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Re: sharefont package license sucks, even for non-free

On Tue, Nov 07, 2000 at 07:15:28PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> 	You are over stating the objection. However, I do see a
>  conflict with what I believed is the spririt of the social contract:
>  we are not in Debian to make money, personally. 

I usually overstate things. I find it helps to clarify whatever the
differences in opinion are.

We're in Debian to make a great free operating system. Some of us make
money from that, some of us don't.

>  Anthony> You haven't presented any good, objective reason for
>  Anthony> this.
> 	The minuite you bring in the profit motive into packaging
>  code, you intriduce the slippery slope which leads down to profits
>  and marketing before quality. You also remove the ``untouchable''
>  status of the project, which has been always known for developers who
>  are volunteers, who are here for, horrors, non-monetary reasons. 

Well, in the abstract, I can see what you mean. But we're already fairly
good at avoiding the profit motive diluting Debian: otherwise we'd be
worried about having, say, Joey Hess (who's paid for his efforts working
on Debian, and could conceivably have his current position put at risk
should Debian start losing mindshare) be the lead of the project to
rewrite the debian installer which is an obvious place where marketing
concerns could be detritimental to technical quality (especially in
bredth of machines supported).

But we're not worried about this, because (a) Joey has fairly good taste
in technical design, (b) because technical concerns *are* Debian's major
marketing point, and (c) because if Joey did get possessed by an alien
then we can just consign him to the loony bin and keep going wherever
he left off.

I mean, consider the flamewars from the marketing concerns about "deity",
which didn't affect the technical quality of anything. We have a fair bit
of friction in this area to be really worried about a "slippery slope".

>  Anthony> So, again, how does this manage to not apply to Corel, VA,
>  Anthony> Stormix, Progeny, HelixCode, Linuxcare, and everyone else
>  Anthony> making money off the backs of our users?
> 	These are not Debian.

There are developers from at least four of those companies who have
accounts on master, and thus similar opportunities for... whatever it
is that mixing money and Debian might cause.

>  Anthony> How does it manage not to apply to the requests for
>  Anthony> donations to SPI we ocassionally make?
> 	Oh? We say you use our code you have to make a donation to
>  SPI? And that donation then goes to the pockets of an individual?

The mail I was replying was against developers asking for money, as well
as demanding it. And exactly where donations to SPI go is something of
an open question. Presumably it gets spent occassionally.

>  Anthony> OTOH, saying it's okay for developers to upload random
>  Anthony> shareware from the net, but not their own shareware reeks of
>  Anthony> pointless holier-than-thou hypocrisy.
> 	I think not. In the case of random shareware, the debian
>  developer is not the one reaping the benefit. If you truly can't see
>  the difference, our world views are too far apart to permit a
>  meaningful dialog on this subject.

How about a developer who just makes an agreement with a shareware author
to get 50% of the profit made from the .debs? Nothing might appear in the
copyright file, no one else even needs to know about it. It's just a private
transaction between two individuals.

Presumably, it's still bad though, right? How, exactly? What, exactly,
can or might or would the developer do that would compromise the project,
that he couldn't or wouldn't do otherwise?


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

  ``We reject: kings, presidents, and voting.
                 We believe in: rough consensus and working code.''
                                      -- Dave Clark

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