04.30.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Platinum (Top) Sponsors of Copyleft Conf Are Companies That Attack Copyleft’s Father, Richard Stallman

Posted in FSF, Google, GPL, Microsoft at 8:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nothing says “copyleft” conference like a repeated GPL violator with a history of attacks on copyleft… at the very top of your page with a massive logo

Copyleft Conf
Source: 2020.copyleftconf.org/sponsors

Summary: If it smells like a rotten plot, then it might as well be one; software freedom won’t be guarded by companies that internally ban the GPL and coordinate public smear attacks on it (as well as its creator)

THERE is something truly disturbing going on at SFC. It’s not new. We mentioned it before. Other people also habitually mention it. SFC has a growing problem of trust or crisis of confidence because people out there aren’t sure what it stands for or who it stands for. Longtime readers are likely familiar with more recent blunders.

Why does SFC take Microsoft money? What does that mean to SFC? What might that say about the origins of Copyleft Conf and its purpose? Remember that in order to keep money coming next year (as well as other future years) they might as well be careful what they publicly say about Microsoft and about its record, e.g. bribery, antitrust abuses, work that kills people and various obvious crimes (with convictions).

The above may not seem like much; after all, it’s less than “slush funds” to Microsoft. But it’s a lot of money for SFC. It helps pay the rent, food and so on. It can make SFC almost dependent on Microsoft. And that’s a problem.

Remember that in politics or political spheres this is how the most classic and likely most common form of bribery works.

We’ve asked SFC for comment on this; we gave them a chance to explain or to clarify. Half a day later the Conservancy’s staff has not replied to this request for comment, so we decided to go ahead with the story and actually type it up. We also extended the offer for response several more hours. So remember; we politely reached out for comment, but they refuse to even explain the above. Microsoft is undoubtedly behind several anti-GPL campaigns, so SFC cannot just claim that Microsoft changed; Microsoft just gave them “some change” (small money or pocket money to Microsoft, but a lot to SFC). All those anti-GPL GitHub-based ‘studies’ remind us that the GPL-hostile agenda of Microsoft has only been taken up several more notches in recent years; those are all Microsoft. Microsoft isn’t only a GPL violator; Microsoft got caught several times.

Why is Microsoft’s name at the very top of a page of something called “Copyleft Conf”? We could go ahead and remark/criticise some of the speakers, but this article can be more powerful when it is impersonal, focusing on issues and companies, nothing ad hominem at all. The Linux Foundation likes to personify some of the bad things it does; that’s a trap. And we won’t fall into it.

So why is an anti-GPL company a “Platinum Sponsor” of this event? That’s an odd thing for something called “Software Freedom Conservancy” to do. But remember that those are the same people who pushed Richard Stallman out of the FSF. Notice how also Salesforce creeps it; it’s the company whose high-level staff did the same, pushing hard for Stallman to be kicked out along with anyone who supports him. This is well documented. So what the heck is this event anyway? Why is it controlled and led by such companies? And not for the first time (we mentioned this before, after the first such event); Microsoft and Google were there last year as well. Yes, the first one was also funded by Microsoft and one might theorise who came up with the idea of having such an event and raise funds for it. Yesterday the SFC wrote about it, as did few others online, mostly in social control media. The E-mail message from Deb Nicholson was reprinted by LWN and it says this:

URL: https://sfconservancy.org/news/2020/apr/29/cc2video/

In February, we ran our second annual [Copyleft Conf](
https://2020.copyleftconf.org/). Thanks to our program committee; Molly
de Blanc, Beth Flanagan, Bradley Kuhn, Deb Nicholson, Nithya Ruff, Josh
Simmons and Haralde Welte, the [schedule](
https://2020.copyleftconf.org/schedule/) was both bold and timely. We
are happy to announce that all the videos of this year’s sessions are
now [available for you to watch.](https://2020.copyleftconf.org/video)

This year’s [keynote](
https://archive.org/details/copyleftconf2020-sebro) was delivered by
[Tony Sebro](https://wikimediafoundation.org/profile/tony-sebro/), who
is Vice President of Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, former
General Counsel of Conservancy, and serves on the Outreachy organizer’s
committee. In his talk, Tony wonders whether the community around
copyleft, like those around eschatology and Afro-centric hip-hop, has
lost it’s center and how we might entice new stakeholders to reinvest
in our shared values. His keynote is a great place to start with this
year’s videos.

We also want to especially thank Coraline Ada Ehmke for participating
in Copyleft Conf. She describes our responsibility as technologists and
shared her plan for building a movement to keep technology from being
used by bad actors. Both [her talk](
https://archive.org/details/copyleftconf2020-ehmke) and the [community
discussion](
https://archive.org/details/copyleftconf2020-ethical-lice…) that
followed are available to watch now. The passionate conversation around
ethical licensing was cited by many as a highlight of the conference
and we’re glad we were able to host it at Copyleft Conf.

In case you missed it, our first year’s keynote was Molly de Blanc.
She’s the Manager of Strategic Initiatives at GNOME Foundation. There
was [a Faifcast episode](http://faif.us/cast/2019/may/31/0×68/) where
Bradley and Karen discuss her talk, “The Margins of Software Freedom”
coupled with an onsite interview. Many of the 2019 Copyleft Conf videos
are also [available to watch.](https://2020.copyleftconf.org/video)

We have no way of knowing what 2021 will mean for in-person events, but
we will continue to advocate for and discuss copyleft as a tool for
software freedom — stay in touch by following us on [Mastodon](
https://mastodon.technology/@conservancy) or [Twitter](
https://twitter.com/conservancy) or swing by #conservancy on
freenode.net to talk with folks in real time, any time, but [especially
on Thursdays at 6pm UTC.](

https://sfconservancy.org/blog/2020/mar/12/virtualchat/)

About Conservancy

Conservancy is a resourceful, non-profit organization dedicated to
helping people take control of their computing experience by growing
the software freedom movement, supporting community-driven alternatives
to proprietary software and defending free software builders with
practical initiatives. Conservancy believes that the future of software
should be for everyone.


Deb Nicholson <deb@sfconservancy.org>
Software Freedom Conservancy

It may sound all happy and fun, but watch who sponsored this thing (huge logo of Microsoft at the very top; depending on one’s browser it can fill up the whole page!); the event’s message is shrewdly disguised as “ethics” and tolerance; but deep inside the people who run this event and sponsor this event know what they seek to accomplish. Remember VMware‘s deliberate GPL violations and cover-up that we uncovered earlier this week. SFC probably won’t resume litigation and there’s a strong Microsoft connection, which we explained this week.

Always follow the company’s or the institution’s revenue sources (clients, sponsors, venture capital etc.) to better understand who truly owns and controls them, at the very least by financial means post-financial crises.

I asked SFC, both in Mastodon (Fediverse) and in Twitter, why they deemed Microsoft a proper top sponsor (Platinum Sponsor) for such an event. They did not ever bother replying, so perhaps they lack an actual defense of this move.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  2. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  3. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  5. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  7. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  8. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  9. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  10. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  12. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  14. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  15. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  16. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  17. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  20. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  21. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  22. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  23. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  25. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  26. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  27. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  28. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  29. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts