Re: Debian Subscription
[I'm not the DPL, but since this was sent to -project, I'll answer
On Wed, 12 Apr 2006, Annamalai Gurusami wrote:
> My question is this. Why doesn't Debian GNU/Linux sell distribution
> CDs? What about Debian Distribution Subscription? What is the
> rationale behind not selling?
First off, we're a non profit organization. Dealing with the
complications of taxes and the economics of making and selling
CDs/DVDs is something that others are better at; we're good at making
a technically excellent distribution.
> A few volunteers can always take up this task of creating CDs and
> selling it thereby generating some revenue for the Debian project.
> Why rely on donations alone, when you can actually sell something
> and generate revenue?
The donations that we've attained enable us to do everything that
we've needed to do so far. Most everything that we use is donated by
various sponsors; the cash donations we tend to use as a last resort
when we cannot get the item in question by other means.
> The FreeBSD project has this kind of revenue generation. I can buy
> their distribution CDs. I can also buy user guide and administrators
> guide (books).
I've personally looked a little bit at getting some more user manuals
set up as in a print-on-demand fashion, but those would be available
at the publisher's cost only. (And you could of course download the
source code and print it yourself.)
> The purchaser (user) would also have the satisfaction of supporting
> the project by paying for obtaining a copy of the distribution. This
> reason alone should be sufficient for putting in place and way of
> selling the distribution.
Existing vendors do this as well; since they compete against
eachother, they're constant driving eachothers costs down to a
reasonable level, and/or making the amount that they donate to SPI (or
similar) in the name of Debian more prevalent.
In the end, if you want to donate to Debian, donate. Your time is more
useful than your money, but both are accepted.
I shall require that [a scientific system's] logical form shall be
such that it can be singled out, by means of emperical tests, in a
negative sense: it must be possible for an emperical scientific system
to be refuted by experience.
-- Sir Karl Popper _Logic of Scientific Discovery_ §6