Karen M. Sandler
Richard Littauer | Justin Dorfman
In this episode of Sustain, hosts Richard and Justin welcome Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC). Karen shares her journey from engineer to lawyer, and how her personal health condition led her to the world of open source. She discusses her role at SFC, the importance of Copyleft licenses, and the organization's diversity initiative, Outreachy. Karen also shares her personal experience with her defibrillator pacemaker, emphasizing the need for more control over technology. The conversation then turns to SFC's role as a fiscal sponsor, its support for alternatives to proprietary software, and its work in enforcing Copyleft licenses. The episode concludes with a discussion about SFC's ongoing lawsuit with Vizio over Copyleft license obligations. Hit download to hear much more!
[00:01:46] Karen discusses her background and how she got involved in open source and her role at the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC).
[00:04:44] Karen shares her personal experience with her defibrillator pacemaker, emphasizing the need for more control over technology.
[00:09:34] Richard wants to know about how Software Freedom Conservancy came about, and if she helped found it.
[00:10:58] Karen goes onto explain SFC's role as a fiscal sponsor, its support for alternatives to proprietary software, and its work in enforcing Copyleft licenses.
[00:12:52] Justin is curious to find out the status of the Vizio lawsuit, so the group discusses SFC's ongoing lawsuit with Vizio over Copyleft license obligations.
[00:15:08] Karen explains the difference between Copyleft and Copyright, emphasizing the importance of Copyleft.
[00:17:30] Why is this lawsuit so important? Karen explains how companies like Vizio are not sharing source code under the terms of the Copyleft license.
[00:26:54] Richard shares the news he read about how Japan says, “AI Model Training Doesn’t Violate Copyright,” and Karen shares her thoughts and how it could be playing a role with things like Microsoft Co-pilot and its effect on Open Source Code.
[00:31:55] We find out what software freedom means to Karen and the importance of holding companies accountable for their responsibilities under Copyleft licenses.
[00:03:43] “Our technology may not be made for us, and what are we going to do when it's not.”
[00:12:29] “It was never our purpose to just be a fiscal sponsor. It was our purpose to support software freedom.”
[00:13:32] “The really deep thinking about licensing and whether or not how it works out to have non Copyleft licensing and Copyleft Licensing, how that impacts the longevity of a community and the ability to maintain the software as open source.”
[00:17:10] “There's so much promise in devices where you can get access to the software because you can create alternative builds, you can do really cool stuff with them.”
[00:19:42] “It's really the downstream recipients who are the ones who are hurt by the lack of compliance.”
[00:24:03] “We’re in it for the long haul. Going to do this slog so that we can come out at the other end and do our best and see if we can get a good result for software freedom.”
[00:25:49] “Almost no business models rely on proprietary source code anymore. Very few are like royalty based.”
[00:29:54] “I don't care about Copyleft necessarily. It's a strategy to get us to that goal of software freedom.”
- [00:31:55] Justin’s spotlight is py-cord, which allows you to create Discord bots.
- [00:35:49] Richard spotlights Kevin Kelly, and the Tim Ferriss Show podcast episode he was on.
- [00:36:20] Karen shares a personal spotlight, the late Marina Zhurakhinskaya. Marina helped found Outreachy and passed away just over a year ago.
- SustainOSS Twitter
- SustainOSS Discourse
- SustainOSS Mastodon
- Open Collective-SustainOSS (Contribute)
- Richard Littauer Twitter
- Richard Littauer Mastodon
- Justin Dorfman Twitter
- Software Freedom Conservancy
- The GNOME Foundation
- Karen Sandler Twitter
- Karen Sandler FLOSS Social
- Karen Sandler LinkedIn
- Vizio Lawsuit Article
- FOSSY 2023
- Tim Ferriss Show – Kevin Kelly “Excellent Advice for Living” Episode
- Tim Ferris Show Blog – Kevin Kelly
- Marina Zhurakhinskaya
- Produced by Richard Littauer
- Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
- Show notes by DeAnn Bahr Peachtree Sound