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Re: OSI affiliation

Stefano Zacchiroli <leader@debian.org>
>   as you might have heard post-FOSDEM, the Open Source Initiative (OSI)
> is opening up to an affiliate membership structure [1,2].  As I've
> already mentioned in [3], representatives of OSI have approached me to
> know if Debian is interested into joining. I'd like to discuss with you
> such a possibility.
> [1] http://www.opensource.org/node/604
> [2] http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Open-Source-Initiative-affiliates-announced-at-FOSDEM-1428905.html
> [3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/12/msg00000.html

I would be disappointed if this happened.  The Open Source Initiative
failed, for reasons that aren't important at this point - they should
belatedly accept that and merge its corporation into SPI or another
suitable continuing vehicle, rather than continue as an unseemly
zombie organisation with its non-FOSS certification scheme that
rewarded licence proliferation and people that could hire strong legal
advocates until rather recently.

I feel it would not make sense to merge the DFSG and the OSD because
they are trying to do two different things.  One aims to be a set of
practical guidelines for free software, the other aims to define the
parameters of a proprietary certification scheme for licences.

OSI took a set of guidelines that tried to reflect the free software
definition and tried to use it as a competing definition.  Now there
seems no prospect of it being dropped because OSI has invested too
much in using it as a distinct definition.

If we want to get involved in the important political battles more, we
should support the older organisations, some of which we are already
affiliated to.  We could encourage OSI to merge into one of them.
Lending our firepower to the loose cannon of an organisation that is no
longer the original initative but keeps using the name does not sound
like a good idea.

Also, we're not exactly bestowing more support on our existing partner
organisations than they could use, are we?  I think at least one of
them is discussing hiring workers rather than using volunteers.

Hope that explains,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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