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Karen Sandler

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Title: Karen Sandler  
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Subject: Software Freedom Conservancy, GNOME Foundation, Bradley M. Kuhn, Linux, LinuxUser
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Karen Sandler

Karen Sandler
Karen Sandler at FSCONS 2013 in Gothenburg.
Occupation Executive Director, Software Freedom Conservancy
Website .compunkrocklawyer

Karen Sandler is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, former executive director of the GNOME Foundation, an attorney, and former general counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center.


  • Work in Free Software 1
  • Prior Legal Career 2
  • Education 3
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Work in Free Software

As of March 2014, Sandler is executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy.[1]

From June 2011[2] to March 2014,[3] Sandler served as executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Under her leadership, GNOME embarked on an ambitious project to draw more women into Free and Open Source software, the Outreach Program for Women.[4]

Between October 31, 2005[5] and June 21, 2011 she worked at the General Counsel after January 6, 2010.[6]

Karen Sandler at FISL 16

While at the SFLC, Sandler advised a wide range of free and open source software organizations such as the Software in the Public Interest and the Software Freedom Conservancy. With SFLC, she became a public speaker about issues of Free and Open Source software at conferences such as OSCON,[7][8] SCaLE,[9] and LinuxCon.[10] In 2010, she led an initiative advocating for free software on implantable medical devices[11] after exploring the issues surrounding the software on her own implanted medical device (a defibrillator), which regulates an inherited heart condition.[12][13]

In addition to her work with the Software Freedom Conservancy, Sandler also serves as general counsel of the non-profit Question Copyright.[14] She is also co-host of the "Software Freedom Law Show" (2008-2010)[15] and "Free as in Freedom" (2010-) podcasts.[16]

Prior Legal Career

Before working with the SFLC, Sandler worked as an associate in the corporate departments of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in New York and Clifford Chance in New York and London.


Sandler received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 2000, where she was a James Kent Scholar and co-founder of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. She received her bachelor's degree in engineering from The Cooper Union.[5]

Personal life

As of May 21, 2011,[17] she is married to Mike Tarantino, a Grammy nominated music engineer.[18] Their wedding invitation, a working paper record player and playable record, was covered by a number of internet publications.[19][20][21] The record contained a song that Sandler and Tarantino made together.[22]


  1. ^ "Sandler becomes Conservancy's Executive Director; Kuhn transitions focus to new “Distinguished Technologist” role" (Press release). Software Freedom Conservancy. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Karen Sandler Named New Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation" (Press release). GNOME Foundation. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  3. ^ "Karen Sandler Steps Down as GNOME Foundation Executive Director" (Press release). GNOME Foundation. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  4. ^ "Outreach Program for Women". GNOME Wiki. GNOME. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Software Freedom Law Center Appoints Two New Attorneys to Defend and Support Free and Open Source Software" (Press release). Software Freedom Law Center. 2005-10-31. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  6. ^ "The Software Freedom Law Center Promotes Karen Sandler to General Counsel" (Press release). Software Freedom Law Center. 2011-01-06. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  7. ^ "Karen Sandler 2009 Speaker Profile". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  8. ^ "Karen Sandler 2010 Speaker Profile". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  9. ^ "Karen Sandler 2009 Speaker page". Southern California Linux Expo. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  10. ^ "Open Development of Medical Devices". Linux Foundation. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  11. ^ "Software Defects in Cardiac Medical Devices are a Life-or-Death Issue, says SFLC's new report" (Press release). Software Freedom Law Center. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  12. ^ "Today’s DRM excuses can be tomorrow’s DRM nightmares". Digital Citizen. 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  13. ^ Mark Ward (2012-04-10). "Medical device hack attacks may kill, researchers warn". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-04-10. 
  14. ^ "Question Copyright about page". Question Copyright. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  15. ^ Software Freedom Law Show Software Freedom Law Center
  16. ^ "Free as in Freedom oggcast". Free as in Freedom. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  17. ^ "Nice Design closeup picture". Mashable. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  18. ^ "Final Nominations List 49th Annual GRAMMY® Awards". The National Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  19. ^ "Paper Record Player Hides in Wedding Invitation". Wired. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  20. ^ "Couple Sends Record Player Wedding Invitations". Slashdot. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  21. ^ "Wedding Invitation Turns Into a Paper Record Player". Mashable. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  22. ^ Anderson, Kelli (2011-04-12). "A Paper Record Player". Retrieved 2013-11-11. 

External links

  • Karen Sandler's blog
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