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bits from the DPL for January 2012

Dear Developers,
  here is another monthly report of what happened in DPL-land, this time
for January 2012. There's quite a bit to report about --- including an
insane amount of legal-ish stuff --- so please bare with me. Or not.

Legal stuff

- Webmaster heroes have decided to tackle the long standing issues of
  copyright and licensing of the Debian website [1,2]. I've accepted to
  help them out in reaching consensus with license choice and I'm happy
  to report that we've managed to pick a DFSG-free license (BSD-ish) for
  future contributions. Webmasters will soon contact contributors to
  re-license old contributions (or get rid of them), so hopefully will
  have a DFSG-free website RSN. Many thanks go to David Prévot for
  successfully tackling such a can of worms.

  [1] http://bugs.debian.org/238245
  [2] http://bugs.debian.org/388141

- I've sought a second legal advice on the constraints that trademarks
  (might) impose on the work-flow of a distro like Debian. Luckily, it
  is coherent with one I've sought in the past so I'm now in condition
  to wrap up the "trademark vs DFSG" thread on -project [3] with the
  missing legal information. Hopefully, I'll find time to do that
  sometime next week.

  [3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/10/msg00028.html

- I've restarted discussions with the Debian France association so that
  they can become a Debian Trusted Organization (as per Constitution
  §9.3). Members of the board of the association seem to be interested
  and I'm positive it could happen fairly soon. The importance of this
  is that we could use a back-up association in Europe to hold Debian
  assets, to complement the services that FFIS are already offering us.

  [4] http://france.debian.net/pipermail/asso/2012-January/001614.html
      (thread in French)

- Thanks to the contributions of Benjamin Mako Hill and SPI lawyers,
  I've now what I consider a final draft of a trademark policy for
  Debian trademarks.  Before proposing it to you, I'm waiting for some
  feedback from another umbrella organization for Free Software
  projects, that is working on a trademark policy for all their
  associated projects. As many Free Software projects are seeking
  trademark protection these days, I see benefits in having uniform (and
  sane!) policies. I hope to be able to gather the feedback I still miss
  this week-end at FOSDEM, and let you know shortly after that. Once
  this is done, we'll also be able to (finally!) relicense all kinds of
  Debian logos under a DFSG-free license.

  On this front, I've also updated http://www.debian.org/trademark with
  the information needed to contact us about trademark usage; hopefully
  it'll reduce the burden of answering to such inquiries.

- With the help of Kenshi Muto, Fumitoshi Ukai, Ishikawa Mutsumi, Shuzo
  Hatta, and Yasuhiro Araki we've started the process to move the Debian
  trademark in Japan from individuals (who are present or past members
  of the Debian JP association) to SPI. That would help dealing with
  these matters, as well as ensure that important Debian assets are held
  by Debian Trusted Organizations.

- I remind you that we've an ongoing complaint with the current
  registrant of debian.eu, domain that we believe Debian should
  legitimately own. Lawyers at SPI has now formally contacted the
  current owner and hopefully we'll be able to solve the issue amicably
  in the next months.

- Some of the past legal advice I sought for PPA came handy in a
  discussion [12] on the legal risks of running a service like
  mentors.debian.net, hopefully addressing part of the issues in turning
  that into mentors.debian.org

  [12] http://lists.debian.org/debian-mentors/2012/01/msg00589.html

- Patent policy for the Debian archive is now ready as well and I also
  have a patch for the website ready to be merged. I'm just waiting for
  the final blessing from SPI (lawyers) to go ahead and publish it.

Most of the above wouldn't have been possible without the precious help
of folks at SFLC [13] working for SPI and Debian. Be sure to thank SFLC
for what they're doing for us and many other Free Software projects.

[13] http://www.softwarefreedom.org/


Nobody stepped up to coordinate the artwork collection for Wheezy I've
mentioned last month [11], so I've tried to do a little bit of that
myself. The -publicity team is now preparing the call for artwork and
hopefully we'll send it out RSN. In case you want to help, there is
still a lot of room for that; just show up on the debian-desktop mailing

[11] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2012/01/msg00001.html


A Debian Med sprint has happened in January, and Andreas Tille has
provided a nice and detailed report about it [5].  Some more sprints are
forthcoming this spring, how about yours?

