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Voting Member Code of Ethics

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jul 27, 2022 11:47 AM


The Free Software Foundation (“FSF”) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom.

A Voting Member's duties are primarily to elect FSF Board Members and the Voting Members themselves. Voting Members must be firm and unwavering supporters of software freedom.

A Voting Member agrees to uphold the following Code of Ethics.


  1. A Voting Member must act in good faith in accord with the regulations of the Free Software Foundation, including its articles of incorporation and its bylaws.

  2. A Voting Member will not engage in or facilitate any harassing behavior directed toward FSF staff, members, officers, directors, suppliers, or contractors, nor towards anyone in activities relating to the organization. A Voting Member will not engage in or facilitate unfair discrimination in activities relating to the organization. The Voting Members will interpret these criteria in a reasonable fashion.

  3. A Voting Member will uphold the privacy and confidentiality of internal proceedings. Furthermore, Voting Members must take care to keep certain information relating to director candidates and Voting Member candidates confidential, including but not limited to:

    • All conversations among the Voting Members and candidates.

    • Information about candidates received only through private channels of communication, including discussions of candidates by the associate members.

    • The implications or consequences of such conversations and information.

    • Whether someone is being considered as a director candidate, unless/until the FSF has announced this.

  4. A Voting Member must not make use of confidential information for private or outside purposes, only for the purposes of the voting members' decisions.

  5. A Voting Member will not make use (beyond incidental use) of staff, services, property, or access provided by the organization, or acquired as a consequence of the Voting Member's service, in any manner other than in furtherance of the organization's activities, and especially not for personal gain.

  6. A Voting Member must not comment publicly in ways that could reflect on the suitability of any director or Voting Member candidate while that candidate is being considered, nor subsequently about what made that candidate suitable or unsuitable, even after the decision on that candidate has been made.

  7. A Voting Member acknowledges that some statements and actions have potential to reflect on the organization and will take seriously the position of public visibility and trust of a Voting Member.

  8. A Voting Member, as such, does not speak for the FSF and will make it clear, when there may be ambiguity, that one is not doing so.

  9. A Voting Member will not urge or try to convince anyone to refrain from providing cooperation, paid or unpaid labor, services or support to the FSF, or engage in an activity that substantially harms the FSF.

  10. A Voting Member must not accept any sort of gift as an inducement for acting in a particular way as a Voting Member.

As an FSF Voting Member, I affirm my endorsement of this Code of Ethics and acknowledge my commitment to upholding its principles and obligations.

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