” — have been an essential part of the licensing infrastructure of our community.

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