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Re: Debian's relationship with money and the economy

On 2013-03-12 14:06, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
The Debian ecosystem includes many economical actors, be it companies
or individuals, but we tend to hide those aspects as if they didn't

I don't think that's quite the case. Perhaps Debian's commercial partnership/sponsorship/supporter activities should be more active, but they are not intentionally hidden.

For example:


As with many areas of Debian, we would benefit from having more volunteers to work on these.

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.

Indeed, this is fairly uncontroversial. We already make press releases about, and otherwise publicise Debian's partners/sponsors/supporters.

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?

Yes, I am happy for Debian to promote things that it would otherwise promote, irrespective of whether they make someone money, but instead based on our own priorities of our users and free software.

I don't think that we should promote something through Debian media purely because the project initiator is a Debian member. But I recognise that in borderline cases something may be more interesting to people around Debian because it involves a Debian member.

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.

It's not clear to me that this is closely related to the questions you asked above. In fact, if we want to keep good relationships with partners/sponsors/official supporters etc. we should probably restrict how much we allow the commercial activities of individual Debian members to be advertised through Debian media in an uncoordinated way, outside our formal programs.

Since you say it's just an example, I won't comment more on the specific case.


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