[5] http://lists.debian.org/debian-sprints/2012/01/msg00001.html


- We got from SPI a prepaid and rechargeable credit card that we can use
  for expenses or other kind of guarantees. Many thanks to Michael
  Schulteiss, SPI treasurer, for his help with that.  Using it, we've
  redeemed 10k$ of credits offered to us by Amazon, that (thanks to
  ongoing work by Lucas Nussbaum) we're going to use to make our QA
  rebuilds independent from the underlying computing infrastructure.

- Thanks to the help of Luca Capello, we advanced quite a bit on forming
  the Debian Event Box kit [6] that should make it easier to set up
  Debian booth at FOSS events. We bought the machine for it (for about
  ~755 CHF) and the box to contain it will soon be on its way as well.
  If you're at FOSDEM, tend to the Debian booth to check it out (and
  possibly help out with the technical setup).

  [6] http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Events/DebianEventsBox

- We've got quite a bit of donations during the December holidays. I've
  took the chance to thank donors, discuss what we do with donations and
  the status of publishing periodic Debian budgets in [7].

  [7] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/blog/posts/2012/01/debian_donations-fu/

- Pinged by Yves-Alexis Perez, I've now properly documented the fact
  that DDs are welcome to apply for hardware sponsoring, in case the
  hardware can be used to help/improve their Debian work [9,10]. As
  suggested by Yves-Alexis [8], you can also advocate *other* DDs for hw

  [8] http://www.corsac.net/?rub=blog&post=1541
  [9] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/blog/posts/2012/01/hardware_sponsorship_for_Debian_Developers/
  [10] http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DPL/SponsoringGuidelines#Hardware_Guidelines

- Given hardware invariably age and that we can afford it, I've prodded
  DSA to prepare a general hardware replacement plan for our
  machines. Planning will go on this week-end and FOSDEM (thanks to
  Martin Zobel-Helas and Faidon Liambotis for their presence here) and I
  hope to have an approved machine replacement plan well before the end
  of the current DPL term (although I'm usually optimist...).

Important stuff going on

Other important stuff has been going on in various area of the project
in January.  I'd like to point your attention to a couple of things:

- People active on debian-mentors have proposed an improved work-flow to
  deal with sponsoring/mentoring requests [14], based on the usage of a
  new pseudo package "sponsorship-requests". Thanks to Ansgar Burchardt,
  Jakub Wilk, Arno Töll, and Gregor Herrmann for working on this.

  [14] http://lists.debian.org/debian-mentors/2012/01/msg00365.html

- Raphael Hertzog has kickstarted work on DEP-2 [15], as a way to
  rationalize the flow of package-related information that
  (co-)maintainers get. Discussion about the idea are ongoing on the
  debian-qa mailing list.

  [15] http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep2/


- Work has further progressed in reaching out to companies with an
  interest in giving support for, and contributing to Debian. Thanks to
  Alexander Wirt the technical work is now done and some sort of
  governance policy has been decided. Further step for me is to announce
  it properly hoping to reach out to as many interested companies as
  possible. I hope to finalize that in the next month. (If you're
  working for such a company and you happen to read this, feel free to
  reach out to me already.)

  [16] http://bugs.debian.org/650082

- I've completed an old todo item setting up and documenting
  titanpad.debian.net [17,18], service that has been requested for
  collaborative work during various kinds of online events. Help is
  welcome to help administering the service (see [18]).

  [17] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/01/msg00072.html
  [18] http://wiki.debian.org/TitanpadDebianNet

- SPI has clarified the role of project representatives and, as a
  consequence of that, I (as DPL) no longer receive SPI board
  discussions addressed to board@spi. That is good not only for the
  sanity of my inbox, but also because it puts all projects affiliated
  to SPI at the same level of communication within SPI. Thanks to Robert
  Brockway for his work on this.

In the unlikely case you've read thus far, thanks for your attention!
Happy Debian hacking.

PS as usual, the boring day-to-day activity log is available at
Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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