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.
Conservancy Remains Steadfast on Community Driven Compliance
November 29, 2018
Conservancy dedicates itself to fighting for software freedom for as long as it takes. GPL enforcement requires steadfast, unwavering diligence. Two years have passed since Christoph Hellwig announced his intention to appeal the Hamburg District Court's decision, and more than three and a half years have passed since Conservancy announced its financial support for this lawsuit. Christoph's case is in Germany against VMware for their failure to provide the complete source code of the kernel they distribute, which is covered by the GPL and based on Linux. The lower court dismissed the case as a result of evidentiary rules and likely an incomplete understanding of the documentation of the code in question. Yesterday, the German Court of Appeal held the first hearing on the appeal.
November 20, 2018
Today, Software Freedom Conservancy announces the launch of its most ambitious match challenge ever, generously brought forward by Private Internet Access and bolstered by a cadre of passionate individual donors. All donations up to $90,000 will be matched dollar for dollar until January 15. Sign up as a Supporter today to have your donation count twice, but please act soon. The end of the year comes up fast!
New Programming Language for Microcontroller Boards
November 20, 2018
We're proud to announce that we're bringing MicroBlocks into the Conservancy as our newest member project. MicroBlocks provides a quick way for new programmers to jump right in using "blocks" to make toys or tools. People have been proclaiming that IoT is the future for almost a decade, so we're very pleased to be able to support a human-friendly project that makes it really easy to get started building embedded stuff. Curious? Check out a few of the neat things people have already built with MicroBlocks.
Fundraising Software for Non-Profits Joins Conservancy
November 14, 2018
First we were excited find out that a project like the Houdini Project even existed and now we can proudly say that they are also a Conservancy member! Services and applications for non-profits -- that are also free software -- are very close to our fiscal umbrella heart here at Conservancy. Houdini is our second incoming project this year that specifically caters to the needs of non-profits. Back in May, we welcomed Backdrop CMS a lightweight content management system that is great for non-profits, to the Conservancy fold. As long-time readers of the Conservancy blog know, the offerings for non-profits that care about software freedom are pretty slim, which is why we've also been working on our own non-profit accounting solution.
Receives $300,000 Donation from Handshake
November 8, 2018
We are very excited to announce the Reproducible Builds project as our newest member project. Reproducible builds is a set of software development practices that create an independently-verifiable path from the source code to the binary code used by computers. This ensures that the builds you are installing are exactly the ones you were expecting, which is critical for freedom, security and compatibility and exposes injections of backdoors introduced by compromising build servers or coercing developers to do so via political or violent means.
byon December 12, 2018
We are excited to announce the venue we'll be using for Copyleft Conf. The one day event will take place in downtown Brussels at DigitYser, Boulevard d’Anvers 40, 1000 Bruxelles. The venue is a bit northeast of Grande Place. Participants can choose to walk, take the train to the Yser stop or use one of Brussels' many buses.
Copyleft compliance misconception #2: Anyone can easily fix the incomplete source releases that companies provide
byon December 11, 2018
As Conservancy's FLOSS License Compliance Engineer, I receive many reports of copyleft noncompliance every week, and the people reporting them are often rightly concerned that the compliance issues are not fixed quickly. These issues often arise on devices such as media players, Android phones, broadband routers, and even vehicles. In each case there is some copylefted software that a user wishes to inspect or modify (which is their right, according to both the license and the morality of software freedom) but they are unable to, due to noncompliance. Usually, those who understand software observe noncompliance as a real-world, practical problem of incomplete (or entirely missing) source code and build information.
byon December 4, 2018
This is part of our ongoing series to highlight our generous matching donors. Keith Packard has been working in free software for more than thirty years and is a long-time contributor to Debian, X Windows and more recently the Linux graphics driver stack. Keith and several other outstanding individuals are joining Private Internet Access and a big anonymous donor in offering a total of $90K in matching funds to Conservancy for our continued work to provide both a "back-office" for free software and a clear voice in favor of community-driven licensing and governance practices. You can join him and donate today!
byon November 27, 2018
I recently interviewed the inestimable Molly de Blanc. Molly is on the Board of Directors for the Open Source Initiative, works as a Campaigns Manager for the Free Software Foundation and also happens to be an amazing baker. She has been working in free software for 4 years, and involved for 10 years -- plus she is the driving force behind the individual super-donor part of our year-end donation match. Molly and several other outstanding individuals are joining Private Internet Access and a big anonymous donor in offering a total of $90K in matching funds to Conservancy for our continued work to provide both a "back-office" for free software and a clear voice in favor of community-driven licensing and governance practices.
byon October 31, 2018
There’s been quite a stir in our communities following the announcement that IBM is acquiring Red Hat. As I considered the announcement, one part of the email to employees by Jim Whitehurst posted on the Red Hat blog really struck me:
I appreciate that everyone will experience a range of emotions as a result of this news. Excited, anxious, surprised, fear of the unknown, including new challenges and working relationships - these are all ways I would describe my emotions. What I know is that we will continue to focus on growing our culture as part of a new organization. We will continue to focus on the success of our customers. We will continue to nurture our relationships with partners. Collaboration, transparency, participation, and meritocracy - these values make us Red Hat and they are not changing. In fact, I hope we will help bring this culture across all of IBM.
In addition to the normal anxiety, surprise and fear experienced by employees of companies in the wake of an announcement of a merger, takeover or ordinary reorganization, this transaction will also reverberate through the community outside of the company. Because of this, I think it’s a good time to remind everyone of the ways we can protect ourselves now and in the future from these kinds of uncertainties related to changes in ownership, structure or motivations of corporate players in free and open source software.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, Conservancy relies on charitable donations for its operations. Please join 519 others and become a Conservancy Supporter today and/or donate generously to help our work!
Learn More about Conservancy
An Overview of Conservancy… Conservancy's current member projects… Services Conservancy provides to its member projects… Conservancy's unique work defending and upholding copyleft licenses (e.g., the GPL) … Conservancy's Non-Profit Accounting Project …