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Re: Debian UK

On Wed, Sep 07, 2005 at 08:47:24AM -0400, Stephen Frost wrote:
> * Andreas Barth (aba@not.so.argh.org) wrote:
> > * Stephen Frost (sfrost@snowman.net) [050907 14:02]:
> > > I'm not so sure I agree with this interpretation...  When we claim to
> > > not sell products, and therefore claim to be non-commercial, I'd have to
> > > say that I'd expect anything which does sell products or is commercial
> > > would be considered a business to us.
> > 
> > Well, I don't know how the british rules are, but at least here
> > (Germany) a non-commercial institution can do "business", as long as the
> > "business" helps in reaching the institution's goals. And selling Debian
> > T-Shirts falls into that aspect IMHO. ("Business" because it doesn't
> > really always fall within the business laws.)
> Perhaps there's a language misunderstanding here.  Commercial *means*
> selling things, at least where I'm from.  What you're referring to seems
> to be what I'd understand as a non-profit.  These are two distinct
> things.  IANAL but I do believe that in the US a non-profit is similar
> to what you call a 'non-commercial institution' in that it can sell
> things provided it helps in reaching the goals and therefore is in the
> public interest.

Nope, restricting your world view in warped US-interpretation.

Let's say your paroquial association or housewife get-together association,
start to sell house-made cakes in order to finance the repainting or fixing of
the roof of their church or school or whatever. Or school children raising
money for an excursion or whatever.

This, independent of the law involved, is by any common sense applied to it no
business or commerce, and is quite similar to what is going on at shows and
events, when there are t-shirts being sold at the debian booth.

That the money is used to pay the fee for the booth, have a nice big
after-event party, or whatnot, or sponsors travel of debian developpers to
events, that is all fine, and nothing to be ashamed about, and in no case is
this a business or commercial venture.

> Either way, however, we do claim to not sell products.  I hope there's
> no misunderstanding on what that means.  To me, selling t-shirts would
> fall under selling products, and therefore would be commercial activity,
> though not necessairly for-profit.

Nope, if you are really from the US, then your view on this is limited by the
way you think there, and if not, no idea if you ever participated in
associative life.

> > > Either Debian's going to be a commercial entity or it's not.
> > 
> > Debian is not a commercial entity just because it _also_ sells T-Shirts
> > and other stuff.
> Selling things is exactly what being a commercial entity means. :(

Bullshit. Please educate yourself.


Sven Luther

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