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Brett Smith (brett) - 4 years ago 2017-11-21 20:34:41
brett@sfconservancy.org
supporter: Update with 2017 appeal.
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<span id="form-correction-needed" class="form-error">Please ensure all form data above is correct.</span>
 

	
 
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<h4>Software Freedom needs your help.</h4>
 

	
 
<p><em>Conservancy is continuing its shift towards being a
 
Supporter-driven organization so we can focus on critical free software 
 
issues.  Support our great 
 
member projects, stand up for the GPL, and make your voice heard in support of free software. 
 
We're counting on you. 
 
<a href="#donate-box" class="donate-now">Donate today!</a></em></p>
 

	
 
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<a href="/img/member-project-logos.png"><img class="appeal-left" src="/img/member-project-logos.png"/></a>
 
<p>
 
Software is critical to all of our infrastructure and as a society, we are deeply reliant on the software we use. Making sure our software is free and open assures that tomorrow we can still use those solutions we invest in today. Software freedom is fundamental &mdash; we need it in order to effectively solve our problems in the long term. While the world today is powered increasingly by free software, many
 
people don't realize is how much support is needed to keep all of these
 
projects free and open. The work that we do every day ensures the success and
 
the continued freedom of the projects.  Our developers dedicate themselves to improving our <a href="/projects/current/">member
 
projects</a>, and we enable them to do that. This includes projects like Git, Samba,
 
Wine, BusyBox, QEMU, Inkscape, Selenium, and dozens more.</p>
 

	
 
<p>We are asking for you
 
  to <a href="#donate-box" class="donate-now">join us as a
 
  Conservancy Supporter</a>. Last year, over 1,000 of you became annual
 
  Supporters, allowing us to continue our basic operations.  We still need
 
  2,500 (total) annual Supporters to continue our full range of operations
 
  through 2017.  If you don't become a Supporter now, we will be forced to
 
  reduce our program activities going forward.</p>
 

	
 
<h4 style="clear: left;">2016 successes</h4>
 

	
 
<p>
 
Software Freedom Conservancy has had a lot of major successes this year:
 
<ul>
 

	
 
<li>We brought three new projects under the protection of Conservancy: <a href="https://forums.librehealth.io/">LibreHealth</a>, a critical initiative for health in free and open source software, <a href="https://www.spec-ops.io/">Spec-Ops</a>, a project dedicated to creating of open standards in critical areas, including payments and identity
 
and <a href="http://brew.sh/">Homebrew</a>, a software package manager for Apple's OS X. </li>
 

	
 
<li>We <a href="/news/2015/mar/05/vmware-lawsuit/">supported
 
the lawsuit</a> Christoph Hellwig brought against VMware in Germany, the
 
first case on derivative works and the GPL. Christoph's case <a href="/news/2016/aug/09/vmware-appeal/">continues on appeal</a>.</li>
 

	
 
<li>We helped Conservancy projects Bro, Buildbot, and Godot receive Mozilla MOSS grants. Another Conservancy project, phpMyAdmin, successfully completed a thorough security audit as part of Mozilla's Secure Open Source Fund (no serious issues were found!).</li>
 

	
 

	
 
<li>We <a href="/news/2016/may/10/yorba-assigns-copyrights/">received an assignment of copyrights from the Yorba Foundation</a>, including Shotwell and Geary, in order to safeguard those copyrights for the future.</li>
 

	
 
<li>We conducted friendly discussions with companies out of compliance with
 
the GPL, seeking non-litigious resolutions in accordance with our <a href="/copyleft-compliance/principles.html">Principles</a>. We <a href="/news/2016/nov/03/linux-compliance-agreements/">published our template agreements</a> and held two <a href="https://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/706361/a9ca4ee12c04d5d7/">feedback</a> <a href="/blog/2016/oct/27/feedback-gpl/"> sessions</a> to evaluate and improve our compliance efforts. We also worked with other community members to <a href="/blog/2016/jul/19/patrick-mchardy-gpl-enforcement/">bring clarity to international activities around GPL compliance</a> and help make the ecosystem safer for free software adoption. We stayed committed to providing <a href="/blog/2016/feb/25/zfs-and-linux/">straightforward analysis about the GPL</a>.</li>
 

	
 
<li>Our Executive Director, Karen Sandler, <a href="/news/2016/feb/23/FOSSA-testimony/">testified to the New York City Council Committee on Contracts in favor of the Free and Open Source Software Act and the Civic Commons Act</a> which would increase the use of free and open source software by New York City departments and agencies. Karen later in the year also <a href="/news/2016/oct/26/karen-sandler-oscon-eu-2016/">taught kids in London about free software</a>.</li>
 

