January 12, 2016
The GNOME community has dedicated the last 18 years to building great software for our users. We have created a library of work that is found not only in our desktop but also in various other important software and hardware. As a proud part of the GNU Project, GNOME licenses its software freely to ensure that the work will continue to be free for everyone to use and build on. To do this, we use the GPL (GNU General Public License) and the LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public License).
However, relying on these license choices only works if everyone plays by the rules. The GNOME community knows that others can take our software for their own ends without complying with the licenses. Bad actors could attempt to proprietarize our work without acknowledging our efforts and without giving back to our community. The GPL functions to support the Free Software model because there are legal consequences to violating it.
Software Freedom Conservancy — a charitable non-profit dedicated to Free Software — has led efforts to make sure that compliance happens. They provide education about GPL Compliance, and ensure that companies and individuals comply with the GPL by following up on violations and providing litigation assistance when there is no other avenue available.
Conservancy is currently running a campaign to ensure its continued long-term operations. We encourage individuals to support Conservancy at https://sfconservancy.org/supporter/, as supporting their GPL enforcement activities benefits all copylefted free software projects. Until January 31, Supporter sign ups will be generously matched by Private Internet Access. Please also become a Friend of GNOME and financially support the GNOME Foundation too!