Celebrating the FSF's 35th anniversary: Stories from the Licensing and Compliance Lab — Free Software Foundation — Working together for free software

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Article URL: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/celebrating-the-fsf2019s-35th-anniversary-stories-from-the-licensing-and-compliance-lab Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25797094 Points: 2 # Comments: 0
Since 2001, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Licensing and Compliance Lab has provided the legal muscle to defend free software, and has supported software users, programmers, legal professionals, and activists who want their software to remain free. FSF representatives had done copyleft enforcement before this, but the founding of the Lab was a big step toward formalizing and organizing this work. You may have already read licensing and compliance manager Donald Robertson's comprehensive accounting of the current functions of the team, but today, following our thirty-fifth anniversary celebration, we're taking a look back at the role this team has played over the course of the FSF's thirty-five year-long history, and some milestones along the way.

Like the other accounts written for this series, which focused on the campaigns team and the tech team's histories, this is far from a complete story of the FSF's licensing work: there are important milestones that we were barely able to touch upon, and important people involved whose stories and voices aren't represented here. It's also possible that some details may have been missed or lost to time.

However, a few facts are very clear throughout: defending the GNU Public License (GPL) has long been a massive task, and it was with the establishment of the Licensing and Compliance Lab that this effort was systematized. As with the rest of our work, licensing depends on the financial support and volunteer power of our supporters, and FSF associate members are the most passionate supporters of all. This is why our current fundraiser period is focused on a membership goal -- and we're so close! As of this writing, it's down to fewer than fifty new members to reach the total of five hundred, and we hope you'll help us get all the way there. Please continue spreading the word about why all software must be free, and if you're not already an associate member of the FSF, I urge you to join today so we can do this…
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