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Re: blessing non-profit, worldwide CD vendors

Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> AFAICT from our <http://www.debian.org/CD/vendors/> page, this situation
> is fairly peculiar as other vendors are for-profit, even if some of them
> permits CD buyers to pay more and give the difference to Debian.  I
> think that difference warrant some kind of "blessing" of debiancd.org,
> as buying via them would support the Debian project more than other
> vendors. What do you think of that? If you agree, I'll be happy to
> propose a specific wording.

On balance, I think it's a poor idea.  As others have noted, the
benefit to the debian is not increased directly by their non-profit
status.  There is already the "Allows Contributions" which is more
relevant to us.

Secondly, a simple for-profit/non-profit distinction would leave
for-social-benefit enterprises in a grey area.  In one interpretation,
cooperatives and other social enterprises are non-profit (because all
surplus is spent to achieve our social goals), but some of us show a
profit on the accounts we file with government because of local laws.

Also, how would we define non-profit?  Is it just if the actual vendor
company is non-profit, even if they are a subsidiary of a for-profit
company?  I'd prefer subsidiaries of for-profit business to be
excluded because it can be an tax/accounting trick, but it might be
hard to check in some places and it seems like a can of worms.

Finally, I think I spotted one non-profit vendor on the CD page
already (Steve McIntyre).  Who is willing to contact all vendors and
check their status?

> As an alternative, if you don't think the difference warrants the
> blessing, we might add a differentiation among for-profits and
> non-profits CD vendors, and furthermore among worldwide and non
> worldwide vendors.

If we must, I think a "Has Paid Contributions" differentiation
would be better.

> The best of both worlds might be to do the "blessing" from start and
> then generalize it if other similar projects show up in the future.

I definitely don't think we should ignore existing non-profit vendors.

Hope that helps,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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