Free as in Freedom

A bi-weekly discussion of legal, policy, and other issues in the open source and software freedom community (including occasional interviews) from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Presented by Karen Sandler and Bradley M. Kuhn.


0x65: Linux Foundation's Community Bridge

Bradley and Karen discuss and critique the new initiative by the Linux Foundation called CommunityBridge. The podcast includes various analysis that expands upon their blog post about Linux Foundation's CommunityBridge.

Show Notes: Segment 0 (00:36)
  • Conservancy helped Free Software Foundation and GNOME Foundation begin fiscal sponsorship work. (07:50)
  • Conservancy has always been very coordinated with Software in the Public Interest, which is a FOSS fiscal sponsor that predates Conservancy. (08:26)
  • Conservancy helped NumFocus get started as a fiscal sponsor by providing advice. (08:53)
  • The above are all 501(c)(3) charities, but there are also 501(c)(6) fiscal sponsors, such as Linux Foundation and Eclipse Foundation. (10:00)
  • Bradley mentioned that projects that are forks can end up in different fiscal sponsors, such as Hudson being in Eclipse Foundation, and Jenkins being associated with a Linux Foundation sub-org. (10:30)
  • Bradley mentioned that any project — be it SourceForge, GitHub, or Community Bridge — that attempts to convince FOSS developers to use proprietary software for their projects is immediately suspect (12:00)
  • Open Collective, a for-profit company seeking to do fiscal sponsorship (but attempting to release their code for it) is likely under the worst“competitive” threat from this initiative. (19:50)
Segment 1 (21:23)
  • Projects that use CommunityBridge are required to act in the common business interest of the Linux Foundation members. (27:30)
  • Board of Directors seats at the Linux Foundation are for sale, according to their by-laws. (28:50)
  • Bradley advises that you should not put anything copylefted into CommunityBridge — given Linux Foundation's position on copyleft and citing the ArduPilot/DroneCode example. (29:50)
  • CommunityBridge appears to only allow governance based on the “benevolent dictator for life model” (31:40), at least with regard to who controls the money (34:30)
  • Bradley mentioned the LWN article about Community Bridge. (33:22)
Segment 2 (36:54)
  • Karen mentioned that CommunityBridge also purports to address diversity and security issues for FOSS projects. (37:00)
  • Bradley mentioned the code hosted on and also the Reimbursenator project that PSU students wrote. (42:00)
Segment 3 (42:44)

Bradley and Karen discuss (or, possibly don't) discuss what's coming up on the next episode. Fact of the matter is that this announcement wasn't written yet when we recorded this episode and we weren't sure if 0x65 would be released before or after that announcement was released. We'll be discussing that topic on 0x66.

Send feedback and comments on the cast to <>. You can keep in touch with Free as in Freedom on our IRC channel, #faif on, and by following Conservancy on and and Twitter.

Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch of Theme music written and performed by Mike Tarantino with Charlie Paxson on drums.

The content of this audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).


 2019-04-02  47m