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Debian's relationship with money and the economy


my previous mail targeted the topic of using Debian's money
(<[🔎] 20130312094330.GA30502@x230-buxy.home.ouaza.com>). But the topic
of money in Debian does not have to be limited to that.

The Debian ecosystem includes many economical actors, be it companies
or individuals, but we tend to hide those aspects as if they didn't

Despite Debian's non-profit status, IMHO Debian's growth and success
relies on the capacity of those "actors" to have some "economical
success". And there are many ways to help those actors, without involving
any direct flow of money from Debian to them, in particular at the
press/publicity level.

When a project ultimately benefits to the Debian project, we should
not fear to promote it even if that promotion helps the project
initiator to make money (and IMO even more so when the project initiator
is a Debian member).

Do you agree with this analysis and statement? If not, why?

If yes, how can we shift our culture and our policies towards this goal?


For full disclosure, I'm speaking of experience here since I tried to get
some Debian press coverage of the fundraising for the liberation of
the Debian Administrator's Handbook. See
for the discussion that happened.

I also use my blog (and thus Planet Debian) to build an audience and try
to get donations to support my Debian work.

In the end, I even got a mail of DAM saying that they got some complaints
(I have never been told who complained and how many they were) that I was
abusing Debian resources in ways not authorized by the Debian Machine
Usage Policy (« Don't use Debian Facilities for private financial gain or
for commercial purposes ») and that there was a risk that people loose
trust in my work because of financial interests that I could have.

I say this now, not to start a thread on my specific case, but to show
that the level of agressivity towards "openly-for-profit" activities in
a Debian context is not null even when those activities do benefit to
Debian. And IMO we should try to fix this, eventually.

Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

Get the Debian Administrator's Handbook:
→ http://debian-handbook.info/get/

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