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Re: Debian contributor Register of Interests

On Wed, 10 May 2017, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Wednesday, May 10, 2017 09:43:31 AM Julien Cristau wrote:
> > On 05/10/2017 01:51 AM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > > If this became a requirement, I'd have to terminate my relationship with
> > > Debian.  These are frankly none of anyone's business.
> > Sounds like you missed the "voluntary, opt-in" part?
> These things always start that way.
> Participation in Debian is voluntary, so saying information disclosure is 
> voluntary doesn't really mean anything.
> I object to the existence of such a registry because just because it's 
> 'voluntary' now, doesn't mean it won't be effectively mandatory due to either 
> new project rules or social pressures later.
> The best way to make sure you don't slip down the slippery slope is stay 
> somewhere flat.


IMO, it would make far more sense to only _consider_ the possibility of
requesting preemtive declaration of every possible conflict of interest
in some *very* specific situations (and have a very narrow list of such
important situations).

The only one that comes to *my* mind right now is the Project Leader and
candidates to the position.

I do expect people to declare _relevant_ conflicts of interest when
appropriate, for example a TC member when writing his position for a TC
*ruling* when there is a possibility of a conflict of interest related
to that that specific ruling.

A DD or DM doing typical packaging and bug-triaging work should not have
to do that very often at all.

Note that to explicitly declare relevant conflicts of interest is
actually a requirement of the Code of Conduct (and/or Code of Ethics) of
the IEEE [1], the ISOC [2], and many other professions and professional
organizations.  A great deal of the DDs are already under such codes and
abide by them, anyway.

And none of that requires (or even makes it a good idea, IMO) to have a
"register of possible conflicts of interest", optional or not.  Let's
not go there, or soon we will have misguided pressure to make it less

[1] https://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/governance/p7-8.html
    7.8.2. to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever
    possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do

[2] https://www.internetsociety.org/get-involved/join-community/individuals/code-conduct
    (unnumbered) In the case of financial or material conflict between
    personal and professional interests, or between two professional
    interests, declare this conflict to all interested parties and if
    appropriate in public.

  Henrique Holschuh

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