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Re: Debian contributor Register of Interests

Le mardi, 9 mai 2017, 09.16:21 h CEST Jonathan Dowland a écrit :
> 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 disagree that is is such a good idea, for a specific (and not yet mentionned) 
reason: conflicts of interest are _very_ much situational, _especially_ in the 
Debian context.

Assuming a hypothetical Debian contributor with financial interests in a hotel 
business, part-time software engineer and affiliated to a political party: not 
all three connections matter in all Debian work, or discussions. The first 
might matter though iff people start considering paying for accomodation in 
hir hotel; the second might matter in a discussion about a piece of software 
they are paid to work on, and the latter might matter when discussing the 
Debian project's eventual reaction to a complicate situation somewhere in the 
world. But these only matter in specific discussions, not constantly.

Where I'm going to is that I feel we're much better in a situation where we 
don't load all our conversations with references to _all_ our "real-life" 
interests. It opens the floodgates to interpret any position under the light of 
these interests, neglecting the mere idea that for plenty (if not all) of 
Debian interactions, we are genuinely acting as independent individuals.

That said, I still think that there are situations in which declaring one's 
conflicts of interest _does_ matter, but I do expect the affected individual to 
either explcitly retract (or stay away) from the discussion, or declare the 
conflict of interest at that point.


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