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Re: RFD: amendment of Debian Social Contract

On Sun, Nov 02, 2003 at 04:18:19AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 11:04:03PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > 	The draft so far adds no such proscription for the admins
> >  (indeed, the whole point is to remove such a proscription).
> Yes.  If the Social Contract had a provision proscribing the Debian
> Account Managers from disabling developers' accounts, and we voted by a
> landslide to remove that proscription, would it follow that the Debian
> Account Managers should immediately disable all developers' accounts?
> After all, they'd have a mandate, right?

It would follow, so far as I can see, that they would deactivate developer
accounts under whatever criteria they saw fit. Given the proscription that
existed previously against doing so, this would (likely) raise the number
of such events from 0.

Raising the specter of disabling all accounts is both hyperbole; however,
it is not unthinkable that the FTP admins would take the removal of the
terms regarding non-free as a mandate allowing them to remove portions of
the archive as they saw fit, beyond the current standards applied to all

Perhaps they would, and perhaps not. I'm not even saying that I disagree
with removing the clause about supporting non-free. But I do firmly believe
that, short of a clearly expressed opinion in the GR itself directing them
to take a certain course of action (removal, or continued support status
quo, or some other option), they will excercise their power in whatever
manner they see fit.

Given that it would take another GR for the developers as a whole to
formally counter this, I'd prefer to simply settle the question in the
first pass (besides, it's polite to the folks we're asking to do the work
to tell them what, exactly, we want them to do).

>   13) Clause 5 has been stricken entirely.  *This amendment does NOT
>       mandate the removal of the non-free section from anything,
>       anywhere.*  What it does do is withdraw our commitment to provide a
>       "non-free section" via a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) archive
>       specifically.  This makes it possible for us to decide, in the near
>       or distant future, to stop distributing the non-free section without
>       violating our own Social Contract.
> This is part of the rationale.  This goes on the ballot.  It
> *absolutely* should go on the ballot if you, as Project Secretary, feels
> there is a reasonable chance of the proposal being misunderstood
> otherwise.

However, if this language is, in fact, part of the GR itself (or language
of similar intent, with a more specific directive to the FTP admins,
such as has been suggested in other messages), I think that will address
it. Prefferably in the GR itself, rather than as "merely" accompanying
rationale, but that matter has been brought up in other parts of the thread
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU NetBSD/i386 porter                                        : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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