What we do

And why we do it

We are a foun­da­tion

But not an en­tire­ly nor­mal one.

To­day, tech­nol­o­gy de­ter­mines the course of so­ci­ety. Our not-­for-prof­it in­fra­struc­ture helps to cre­ate and fos­ter tech­nol­o­gy “com­mon­s”.

Es­tab­lished in 2016

What we have to of­fer

A light-weight and flex­i­ble gov­er­nance in­fra­struc­ture

We of­fer a sim­ple so­lu­tion that will al­low many projects to not waste time and start dis­cov­er­ing what is out there in the world for them to achieve. You get a vir­tu­al not-­for-prof­it or­gan­i­sa­tion to run the Pro­gram­me, an in­fra­struc­ture for de­ci­sion mak­ing, and through our part­ners you will be able to re­ceive tax-friend­ly do­na­tion­s.

Grow your project

Cre­ate a ma­ture en­vi­ron­ment

Maybe you are con­sid­er­ing start­ing a sep­a­rate foun­da­tion. That has worked for many pro­ject­s, and will con­tin­ue to do so in the fu­ture. If your project has very spe­cif­ic re­quire­ments, it may be the best way to go. But not ev­ery project can af­ford the time and cost in­volved.

Hav­ing ones own ful­l-blown le­gal en­ti­ty solves some is­sues, but may cre­ate new ones. Such as re­spon­si­bil­i­ties which can be­come some­what of a bur­den - like fil­ing quar­ter­ly tax­es, pub­lish­ing an­nu­al re­ports or ob­tain­ing char­i­ta­ble sta­tus to make do­na­tions more at­trac­tive.

For some­thing giv­en away with­out the in­ten­tion to make mon­ey, the ‘op­por­tu­ni­ty cost’ in lost hours that could be spent on the project can be pret­ty high.

Solve what needs to be solved

Keep it sim­ple

[The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] is the re­sult of peo­ple ques­tion­ing the need for hav­ing a sep­a­rate le­gal en­ti­ty per projec­t. It is de­signed as a shared le­gal in­fra­struc­ture de­signed for mul­ti­te­nan­cy, which can be reused by open source/free soft­ware projects at no cost. It is not a panacea but aims to solve a num­ber of is­sues peo­ple nor­mal­ly start foun­da­tions for pret­ty well - and ar­guably in some cas­es does a bet­ter job. It is a very nim­ble and flex­i­ble so­lu­tion, al­low­ing el­i­gi­ble projects to ben­e­fit with­out set­up cost or a lot of ar­gu­ing over de­tail­s.

instant, free infrastructure for projects

a home for tech­nol­o­gy ef­forts in the pub­lic in­ter­est

Projects should outgrow creators

Or­gan­i­sa­tions that start free soft­ware/open source projects some­times find them­selves in a po­si­tion where they need to loosen their re­la­tion­ship with the project in or­der to al­low it to ma­ture and to live up to its full po­ten­tial.

Create room for involvement

Valu­able con­trib­u­tors from the out­side may need to be able to get more re­spon­si­bil­i­ty. The com­mu­ni­ty may be ask­ing for an open and trust­wor­thy gov­er­nance mod­el for clear­ing and as­sign­ing copy­rights to be more fu­ture proof.

Getting yourself organised

Others want to con­trib­ute in oth­er ways — for in­stance by do­nat­ing mon­ey. But to whom? What about tax­es? Scal­ing up a project of­ten means a lot of ad­di­tion­al over­head, and sev­er­al un­knowns that suck up time.

If you are a cre­ator, make sure your project is not hin­dered by lack of copy­right trans­paren­cy.

Governance matters

(but that does­n’t mean you should waste time)

In it for the long haul

Copy­right lasts 75 years or more…

Un­like oth­er or­gan­i­sa­tions you may have looked at, we do not han­dle mon­ey di­rect­ly. We be­lieve that this makes things a lot eas­i­er and safer. You can of course re­ceive do­na­tion­s, but this is han­dled through a spe­cialised and es­tab­lished char­i­ty.

