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Displaying posts by Deb and Karen

We Support GNOME Foundation's Fight Against a Patent Troll

by Deb and Karen on October 23, 2019

Conservancy is always opposed to the use of patents to curtail free software development and use. In the recent case against GNOME, we also care deeply about the code base. The Yorba Foundation, Shotwell's original home, assigned its copyrights on the image management program to Conservancy in 2016. The GNOME Project is now the target of patent troll, Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC, for maintaining and shipping the Shotwell code.

GNOME was recently contacted by a patent troll claiming to have rights that cover the image management software Shotwell, a free software program that is maintained by GNOME and is designed to be part of the GNOME desktop. GNOME responded by declining to settle, filing a motion to dismiss and by filing a counter-suit against the troll with the aim of invalidating their patent. We are in complete solidarity with GNOME's decision to fight this troll so that no other users or developers are in danger of being sued by this bad-faith actor over this matter.

As Shotwell's copyright holders and as a software freedom-focused charity, Conservancy wants people to be able to use this software without fear of retaliation or rent-seeking. Patents and patent trolls create a chilling effect for both developers and users. Shotwell was originally developed by a nonprofit organization and is now maintained by the community. Rothschild should not be harassing GNOME with its frivolous claim. We support GNOME's countersuit and encourage other stakeholders and free software activists to support GNOME in this suit however they can.

Tags: FOSS Sustainability, Shotwell

Join us at FOSDEM 2019!

by Deb and Karen on January 4, 2019

FOSDEM is possibly the largest community organized conference for free and open source software. In Brussels the first weekend in February, FOSDEM brings thousands of free software contributors and enthusiasts together for an intense two days of talks, stands and socializing. FOSDEM celebrates its 20th year in 2019.

Conservancy will be there, participating in myriad ways throughout the weekend. If you're going to be attending, we hope you'll join us.

Two Keynotes!

Karen Sandler and Bradley Kuhn will be delivering the opening keynote of FOSDEM, entitled "Can Anyone Live in Full Software Freedom Today? Confessions of Activists Who Try But Fail to Avoid Proprietary Software". Deb Nicholson, our Director of Community Operations will keynote later on Saturay, with her talk "Blockchain: The Ethical Considerations".

The First Annual Copyleft Conf!

We're running Copyleft Conf, a one day conference starting at 9:30 AM and finishing at 6:00 PM CET (Brussels time) on February 4th, 2019 dedicated entirely to providing a friendly and safe place for discussion of copyleft as a key strategy for defending software freedom. Registration opens soon and the schedule will be up next week. Email us for general questions, or to ask about sponsorship. We're also looking for volunteers - it's a brand new conference and there are loads of ways to get involved to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Legal & Policy Devroom

Conservancy staff members Bradley and Karen, along with collaborators, Richard Fontana and Tom Marble, wil be running the Legal and Policy devroom for the eighth time. There is no event like it. Get there early since the room frequently fills up.

Join us at the Stand

We will also have a stand at FOSDEM on both days. We've already had a few impressive volunteers step up (you know who you are, and hopefully how much we appreciate you.) The stand scene at FOSDEM can be kind of intense -- and like dutch licorice -- best in small doses. If you'd like to help out with our FOSDEM stand, please email us -- we promise fun times and deep appreciation, with very little licorice. ;)

Git Merge

Our member project, Git's community will be gathering on February 1st to discuss all things Git at Git Merge. Deb is doing the opening keynote and will be discussing building an inclusive free software future.


Homebrew is having its first in-person meeting. We often help out member projects plan developer meetings and this year, we're proud to help Homebrew get together to discuss project business face to face.

More project news!

Two of our member projects, Coreboot and Godot Engine will also have stands at FOSDEM. Been wondering about the latest news or just want to thank project folks for their work? Swing by the stand.

We're also helping facilitate a phpMyAdmin meeting in Brussels co-located with FOSDEM.

Ah, Brussels in February. Is there anything like it to make one appreciate living in California? JK. We go for the amazing community. Plus maybe the beer and the chocolate. See you there?

Didn't see your project's news up here? Let us know! We'll keep updating this until FOSDEM happens.

Tags: conservancy, Homebrew, Copyleft Conf

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