Karen M. Sandler is Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, the nonprofit home of dozens of essential free software projects. She is known for her advocacy for free and open source software, particularly in relation to the software on medical devices. She was previously the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation. Karen co-organizes Outreachy (formerly Outreach Program for Women). She received an O'Reilly Open Source Award and is co-host of the oggcast "Free and in Freedom".
Free software is a unique social movement in that for-profit companies have a deep interest in the outcome of the movement. Where the interest of companies and free software ideology overlap there is a powerful amplification of effort. Many ideological individuals have become employed writing free software and companies have become an important source of funding for the movement. While for-profit involvement is important and in fact inevitable where free software is successful, we as a community must evaluate the relationships we have with companies. In this talk, Karen will examine these relationships and discuss how they impact the future of free software.
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 and possible mechanisms we can put in place to address them.