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Re: blessing non-profit, worldwide CD vendors

On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 08:04:32AM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> One problem is the poor definition of ‘profit’. In the academic world, we have
> seen big scandals where the managers of ‘not for profit’ associations were
> earning much more in one month than what a ‘for profit’ home business of CD
> selling would generate in year.

Well, it seems to me that this problem already exists in the current
page, which distinguish among vendors who (permits to) give money back
to Debian and vendors who don't. So, you're right that "profit" is not
the good / clear enough notion; it would just be a matter of saying who
seeks as its only goal to give that money to Debian and who don't.

The other point raised by Rhonda however is important on this: that page
should list who gives part of their revenue to Debian and who doesn't.

On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:05:49AM +0200, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
>  Erm, you also should put the lists into the M-F-T if you don't want
> mails to end up only in your mailbox but also on the lists. ;)

Well, that depends to the MUA in my experience, but you're right: better
safe than sorry, doing that now :-)

>  Their statistics also only speak of 17 pieces so far. :)

You're totally right. In fact I was willing to sample your opinions on
the matter first and actually go live later on, as soon as they have
"better looking" numbers to show, possibly in occasion of the Lenny
release where they re trying to understand whether we'll be able to do
some "free ship it" service.

>  I'm not that sure about that, to be honest. Setting a precedence for
> that can open a can of worms. There might also be other non-profit
> projects listed in there. Having special blessing, especially with the
> name of debiancd, might give the impression that it's an official Debian
> sub-project of some sort which puts us in completely different light
> with our claims that we don't sell anything on our own.

You're right, this is an interesting potential problem.

>  At first look such a seperation might make sense - but I'd like to
> point out to think about it carefully: Having e.g. a seperation between
> worldwide and non-worldwide vendors will put the second ones into a very
> bad place as people might look at the first ones only. If they are put
> first then the worldwide sending people would request to be listed in
> both to not be pushed down.

That is true too, but we can't deny that such a separation exist. So, if
we *don't* do that, to avoid the converse discrimination (i.e. putting
the worldwide in a bad position wrt the local one) we would then need to
list the worldwide ones in the section of every possible country listed
in that page.

Both solutions have then drawbacks, but IMHO it would be better to have
a "worldwide" session to avoid the potential pollution of that page. An
alternative could be to make that part of the website dynamic where one
chooses her own country and then get a list of vendors for it; that way
we could have the worldwide vendors listed everywhere, without
pollution. Again, if we don't have that, I believe having the worldwide
session to be a better interim solution. What do you think?

>  The only seperation that would make sense IMHO is between vendors that
> do allow donations and ones that don't. I'm a bit surprised right now
> that this isn't done at all, this would endorse using those that allow
> donations and would put a (potential small, but still) pressure on those
> who don't.

ACK, see above.

>  <nitpick type="minor">Btw., the CD type information talks about the
> KDE and XFCE/LXDE disks to contain said environment but doesn't
> mention that the regular CD type contains GNOME. Guess that should be
> added.</nitpick>

Can you please mail <info@debiancd.org> about that? Both myself and some
people from debian-cd found the guys quite responsive, I guess they'll
be happy to fix that.

On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 09:59:54AM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> 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.

Yes, but only partly so, as discussed above. We should add whether part
of the profit gets donated to Debian or not.

> 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?

Eh, that's a tough one, but should be done to address the issue above. I
guess that we could add a column "donates to Debian part of the profit"
(a shorter/better formulation would be nice :-)); that column will be
3-values YES/NO/DONTKNOW, starting with DONTKNOW for everyone we don't
know about.

Thank you all for your contribution!
I believe it's clear that "blessing" anyone is not welcome, we should
rather verify who donates back to Debian and who doesn't and possibly
differentiating worldwide vendors.


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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