	
 
<li>We <a href="/contractpatch/">launched a new initiative called ContractPatch</a> to help provide information and understanding about employment agreements.</li>
 

	
 
<li>We <a href="/news/2016/nov/23/compliance-principles-chinese-translation/">published “Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Compliance” in Chinese,</a> thanks to a translation by Kaiyuanshe.</li>
 

	
 
<li>We <a href="/blog/2016/jun/06/openchain-spec/">commented on the OpenChain specification</a> to help make sure that the initiative by companies to collaboratively come up with standards and shared materials around compliance also meets community expectations about how compliance obligations are satisfied.</li>
 

	
 
<li>We supported, helped coordinate, and financially backed volunteers from 
 
  our member projects to organize seven conferences in three continents, where thousands of
 
  attendees learned about free and open source software.</li>
 

	
 
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<!--<li>We made FIXME contractor payments to developers writing free and open source 
 
  software, which included various different internships and contract
 
  software development work.</li> -->
 

	
 
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<!-- <li>We processed and paid FIXME reimbursement requests to individuals doing work
 
  around the globe advocating for their free and open source software
 
  projects at conferences and other venues.</li> -->
 

	
 
<li>We processed and paid reimbursement requests to individuals doing work
 
  around the globe advocating for their free and open source software
 
  projects at conferences and other venues. We also paid contractors to 
 
improve our projects' software.</li>
 

	
 
<li>We gave keynotes
 
at <a href="/news/2016/oct/26/karen-sandler-oscon-eu-2016/">OSCON EU</a>, <a href="/news/2016/sep/14/brocon-keynote/">BroCon</a>, <a href="https://nextcloud.com/blog/nextcloud-conference-keynote-speakers-and-launch-event/">the NextCloud conference</>, <a href="/blog/2016/aug/16/guadec-2016/">GUADEC</a>, <a href="/news/2016/aug/08/guadec-opensym/">OpenSym 2016</a>, <a href="https://debconf16.debconf.org/talks/57/">Debconf</a>, <a href"/news/2016/may/31/kuhn-sweden-norway/">OSS 2016</a>, <a href="https://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/collection/companies-free-software-and-you/">LibrePlanet</a>, <a href="https://www.openwest.org/keynote/">OpenWest</a>
 
and participated many more conferences all over the world. We also 
 
shared our expertise in initiatives
 
like <a href="https://copyleft.org/">copyleft.org</a>. We gave
 
interviews, published <a href="/blog/">blog posts</a>, and
 
Bradley and Karen released episodes of <a href="http://faif.us/">Free as in
 
Freedom</a>, all dedicated to discussing the important issues in software
 
freedom.</li>
 
 
 
</ul>
 
<p>And we did <strong>all of this</strong> with a tiny staff of only four full time employees.</p>
 

	
 
<p>We are focused on the most important ethical issues in software
 
freedom. We work tirelessly and don't shy away from difficult issues.</p>
 

	
 
<p>We're a unique organization &mdash; a staunch defender of copyleft (for Linux,
 
Debian, and many of our member projects), a source of education and champions
 
of diversity for the community via Outreachy and other programs, and are the
 
legal home to 40 member projects that are essential to developing free
 
software.</p>
 

	
 
<p>We undertake these critical programs because they are essential to the
 
future of technology. We do them because they are right. <strong>But we cannot do
 
them without you.</strong> Last year you helped us to fundraising goals that didn't merely keep us running, but even funded <a href="/news/2016/aug/22/brett-joins/">hiring of a new employee</a>. Yet even this staffing level isn't enough to handle our existing workload.</p>
 

	
 
<p>Our fiscal sponsorship model is not financially self-sustaining by itself:
 
we cannot afford even one staff member and basic overhead with the revenue we
 
take in from our projects.  With over 1,000 Supporters, we can now sustain the basic
 
work and we will survive.  But to thrive, and handle the really complex tasks like
 
copyright and licensing advice, and license compliance, we need even more
 
resources.  That's why our final target remains 2,500 Supporters.  If you use
 
or care about our <a href="/members/current/">member projects</a>, which
 
include some of the most widely used free software, you can help them all
 
by <a href="#donate-box" class="donate-now">signing up as a Supporter
 
today</a>.</p>
 

	
 
<h4>Fighting for the GPL</h4>
 

	
 
<a href="/img/gpl-heart.png" alt="We ♥ GPL"><img class="appeal-right"  src="/img/gpl-heart.png"/></a>
 

	
 
<p>Many consider our GPL compliance and enforcement controversial.   We don't
 
think it is:  we stand up for the GPL at the request of our member projects, 
 
the Debian community, and members of the Linux kernel community. 
 
