Software Freedom Conservancy Launches 2015 Fundraiser

Seeks 2500 Supporters to Continue Enforcement

November 23, 2015

Today Software Freedom Conservancy announces a major fundraising effort. Pointing to the difficulty of relying on corporate funding while pursuing important but controversial issues, like GPL compliance, Conservancy has structured its fundraiser to increase individual support. The organization needs at least 750 annual Supporters to continue its basic community services and 2500 to avoid hibernating its enforcement efforts. If Conservancy does not meet its goals, it will be forced to radically restructure and wind down a substantial portion of its operations.

Conservancy highlights its major successes this year:

  • Conservancy brought four new projects under the protection of the Conservancy: QEMU, the generic machine emulator and virtualizer, The Bro Network Security Monitor, the Godot Game Engine, and Outreachy, a program dedicated to helping people from underrepresented groups get involved in free and open source software. Conservancy also worked with the Debian community to launch the Debian Copyright Aggregation Project at their request.
  • Conservancy supported the lawsuit Christoph Hellwig has brought against VMware in Germany, the first case on derivative works and the GPL.
  • Conservancy fought for and successfully earned an exemption from the Library of Congress in the DMCA review process to legally permit circumvention of encryption on Smart TVs, ensuring that you are free to hack on the devices that you legally own.
  • Conservancy collaborated with the Free Software Foundation to publish the Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement, establishing community norms for enforcing the GPL in the public's interest, which have already been translated into Korean.
  • Along with FSF, Conservancy helped Canonical, Ltd. achieve compliance in its "Intellectual Property" Policy, while pointing out that the policy fails to address important software freedom issues.
  • Conservancy conducted friendly discussions with companies out of compliance with the GPL, seeking non-litigious resolutions.
  • Conservancy participated in the process of telling the FCC to fix its proposed rules restricting third-party modification of firmware in wireless devices.
  • Conservancy made 172 contractor payments to developers writing free and open source software, which included various different internships and contract software development work.
  • Conservancy helped, coordinated, and financially insured volunteers of three of our member projects to organize large annual conferences, where thousands of attendees learned about free and open source software.
  • Conservancy processed and paid 116 reimbursement requests to individuals doing work around the globe advocating for their free and open source software projects at conferences and other venues.
  • Conservancy gave keynotes at DebConf, FOSDEM, FISL, LibrePlanet, Linaro Connect, and participated in many more conferences all over the world; Conservancy also shared its expertise in initiatives like We participated in interviews and blogposts, and Bradley and Karen published episodes of Free as in Freedom, dedicated to discussing the important issues in software freedom.

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