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Re: Skolelinux and the "Debian Labs" idea

On Fri, Sep 19, 2003 at 11:19:52PM -0700, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> You weren't explicit about the non-profit aspect in the message in any
> sort of categorical way but I want to step forward and say that I do
> not want to see commercial entities calling themselves Debian-anything
> and am not sure from a trademark perspective, this would be a wise
> choice at all.

By contrast, I wouldn't have a problem in principle with, eg, "HP
Debian Labs". As far as the trademark stuff goes, I think it'd be a
problem if we forbade companies from saying that they work on Debian;
sure, we should use the name and logos and such to make it clear what
sort of association projects have with Debian (and if it's misleading
people as to what's actually going on like "Trusted Debian" was, or
if there's no relationship at all like there is with cybersquatters,
then we should act). But we're meant to be supporting our users, and not
discriminating against them, so forbidding commercial entities outright
from being involved just doesn't seem like a good first step.

Hope that made sense.

Anyway, it's questionable what we want to have "Debian Labs" mean. Do we
want it just to mean that there's a bunch of developers working in the
same building on Debian stuff? Don't Progeny, HP and SkoleLinux already
do all that? Is it appropriate for developers to hang "Debian Labs"
on the doorknob to their bedrooms or studies?

Do we want it to imply something more than that, like people working
in the Debian Labs should be employed fulltime to develop Debian? Is it
enough that all the stuff they develop gets packaged and put in Debian?
Or should they be employing fulltime one or more Debian developers
without having any control over what they work on? If the latter, who
should be saying what they work on?

Is it appropriate for Debian Labs guys to do support as well as
development? Could you have a Debian Lab that preinstalls Debian systems
and fixes them when they break? If so, does everyone in the lab have to
be a registered developer? Is it okay to install software from contrib or
non-free on such machines? Unpackaged stuff? Stuff packaged locally? LSB
stuff? Proprietary stuff like win4lin or CrossoverOffice?

Do we want to allow people to earmark donations for a particular
Debian Lab, as a way of indirectly allowing users to sponsor particular
developers or projects? Is it possible for SPI or similar organisations
to manage such donations to minimise the amount of tax that's cut from it?

Are there any other benefits that a group should or could receive from
being called a "Debian Lab" ?


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

Australian DMCA (the Digital Agenda Amendments) Under Review!
	-- http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/blog/copyright/digitalagenda

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