How many foun­da­tions cre­at­ed this year will be around in twen­ty years from now? What will hap­pen to their as­set­s? We aim to stick around, and be­cause of our unique mod­el — we can.

Our (en­tire­ly fork­able!) frame­work will of­fer you some prag­mat­ic and nov­el so­lu­tions when your com­mu­ni­ty would end up in tech­ni­cal or oth­er dis­agree­ments. The choice of course re­mains yours.

Some of our projects

Photo of an old mailbox that says Send Someone a Love Letter
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File­Sender

Mak­ing bits trav­el ev­ery­where

File­Sender is a (self-)host­ed ser­vice that al­lows peo­ple to se­cure­ly share large files with any­one. It works through your web brows­er and you can send a file to any­one with a mail ad­dress. File­Sender was orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed with the needs of sci­en­tists and re­searchers in mind, which means that it scale to ex­treme file sizes.

Pri­vate in­stances of File­Sender are cur­rent­ly in use by many na­tion re­search net­works and sci­en­tif­ic in­sti­tutes across the world.

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In­ter­net of Coins

Blockchain wiz­ardry

In­ter­net of Coins is a project that aims to cre­ate a de­­cen­­tral­ized, ­self-­­sus­­tain­ing econ­o­my by im­­ple­­men­t­ing in­­ter-blockchain con­nec­­tiv­i­­ty. Not through cen­­tral­ized ex­changes, nor fed­er­at­ed part­n­er­­ship­s, or ­mul­ti­­­gate­ways, but sus­­tained by a hy­brid P2P meta-net­­work to lev­er­age each of its par­tic­i­­pan­t’s strength in num­ber­s. The dream of the pro­­ject is to in­­te­­grate all coins in­­­to an in­­ter­­con­nec­t­ed and ­fi­­nan­­cial­­ly liq­uid ner­vous sys­tem.

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edu­VPN

Safer con­nec­tions for ev­ery­one

Vir­­tu­al Pri­­vate Net­­works are an im­­por­­tant class of tech­nolo­gies that en­able se­cure and pri­­vate use of net­­works (such as wifi hotspot­s) even in the com­­mon case where the trust­­wor­thi­­ness of the net­­work is hard to es­tab­lish. The use of un­trust­ed wifi net­­works is as com­­mon as it is risky, and with­­out pro­tec­­tion po­ten­­tial­­ly ex­­pos­es users to all kind­s of at­­tack­­s. How­ev­er, set­t­ing up VP­N’s is tra­di­­tion­al­­ly a very cum­ber­­some task. edu­VPN is an ef­­fort to make VPN tech­nol­o­­gy com­­mon­­ly avail­able, by build­ing bet­ter and more user-friend­­ly tool­s.

The foun­da­tion strives for a fair and bal­anced glob­al in­for­ma­tion so­ci­ety in which in­di­vid­u­als can col­lec­tive­ly scru­ti­nise, re­con­fig­ure and im­prove up­on the tech­nol­o­gy and in­for­ma­tion­al re­sources they de­pend on; and to make that tech­nol­o­gy and those re­sources se­cure, re­li­able, trans­par­ent and in­clu­sive and to en­able hu­man in­no­va­tion at the widest pos­si­ble scale, with the ex­press in­ten­tion to strenght­en the in­di­vid­u­al in their hu­man­i­ty and to en­able them to par­tic­i­pate in all facets of mod­ern life — whether so­cial, cul­tur­al, eco­nomic, pri­vate etc. — un­der con­di­tions of their own choos­ing, and in ful­l un­der­stand­ing of and con­trol over its work­ings, and all that re­lates to the be­fore­men­tioned or could be ben­e­fi­cial ot it, all in the broad­est sense of the word.

Governance matters.

but that does­n’t mean you should waste time