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Re: PaySwarm-based Debian donations

Martin Owens <doctormo@gmail.com> writes:
> On Mon, 2013-06-17 at 21:18 -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> how Debian is "in the way"

> Debian takes code from websites with donation buttons, economic
> incentive options, kickstarter updates, support contracts, developer
> sponsorships, programs and projects of all kinds and general invitations
> to participate.

> Strips them all out. Then strait faced, delivers them to consumers who
> are never given the opportunity to know about any of it.

Ah, I see.

Well, first, we don't strip them out if they're included in the package.
We retain such documentation in a well-defined place in the distribution
and maintain metadata pointing to the upstream web sites.

However, apart from that, I don't think our users are that dim, honestly.
I think Debian's users generally understand the difference between a Linux
distribution and upstream.  This may not be the case for distributions
that are explicitly targetting and marketing to a mass audience, but
that's not Debian's niche.

Also, I'll say that, as a free software *user*, this is what I expect from
free software.  I don't expect to be badgered for donations, nor do I
expect my relationship with free software to be economic.  If that's what
an upstream is after, they should pick a different software license; the
free software licenses are really quite explicit that money should not be
expected to be forthcoming.  I don't release my work as free software for
money; I release it because I like helping people, and because I use a
bunch of *other* people's free software.  It's a communal relationship.

Some of us (myself definitely included) are involved in free software
precisely *because* we're strongly anti-capitalist, anti-marketing, and
firmly opposed to the economic structures that dominate so much of the
rest of life.  If your plea is for distributions to act more like Apple in
routing customer money to developers, I think you're going to get a quite
chilly reception.  Avoiding that financial structure based on "customers"
and "producers" is the whole *point* for some of us.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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