Software Freedom Conservancy

The next $69,185 of support we receive will be matched thanks to Private Internet Access and a group of generous donors, including Elana Hashman! Support Conservancy today!

We've matched $20,814.64 of $90,000.00 so far!

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

Appeal Moving Forward in GPL Compliance Suit Against VMware

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.

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$90K Year-end Match to Fund an Ambitious Year for Conservancy

November 20, 2018

Representatives from many Conservancy member projects gathered at GSoC mentor summit 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!

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MicroBlocks Joins Conservancy

New Programming Language for Microcontroller Boards

November 20, 2018

picture of young girl at a computer, programming with MicroBlocks

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.

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The Houdini Project

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.

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Reproducible Builds Joins Conservancy

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.

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Conservancy News Archive…

[RSS] Conservancy Blog

Copyleft compliance misconception #2: Anyone can easily fix the incomplete source releases that companies provide

by Denver Gingerich on 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.

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Keith Packard: Inspired & Inspiring

by Deb Nicholson on 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!

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Molly de Blanc: Free Software Superstar

by Deb Nicholson on 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.

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Thoughts on IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat

by Karen Sandler on 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.

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Why We Chose a Robust Code of Conduct for Copyleft Conf

by Deb Nicholson on October 30, 2018

We want all kinds of people to feel safe and comfortable participating as speakers or attendees at Copyleft Conf. Unfortunately, that is neither a given or even the default in many FOSS communities. In order to be credibly welcoming, it is incumbent on each free software community and event to proactively say, "Yes, you are welcome here" and, "No, we will not look away if someone attempts to belittle you, harass you or harm you." It is not enough to merely suggest good behavior. People need to know that those who willfully disrupt our community -- by making it unsafe or uncomfortable for others to participate -- will be asked to leave.

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