[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: DPL's view of debian-legal (was: Debian Trademarks Summary)

On Sun, Jun 24, 2007 at 09:47:34AM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:
> > It's likewise nice to see we're back to "-legal" not being a mailing
> > list, but an unconstituted advisory body that manages to be a
> > responsible body, somehow.
> > Yeesh.
> The distinction above is clearly being made for sarcastic purpose. I
> still don't understand it, though.
> Can you please, as DPL, explain what point is being made here? Outside
> the context of this discussion about trademarks.
> What do *you*, as DPL, think debian-legal should be, and how is it
> currently different to that ideal?

I'm not DPL any more, but fortunately I've responded to that in the past,
including while DPL:

] [...] debian-legal is a useful source of advice, not a
] decision making body. That's precisely as it should be, since there
] is absolutely no accountability for anyone on debian-legal -- anyone,
] developer or not, who agrees with the social contract or not, can reply
] to queries raised on this list with their own opinion. If people have
] weighed the costs and benefits of contacting -legal and decided not to,
] that's entirely their choice.

  -- http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/06/msg00286.html

-legal is a mailing list; it doesn't have opinions or any authority, and
hasn't any form of formal delegation or membership, and as a consequence
has no accountability. It can't be assigned blame for anything, because
it's not an entity with any responsibility or accountability.

What it does have is a bunch of intelligent involved people who're
willing to spend their time offering useful advice. Which is great --
but advice isn't the same as answers or decisions, and in the context
of -legal it's often mistaken for that.

The SPI trademarks committee has similar issues, in that it's membership
is defined as whoever's subscribed to the mailing list [0] and a lack
of any ability to do anything more than propose new policy for other
people to review.

Again, in so far as both groups are only offering advice and suggestions,
that's fine -- but when either group purports to be stating official
Debian policy, or starts attacking the people who do make such policy,
that becomes actively harmful to the purpose of this list and the goals
of the project.


[0] http://www.spi-inc.org/secretary/committees.html

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: