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Become a Conservancy Supporter!

Software Freedom needs your help.

The world today is powered increasingly by Free Software. But what 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 that the developers of our member projects dedicate themselves to. Projects like Git, Samba, Wine, BusyBox, QEMU, Inkscape, Selenium, and dozens more [FIXME Link to nascar pic]

We are asking for you to join us and become a Conservancy Supporter but this is more than our usual annual fundraising appeal. As described in more detail below, after the events of 2015, we must substantially increase our individual support to be able to continue defending software freedom for our member projects and the entire free and open source software community. We need at least [750] of you to become annual Supporters just to continue our basic community services. We need [2500] of you to become annual Supporters now to continue our work enforcing copyleft licenses. If you don't become a Supporter now, we will be forced to radically restructure and wind down a substantial portion of our operations.

2015 successes

Software Freedom Conservancy has had a lot of major successes this year:

And we did all of this with only three full time employees.

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

We're a unique organization — 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 over 30 member projects that are essential to developing free software.

We undertake these critical programs because they are essential to the future of technology. We do them because they are right. But we cannot do them without you. If we do not meet our fundraising goals, we will be forced to radically restructure.

Our fiscal sponsorship model is not financially self sustaining. We cannot afford even one staff member and basic overhead with the revenue we take in from our projects. In order to effectively continue to serve our member projects, we need [750] Supporters. If you use or care about our member projects, which include some of the most widely used free software, you can help them all by signing up as a Supporter today.

Fighting for the GPL

Many consider our GPL compliance and enforcement controversial. We don't think it is: We stand up for the GPL at the request of the Linux kernel community, the Debian community and our member projects. Most recently that has resulted in our funding of the suit against VMware, which is the first law suit on derivative works and the GPL. While this work is extremely important to the continued long-term success of software freedom and copyleft, it makes fundraising from companies very difficult. While enforcement of the protections around free and open source software is in the long term interest of the industry, many companies are reluctant to fund organizations that take on this enforcement task. Some companies have withdrawn from funding us and some have even successfully pressured conferences to cancel or prevent talks on our enforcement 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 — you have to think it's right too and show us by becoming a Supporter now.

It's up to you

We have raised enough money to continue the VMware case but our overall enforcement work needs additional support to be able to continue. As we state in the Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement, we cannot prioritize profit in these actions without compromising on the end goals of that work which is to help companies become free and open source software users and contributors.

Moreover, we have lost committed general funding from companies explicitly because of our enforcement work. Continuing this work without individual support is no longer possible.

As a result, we need [2500] Supporters in order to maintain the staff and resources in the organization to properly undertake enforcement. We hope you will sign up a Supporter to help us achieve this. If we don't reach our goal, we will have no choice but to hibernate enforcement until we have the resources to pick it up properly at some point in the future.

If you care about the GPL, help us meet our goal so we can stand up for the GPL together.

Become a Supporter Now: Annual | Monthly

Join as an Annual Supporter

$120 is a minimum for Conservancy Supporters. Donate smaller amounts here.
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Join as an Monthly Supporter

Monthly supporters will not receive any supporter benefits (including the t-shirt) until they've been monthly supporters for 12 months.

$10/month is a minimum for Conservancy Supporters. Donate smaller amounts here.
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