Software Freedom Conservancy

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Software Freedom Conservancy, Inc.
Logo: drawing of a tree whose upper branches include a tree data structure
FoundedApril 7, 2006; 16 years ago (2006-04-07)
Key people
Karen Sandler (executive director)
Bradley M. Kuhn (president)

Software Freedom Conservancy, Inc. is an organization that provides a non-profit home and infrastructure support, including legal services, for free/open source software projects. The organization was established in 2006, with the help of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC). As of June 2018, the organization had over 40 member projects.[1]


Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) was established in 2006, with the backing of the Software Freedom Law Center.[2][3]

In 2007 Conservancy started coordinating GNU General Public License compliance and enforcement actions, primarily for the BusyBox project [4] (see BusyBox GPL lawsuits).

In October 2010, Conservancy hired its first Executive Director, Bradley M. Kuhn[5] and a year later, its first General Counsel, Tony Sebro.[6] In May 2012, Conservancy took on GPL compliance and enforcement for several other member projects, as well as for a number of individual Linux kernel developers.[7][8] In March 2014, Conservancy appointed Karen Sandler as its Executive Director, with Bradley M. Kuhn taking on the role as Distinguished Technologist.[9][10]

In February 2015, the Outreachy program (formerly the Free and Open Source Software Program for Women) announced that it was moving from The GNOME Project to become part of Conservancy.[11]

As of July 2015, Conservancy had 30 member projects, including QEMU, Boost, BusyBox, Git, Inkscape, Samba, Sugar Labs and Wine.[12]

In May 2016, Yorba Foundation assigned the copyrights of the projects it has developed to Software Freedom Conservancy. This includes copyrights for Shotwell, Geary, Valencia, gexiv2. The calendar application California is absent of the bundle because of an oversight on Yorba's part.[13][14]

In November 2017, the SFC reported that the Software Freedom Law Center had demanded the invalidation of the SFC's trademark.[2]

Member projects[edit]

Current projects[edit]

As of July 2022 the following 41 projects are members of Software Freedom Conservancy:[12]

Former projects[edit]

These projects have since been removed from the Software Freedom Conservancy's current project list since 2016:


As of August 2019, Conservancy's directors are:[23][24]

The Board Secretary is Karen Sandler.

Past directors include:


In July 2010, Conservancy announced it had prevailed in court against Westinghouse Digital, receiving an injunction as part of a default judgement.[25]

In March 2015, Conservancy announced it was funding litigation by Christoph Hellwig against VMware for violation of his copyrights in its ESXi product. The case will be heard in the district court of Hamburg, Germany.[26][27] VMware stated that it believed the case was without merit and expressed disappointment that Conservancy had resorted to litigation.[28]


Software Freedom Conservancy holds the registered word trademark for Git under US500000085961336 since 2015-02-03.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Current Projects - Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "SFLC Files Bizarre Legal Action Against Its Former Client". Software Freedom Conservancy. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "Mozilla Grants: Software Freedom Conservancy". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  4. ^ Simon Phipps (June 1, 2012). "Why the GPL licensing cops are the good guys". Infoworld. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Software Freedom Conservancy Appoints Full-Time Executive Director". October 4, 2010.
  6. ^ "Tony Sebro Joins Conservancy as General Counsel". September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Brian Proffitt (May 29, 2012). "Linux kernel devs, Samba join GPL compliance effort". IT World. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  8. ^ "Conservancy Projects Launch Coordinated Free Software Compliance Efforts". Software Freedom Conservancy. May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  9. ^ "Karen Sandler joins Conservancy's Management Team". March 31, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  10. ^ Bhati, Monika (April 1, 2014). "Karen Sandler resigns as GNOME Foundation's executive director". Muktware. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Outreach Program to Join Conservancy from GNOME; Program Renames to Outreachy". Software Freedom Conservancy. February 4, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Current Member Projects - Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "Yorba Assigns Shotwell and Geary Copyrights to Software Freedom Conservancy". May 10, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  14. ^ "Re: Yorba status - Geary article". June 26, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  15. ^ Brockmeier, Joe (January 18, 2011). "Software Freedom Conservancy adds 25th member project: Things looking bright for Conservancy". Network World. IDG Communications, Inc.
  16. ^ Brockmeier, Joe (January 18, 2011). "Software Freedom Conservancy adds 25th member project". Dissociated Press. Archived from the original on November 27, 2011.
  17. ^ "Git and Software Freedom Conservancy". Git. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  18. ^ "Godot Joins Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  19. ^ "Metalink Joins Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  20. ^ "OpenWrt Joins Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC)". September 14, 2020. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  21. ^ "Reproducible Builds joins the Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  22. ^ Foresight Linux Previously appeared as Current Member Project, archived from the original on October 6, 2016, retrieved June 7, 2018
  23. ^ "Directors: Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  24. ^ "Officers - Software Freedom Conservancy". Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  25. ^ "Conservancy Receives Default Judgment For BusyBox GPL Enforcement". Software Freedom Conservancy. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  26. ^ "Conservancy Announces Funding for GPL Compliance Lawsuit". Software Freedom Conservancy. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  27. ^ Phipps, Simon (March 5, 2015). "VMware heads to court over GPL violations". InfoWorld. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  28. ^ "VMware Update to Mr. Hellwig's Legal Proceedings". VMware. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
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