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Re: Good news!

Dear All,

I am glad to see more than 30 people who attended the Taiwan Debian
Meeting - Debian Birthday Party last weekend. We shared the special
Debian 5.0.2 Arch 'All' and had a lot of fun. It was a great meeting!!

Please forward this message to these people. Someone must has their
contact information either email or phone, or even have both.

Thanks for all your feedback about the SPI issue thus far generated in
that DOT members email thread. I am grateful to many people’s input
especial the one from Rex.

I would like to propose an IRC meeting to discuss an issue which has
been actively in discussions for a while, namely, does Taiwanese Debian
community need to have a global presence through opening its Doman name
to SPI (Software in the Public Interest)?

SPI is a non-profit umbrella organization created on June 16, 1997, in
the state of New York for the purpose of formulating and providing
software systems for use by the general public without charge. SPI’s
by-laws state that SPI shall operate as an effective organization to
train, promote, distribute, monitor, assist, encourage, support software
system developments, and hold technical conferences and seminars to
elevate the quality and broaden the visions of development of system
software developments and their effective adoptions for the general
public. Through years’ efforts from the open source community and the
guiding principles of the SPI, SPI has successfully established itself
by supporting the following projects:
    * Debian
    * Drupal
    * Fresco
    * freedesktop.org
    * Gallery
    * GNUstep
    * GNU TeXmacs
    * The HeliOS Project
    * madwifi.org
    * OFTC
    * OpenOffice.org
    * OpenVAS
    * OpenWrt
    * Open Voting Foundation
    * PostgreSQL
    * Privoxy
    * Tux4Kids

>From the above list, we can see that Debian is a registered trademark of
Software in the Public Interest, Inc. Therefore, it is very natural for
SPI to manage Debian related Domain Names. SPI has been in charge of
Debian official domain names around the world.

To have a SPI affiliated Debian.Org.TW means that Taiwan will have an
official presence from the perspective of SPI’s view. The presence is
meaningful because so far attending Debian held international
conferences have been individual participation instead of representing
Taiwan as a whole.

Taiwan also has specific rules about domain name ownership. Basically,
the .ORG domain name can’t be owned by any individual except the
ownership was in effect before the passing of the domain law.

In short, the benefits of joining the SPI stream are the followings:
    1. Link with Debian main project officially
    2. To have an formal presence at SPI
    3. Taiwan can have its official signature when attending Debain
held international conferences.
    4. To be eligible for tax reduction benefit when making donations to
SPI and server bandwidth to DOT( if the DOT is individually owned, it
will limited its growth because the Debian community in Taiwan will have
difficulty to ask for help which only available to non-profit organizations)
    5. And also for future Debian syncproxy in Asia
    6. Further Debian related events such as
DebCamp/mini-DebConf/DebConf in Taiwan. :)

Joerg Jaspert already created an IRC channel called #spi-tw on oftc.net
for this. For all of your convenience, we hasn't decided the date and
time yet.

Please recommend a reasonable time and a date for this.

Kindly regards,


Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I'm sorry that my reply took this long, but DebConf didn't leave me much
> time to draft a proper reply, and then I was taking a weekend basically
> off.
> Now, as I don't know who of you knows me, let me shortly introduce
> myself. I am a Linux user since somewhere around 2000, a Debian
> Developer since 2002, SPI head admin since 2006 and a member of the SPI
> Board of Directors and SPIs Vice President since 2007.
>>> 6. Yesterday, he sent an email said SPI is willing to handle the domain
>>> name 'debian.org.tw' immediately. Which is totally different as what he
>>> told me, and we are surprised by this information. This message to me
>>> looks like no matter what the others vote, he will work with Debian
>>> folks by transfer the domain name and other resources to SPI.
> Lets take some heat out of the discussion: SPI will not act on anything
> if there is no clear consensus on what should be done.
>>>> Andrew, could you please provide a more detailed overview of what would
>>>> change if we go the way you proposed?
>>>> What would happen
>>>>  * to the servers (hardware)?
>>>>  * administration rights and access to the servers?
>>>>  * to eventual policies or procedures for DOT members?
>>>>  * on the legal side (who is going to set up a legal entity and how?)?
>>>>  * to change on the community side?
>>>>  * to the decision making process?
> To all of the above the answer is: Nothing and everything. :)
> It is not SPIs goal to take over administration of servers of member
> projects. We can do so if we get asked, but we prefer not to.
> Nor do we want to rule those projects, in whatever way. We also don't
> take decisions for our member projects. We may aid you to find a good
> decision if you ask, but we are SPI, not $PROJECT, we are not the people
> to decide for $PROJECT.
> The goal and usual working mode of SPI is a different one. We do support our
> member projects in the way they want and need support. And we provide a
> clean interface between SPI and the project over which our actions can
> be controlled/started. (In case of Debian that is the DPL, other projects
> nominate liaisons that interact with us).
> Now, I honestly have about *no* knowledge of laws in your country and
> also don't know the rules attached to .org.tw domains and who might own
> them. There is certainly lots we have to discuss before we can decide if
> DOT wants to join SPI, or if there should be an own legal entity in your
> country doing something similar than SPI *or* if you simply go on like
> you did in the past.
> The only thing I want to advice against is having project owned assets
> assigned to an individual, like the debian.org.tw currently is. After
> all this means a single person has to lose interest and go MIA, and you
> are in trouble. Even worse if that person is on the bad side of an
> accident...
> *Assuming* you would join SPI (and all the legal stuff is ok with it),
> SPI would *offer* to take over the .debian.org.tw domain and manage it in
> behalf of DOT. Which could be fully managing it (like we do with
> emdebian.org) or simply pointing the NS entries to machines DOT controls
> (like we do with debian.org, where we own the Domain but Debian admins
> do the work).
> The same motto ("we do what the projects want, as long as it fits SPIs
> goals and is legal") holds true for other assets we manage for our
> projects. Which, besides Domain names and trademark holding, is handling
> money and giving legal advice.
> Now, as SPI is US-based (I'm german, but the organisation is officially
> placed in New York), this might not be something DOT needs. We
> definitely have to find this out.
>>>   Actually, the most active service is the forum (moto.debian.org.tw)
>>> and the wiki. I only care do we are still free to manage the server and
>>> develop any service.
> Assuming you would join SPI: You wouldn't give up anything you have
> now, *except* that you should not work against SPIs goals. So as long as
> you don't, like, start advocating non-free and closed systems, you would
> be all well.

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