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Copyright and Licensing Associate Full-time

Published at 2018-07-10 - Viewed: 1944 times - Free Software Foundation in Boston, MA, USA, United States

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501©(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a motivated and talented Boston-based individual to be our full-time Copyright and Licensing Associate.

This position, reporting to the executive director, works as part of our licensing and compliance team to protect and promote the use of freely licensed works of software and documentation. For over twenty years, the FSF’s Licensing and Compliance Lab has been the preeminent community resource for information about free licensing. From enforcement of the GNU General Public License, to certifying software and devices as fully free, to the writing and distribution of licensing-related educational materials, the team does work vital for the free software movement.

For this position, we are looking for a strong writer who is familiar with free software copyright licenses, and understands the basics of how software is written, compiled, and distributed. Neither a legal nor computer science education is required, but both would be a plus. Ideal candidates will also have experience with administrative tasks and record keeping.

Examples of job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • diligent and careful filing, archiving, and recording of all the FSF’s copyright assignment data (both electronic and paper),
  • daily correspondence with GNU and other free software developers from around the world,
  • reviewing hardware devices for our Respects Your Freedom certification program,
  • investigating violations of free licenses on FSF-copyrighted works,
  • public speaking as an FSF representative,
  • writing articles and materials on licensing-related issues and news,
  • helping to organize and facilitate educational licensing events both online and in-person,
  • working with volunteers and mentoring interns, and
  • pitching in to help with organization-wide projects, like our major fundraising activities and the annual LibrePlanet conference.

Because the FSF works globally and seeks to have our materials distributed in as many languages as possible, multilingual candidates will have an advantage. With our small staff of thirteen, each person makes a clear contribution. We work hard, but offer a humane and fun work environment at an office located in the heart of downtown Boston. The FSF is a mature but growing organization that provides great potential for advancement; existing staff get the first chance at any new job openings.

Benefits and Salary

This job is a union position that must be worked on-site at the FSF’s downtown Boston office. The salary is fixed at $53,268.80/year and is non-negotiable. Other benefits include:

  • full individual or family health coverage through Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s HMO Blue program,
  • subsidized dental plan,
  • four weeks of paid vacation annually,
  • seventeen paid holidays annually,
  • weekly remote work allowance,
  • public transit commuting cost reimbursement,
  • 403(b) program through TIAA with employer match,
  • yearly cost-of-living pay increases (based on government guidelines),
  • healthcare expense reimbursement budget,
  • ergonomic budget,
  • relocation (to Boston area) expense reimbursement,
  • conference travel and professional development opportunities, and
  • potential for an annual performance bonus.

Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted via email to The email must contain the subject line “Copyright and Licensing Associate”. A complete application should include:

  • cover letter,
  • resume, and
  • a published writing sample.

All materials must be in a free format. Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will probably be overlooked. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. To guarantee consideration, submit your application by July 20, 2018.

The FSF is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law. We value diversity in our workplace.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF’s work can be made at We are based in Boston, MA, USA.

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