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Re: Debian UK

* Matthew Garrett (mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk) wrote:
> Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> wrote:
> > For this part it's a misunderstanding of what "commercial" means.  I
> > tried to work past this in the thread on d-d where I brought up the
> > possibility of Debian being a commercial organization and it was made
> > quite clear to me (by Manoj, if memory serves, sorry if I'm wrong) that
> > there was no such misunderstanding about the term.  It was understood
> > that commercial !=3D for-profit and that it was being commercial at all
> > which was the problem.
> Well, no, that doesn't obviously follow. It's clear from this discussion
> that people do disagree about what the word "commercial" means, and that
> (for some) "commercial" is worse than "sells things".

Well, it seemed clear to me that some, at least, had a problem with
"sells things" alone and so the issue wasn't a misunderstanding with
what commercial meant anyway.

> >> It's somewhat worth pointing out that Mark has something of a reputation
> > [...]
> > 
> > Not relevant and so not worth commenting on.  Honestly, I wish these
> > constant attempts to assign blame for this situation would just stop. =20
> > I'm not trying to blame anyone.
> When it comes to "I don't follow debian-uk and it certainly doesn't
> sound like it's actually been resolved in an acceptable way
> regardless", it's entirely relevant. There are some people for whom
> things will not be resolved in acceptable ways. 

Alright, it has yet to be resolved in an acceptable way for me. :)

> > It's worthwhile to attempt to convince Debian at large to become a
> > commercial entity.  This didn't seem terribly likely to happen when I
> > brought it up last but perhaps it's time for another go at it.
> When it comes to the technical side of things, policy follows practice.

Alright.  In general I believe the practice *has* been that we don't
sell things.  I agree that policy follows practice on the technical side
but it's not always clear that the 'practice' is something we *don't*

> It's long been the case that Debian sells CDs at European events. To the
> best of my knowledge, until now there has never been any real complaints
> over this sort of behaviour. It's hardly as if we've been hiding this -
> see http://www.debian.org/events/2003/1008-linuxexpo-report for
> instance. I'd argue that this isn't something that Debian as a whole has
> an objection to, and that (as a result) the website should be changed.

Alright, then let's change the website and let's put up a better
explanation of our policies regarding selling things.  I'd rather that
policy not be location-specific but it sounds like it'd have to be for
what's currently happening to be accurately reflected.

> > I don't think it's hard to know why the current situation has arisen...
> > Some folks believe, as I do, that it'd be alright for Debian to be a
> > commercial entity, and they then decided to just do it.  It's
> > unfortunate they didn't first get Debian/SPI to agree with them.  If
> > they had then we wouldn't be having this discussion.
> The current situation of "Why Debian doesn't sell CDs". I've no idea why
> that's the way it is. What historical process led to this situation?

It sounds like, at least in the US, there's an issue with sales tax, and
quite possibly that's what other DDs believed in terms of what Debian's
policy is.



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