Imagine you run a non-profit organization that does a lot of good, but you’re not allowed to tell anyone about much of it.
That’s the bind the Software Freedom Law Center finds itself in all the time. They do a lot of their work behind the scenes, heading off Bad Things before the programming public ever finds out just how Bad those Things are. Unfortunately, many of these settlements have to be done under non-disclosure agreements that don’t allow the SFLC bragging rights on their (still impressively copious nonetheless) news page.
If you’re an open source software programmer, you may well be the beneficiary of their work without knowing it. The fact that your project or its users haven’t been sued by some patent troll may be happy coincidence, or it may be that various backroom negotiations, threats of legal challenges, re-examination requests, et cetera by the SFLC and its allies have kept you safe.
The SFLC is doing the things the rest of us don’t have the time or expertise to do. They’re not doing it to get rich (and just in case it wasn’t clear, they’re not getting rich). They’re doing it because they care about freedom.
They just can’t always talk about it.
So, please: donate. I just did.