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Re: revenue sharing agreement with DuckDuckGo

On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 11:33:37PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> 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.

Considering the known or speculated amounts for deals from various vendors
with Google, considering how many fewer users we have compared to these
vendors, and considering the even fewer number of users using DDG, I
doubt the amount of money we're talking about is going to have any
possible weight, even unconscious.


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