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Re: Debian contributor Register of Interests

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On Tue, May 09, 2017 at 11:51:23PM +0000, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On May 9, 2017 8:09:28 AM EDT, Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> >Jonathan Dowland  <jmtd@debian.org> wrote:
> >> However in the interests of transparency I feel that a voluntary,
> >> opt-in "Register of Interests" is a good idea for the project. I feel
> >> that such a list (populated) would demonstrate the transparency and
> >> openness that are part of our project's values.
> >
> >I think this is a good idea.
> I think it's a horrible idea.  One of the major draws of Debian is that we
> are all here for our own reasons.  I don't judge your motivations and you
> don't judge nine.

It's voluntary, so you decide what you want to share.  If you don't want to
share anything, that's fine.

> If this became a requirement, I'd have to terminate my relationship with
> Debian.  These are frankly none of anyone's business.  

Nobody is suggesting that it would be a requirement.  But I disagree that we're
not allowed to know your motivations.  The NM process spends considerable time
to check that applicants agree with the project's philosophy.  If they do, we
can conclude that this will motivate them to work on Debian.  While also having
other motives is perfectly fine, we require people to have at least those
motives before we let them join the project.

> I've packaged software because a project I was being paid to work on needed
> it and I was able to convince them it made sense to put it in the Debian
> archive.

That's great, and as far as I'm concerned, just disclosing that you have been
paid for certain packages would be nice (but again, not doing it is also fine).
Whether or not it's relevant to mention who's paying is up to you.  I can
imagine that some companies would like to be mentioned, because they can use
that to show they are favorable to free software.  But if they don't wan't to
be mentioned, then don't mention them.

> If there were a case where I had an actual conflict of interest (e.g.
> recommending Debian spend funds with an organization that I had a financial
> interest in), that should be disclosed.  That's oddly missing from the list.

That's a good point, and while I agree it should be on the list, I don't think
it will have the effect you expect: this list is voluntary and therefore
incomplete.  People who intentionally misbehave aren't going to declare their
conflict of interest.  They wouldn't do that if they had to, either.

Finally, I'm not sure how useful this list would be, but I don't see a problem
in setting it up.  If someone makes good use of it, great.  If not, nothing is

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