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Red Hat is a long-time donor and contributor to projects stewarded by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), with hundreds of contributors and millions of lines of code contributed. Considering the circumstances of Richard Stallman’s original resignation in 2019, Red Hat was appalled to learn that he had rejoined the FSF board of directors. As a result, we are immediately suspending all Red Hat funding of the FSF and any FSF-hosted events. In addition, many Red Hat contributors have told us they no longer plan to participate in FSF-led or backed events, and we stand behind them.
In 2019, we called on the FSF board to use the opportunity created by Stallman’s departure to transition to a more diverse, inclusive board membership. The FSF took only limited steps in this direction. Richard Stallman’s return has reopened wounds we had hoped would slowly heal after his departure. We believe that in order to regain the confidence of the broader free software community, the FSF should make fundamental and lasting changes to its governance.
On Wednesday, the FSF board of directors committed to a series of changes related to organizational governance and the appointment of members to its board of directors. However, we have no reason to believe that the most recent FSF board statement signals any meaningful commitment to positive change. We look forward to working with the FSF and others to enable the FSF to once again become an effective and trusted advocacy organization in line with its chartered non-profit mission.
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Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.