Most recently, that has resulted in our funding
 
of the <a href="/news/2015/mar/05/vmware-lawsuit/">suit
 
against VMware</a>, which is the first lawsuit on derivative works and the
 
GPL. (Christoph's case <a href="/news/2016/aug/09/vmware-appeal/">continues on appeal</a>.) While this work is extremely important to the continued long-term
 
success of software freedom and copyleft (not to mention in the long-term 
 
interest of the industry as a whole) it makes fundraising from companies
 
very difficult.  Some companies 
 
have ceased funding us and some have even successfully pressured 
 
conferences to cancel or prevent talks on our compliance work. We do
 
this work because we think that it is good for everyone in the long run,
 
because we know it is the right thing to do, and because we know that we are
 
in the best position to do it. But that's not enough &mdash; you have to think it's
 
right too and <a href="#donate-box" class="donate-now">show us by
 
becoming a Supporter now</a>.</p>
 
 
 
<img alt="Photo of Conservancy t-Shirt that Supporters receive" class="appeal-left" src="/img/conservancy-t-shirt.jpg"/>
 

	
 
<h4>It's up to you</h4>
 

	
 
<p>Conservancy is deeply committed to supporting, promoting, developing, and
 
defending free and open source software.  We pursue our mission on various
 
fronts, and we're proud of what we've been able to accomplish in 2016.  To
 
do even more in 2017 and in the years to come, we need your help.</p>
 

	
 
<p>We believe 2017 will be a critical year for Conservancy, our member
 
projects, and our work.  We look forward to making huge strides in providing
 
software tools for public charities as well as services for developer 
 
communities.  We will continue to champion the rights of the public and the
 
interests of copyright holders who have licensed their contributions to the 
 
commons for the public's benefit.  We will continue to host and speak at
 
conferences, create and maintain educational resources, and raise awareness
 
about how free and open source software is essential to a free and open
 
society. </p>
 

	
 
<p>While we appreciate our corporate donors, we simply cannot depend 
 
solely on grants from companies who may not find our mission to be 
 
compatible with shifting corporate strategies.  We need you, the public, as
 
well.  Simply put, we need 2,500 Supporters in order to maintain our staff, 
 
continue to provide a full range of administrative, bookkeeping, and legal
 
services to our member projects, educate the public, <strong>and</strong>
 
undertake compliance efforts.  We hope you will <a href="#donate-box" class="donate-now">sign up as a Supporter</a> to help us achieve this. If we don't reach our goal, we will 
 
have no choice but to hibernate some of our activities &mdash; likely 
 
our compliance efforts &mdash; until we have the resources to resume them
 
properly at some point in the future.</p>
 

	
 
<img class="appeal-footer" alt="Supporters ♥ Conservancy" src="/img/conservancy-supporter-heart.png"/>
 

	
 
<p>If you care about Conservancy's mission, <a href="#donate-box" 
 
class="donate-now">help us meet our goal</a> so we can stand up for software
 
freedom together.</p>
 
<div class="picture right">
 
  <img alt="" src="/img/member-project-logos.png">
 
  <p>Conservancy is currently home to <a href="/projects/current/">forty-six member projects</a>.</p>
 
  <img alt="Photo of Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler and Homebrew maintainer Mike McQuaid talking with a visitor at the Conservancy booth at FOSDEM" src="/img/2017-02-fosdem-stand-karen-mike.jpg">
 
  <p>We love when member project participants help out at the Conservancy booth! Here's Homebrew maintainer Mike McQuaid with our executive director Karen Sandler at FOSDEM. Photo by Neil McGovern.</p>
 
  <img alt="Photo of linux.conf.au attendees coming to the front stage to contribute money towards Outreachy internships" src="/img/2017-01_LCA-Outreachy-donations.png">
 
  <p>Conservancy helps administer Outreachy internships, and we were there at linux.conf.au when they raised money to sponsor three!</p>
 
</div>
 

	
 
