Software Freedom Law Center Launches Conservancy

Software Freedom Conservancy Offers Nonprofit Umbrella to Free and Open Source


Apr 03, 2006, 01:00 ET from The Software Freedom Law Center

    NEW YORK, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC),
 provider of pro-bono legal services to protect and advance Free and Open
 Source Software (FOSS), today announced it has established the Software
 Freedom Conservancy to provide free financial and administrative services for
 a collection of FOSS projects through a single entity.
     "The mission of the Conservancy is to provide free and open source
 software developers with all of the benefits of being a tax-exempt corporate
 entity without having to do any of the work of setting up and maintaining such
 an entity," said Dan Ravicher, legal director for the Software Freedom Law
 Center and one of the initial directors of the Conservancy. "Letting projects
 pass off the mundane administrative burdens placed on those wishing to benefit
 from nonprofit status is a significant way to keep developers focused on what
 they do best -- writing software."
     The Software Freedom Conservancy
 ( ) will be a fiscal sponsor for FOSS
 projects by providing free financial and administrative services to its
 members. It will provide individual developers protection from personal
 liability for their projects and will seek to provide participating projects
 with tax-exempt status, allowing them to receive tax deductible donations. The
 Conservancy will file a single tax return that covers each of the member's
 projects and will handle other corporate and tax related issues on behalf of
 its members. In addition, the Conservancy can hold project assets and manage
 them at the discretion of the project, which removes another fiscal burden
 from developers who are focused on software innovation.
     "We understand the importance of having our legal, financial and
 administration houses in order, but our focus and energy needs to be on our
 code," said Alexandre Julliard, The Wine Project, one of the Conservancy's
 initial members. "The Software Freedom Conservancy gives us the opportunity to
 join with fellow community projects to gain needed legal and fiscal
 protections in a market where disruptive technologies such as open source
 software sometimes generate aggressive actions from other market
     Other initial members of the Conservancy include SurveyOS, BusyBox and
 uClibc. For more information about the Conservancy and how to become a member,
 please visit .
     About The Software Freedom Law Center
     The Software Freedom Law Center -- directed by Eben Moglen, one of the
 world's leading experts on copyright law as applied to software -- provides
 legal representation and other law-related services to protect and advance
 Free and Open Source Software. The Law Center is dedicated to assisting
 nonprofit open source developers and projects. The Conservancy is an example
 of how the Center is working to address the needs of FOSS projects that are
 playing significant roles in the software market.  For criteria on eligibility
 and to apply for assistance from SFLC, please visit the website at

SOURCE The Software Freedom Law Center