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Re: revenue sharing agreement with DuckDuckGo

On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:46:25AM +0100, Philip Hands wrote:
> On the other hand, I suppose there's some tiny chance that Google will
> be offended, and reduce sponsorship of DebConf, or be less willing to
> give us GSoC projects, say.  If we were being mercenary one might want
> to compare how much money we're likely to get from DDG with the
> potential loss from Google, but as you say, this should be a technical
> decision, so if Google get upset about it, that's not really something
> to be taken into account.

I'm not sure I understand way they should. We're not *changing* the set
of search options available in our browsers, DDG has already been
available in Iceweasel for totally unrelated reasons --- and apparently
also a default in midori, according to Pierre.

As part of DDG "open source policy", they want to give us a cut of what
they make out of our traffic. It's not like Google should be entitled to
tell us "thou shalt not accept that money". On a principle basis ---
leaving aside technical concerns --- I don't see this as significantly
different from accepting a cut of revenue coming from selling t-shirts
with the Debian name on it.

The main question here is if we trust ourselves in, once the deal is
established, not being unconsciously affected by it and favoring DDG
over others for this reason. If we do *not* do that, than also the point
of being merchant raised by Steffen is moot; it could be valid only if
our technical decisions will be affected by it.

Now, I do see the risk of being unconsciously affected. But balancing
the odds, I'm still quite convinced that it won't impact us. Even only
because the chain between the decision makers (the maintainer) and the
entity who gets the money (the project as a whole) seems long enough.  I
also think that if a decision of adding DDG as an optional search engine
will be considered negatively on technical basis, people will complain,
and we can rely o our usual mechanisms to decide on technical matters.

Stefano Zacchiroli zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences ......  http://upsilon.cc/zack ......  . . o
Debian Project Leader .......  @zack on identi.ca .......  o o o « the
first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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