<p>Please <a href="#donate-box" class="donate-now">join our Supporter program</a> 
 
and spread the word!</p>
 
<p><strong>Software freedom is critical to many of today&rsquo;s most pressing social issues, but it is only effective when FOSS is for everyone</strong>—no matter what their background is, what technology they&rsquo;re using, or whether or not they&rsquo;re working with a company.  Software Freedom Conservancy makes this possible by helping create more free software, promoting diversity, defending copyleft, and advocating for software freedom.  We&rsquo;re a creative, responsive, and resourceful organization. We work with practical and impactful solutions.  We help FOSS projects grow while maintaining independence from a single corporate sponsor.  We introduce people to software freedom through the lens of today&rsquo;s new technology questions, and we raise and address the newest questions facing the FOSS community.</p>
 
<p>This work is too big for any single project to tackle, and we cannot do it without your help. Sign up as a Supporter today and contribute to these important efforts!</p>
 
<h3>Helping our member projects grow</h3>
 
<p>As a fiscal sponsorship organization, some people think all we do is manage a bank account for our member projects.  In fact, the services we provide are much more comprehensive than that, and doing this work for all our member projects means we serve as a force multiplier for everyone.</p>
 
<p><strong>We help pay people to work on FOSS.</strong>  In 2017, six of our member projects paid 93 different people for FOSS contributions.  Collectively, Bro, Godot, Outreachy, phpMyAdmin, Selenium, and Sugar paid contributors over $640,000 for everything from project organization to software development to translation.  In all these cases, Conservancy handles most of the administration, including contract negotiation, legal compliance, work review, and tax reporting.</p>
 
<p><strong>We help run FOSS conferences.</strong>  We handled some conference logistics for six of our member projects in 2017: Boost, Bro, Evergreen, North Bay Python, Selenium, and Wine.  Our experience working with vendors on venues, catering, AV, and other necessities helps streamline much of the routine work, and we&rsquo;ve paid vendors more than $360,000 to make each of these conferences a success.  We&rsquo;ve also reimbursed 150 people traveling to these and other events, enabling more valuable face-to-face collaboration.</p>
 
<p><strong>We arrange technical infrastructure for our projects.</strong>  We work with a variety of providers to help run domains and servers for many of our projects.  We take care of all the back-end administration, including handling billing and renewals.  We even help some of our projects plan out new infrastructure, like Outreachy&rsquo;s new web site and mailing lists.</p>
 
<p>Many organizations do work like this occasionally, or for a few specific projects.  For us, it&rsquo;s the core of what we do.  That experience helps us do it more efficiently, and do it better for everyone.  Lessons we learn working on one project benefit all of our members.</p>
 
<h3>Supporting new projects</h3>
 
<p>We constantly hear from projects that would like to join Conservancy, and 2017 has been a flagship year for new members.  Some of the projects that have joined us recently are established software projects you might already use: Clojars, coreboot, Etherpad.  Others are newer projects doing cutting-edge work: Harvey OS, Linux XIA, North Bay Python, Teaching Open Source.  We&rsquo;re happy to support them all and help them grow to next level that&rsquo;s right for each.</p>
 
<p>Bringing on new member projects and helping them with all of the services we offer is the most efficient way for us to advance FOSS.  The first thing that stops us from taking on more is making sure we have staff time available to fulfill our promises to all of them.  Conservancy Supporters help make that possible, giving us the confidence to welcome more projects.</p>
 
<h3>Advocacy for today&rsquo;s issues</h3>
 
<p>If you attended a FOSS conference in 2017, odds are you saw Conservancy there.  Over the year we&rsquo;ve spoken or presented at almost twenty conferences on five different continents.  We talk about a range of important issues, including copyleft compliance, outreach to underrepresented people, FOSS in regulated devices like medical devices and automobiles, and the risks of too much corporate control over our projects and communities.</p>
 
<p>We&rsquo;re not just giving feel-good thinkpiece talks, either.  Our conference travel is often a two-way conversation, building awareness and spurring action on issues that might be little-known but are critically important to our communities.  We have booths at many of these conferences to give us valuable face time with current member projects and help recruit new ones.  We host discussions like our <a href="/blog/2017/jan/13/compliance-feedback-sessions-2017/">compliance feedback sessions</a> to hear how the community feels about our work and what we can improve in our tactics.  Our talks lead to results you can see like <a href="/news/2017/oct/16/linux-kernel-enforcement-statement/">our license enforcement principles affirmed by Linux developers</a> and <a href="/news/2017/oct/30/dmca-exemptions-renewed/">renewed DMCA exemptions for medical devices</a>.</p>
 
<p>Supporting Conservancy is an investment in the future of FOSS.  It enables us to bring on more member projects; to provide newly needed services to all of them; and to keep pushing forward on the issues that affect us all.  Join as a Supporter today to help us bring that work to even more people!</p>
 

	
 
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