Surviving the Next 30 Years of Free Software

Presented by Karen M. Sandler
Thursday 4:35 p.m.–5:20 p.m.
Target audience: Community


Let's face it, GNU/Linux is no youngster! Many developers are aging and as with any large group of people, we must plan for the sad but inevitable loss of contributors. We have already lost a number of extremely important people in our community. In this talk, Karen will discuss the legal and social implications of this transition, like:

  • What will happen to my copyrights when I die?
    • What if I don't have a will?
    • What if I do?
    • What are my options?
  • What are the challenges my free software project will face as contributors die?
  • How do we keep track of everything as time passes?

After many years of struggling with the legal solutions to these problems, Karen will propose possible mechanisms we can put in place (with suprising ancillary advantages) and discuss pragmatic next stesp.

Presented by

Karen M. Sandler

Karen M. Sandler is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Karen is known for her advocacy for free software, particularly as a cyborg in relation to the software on medical devices. Prior to joining Conservancy, she was executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Before that, she was general counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen co-organizes Outreachy, the award-winning outreach program for women. She is also pro bono counsel to the FSF and GNOME. Karen is a recipient of the O’Reilly Open Source Award and cohost of the oggcast Free as in Freedom.

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