Re: are we being honest about legal resources?

From: Theodore Tso <tytso(at)mit(dot)edu>
To: MJ Ray <mjr(at)phonecoop(dot)coop>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: are we being honest about legal resources?
Date: 2008-03-12 14:21:26
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On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 09:15:10AM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> So it seems the previous time(s) the Debian Project Leader was
> involved with SPI's board discussing this might as well have not
> happened, because we need to go through the whole tedious procedure
> again, to get SPI to pick up a task it referred away. Yippee(!)
> Apparently even a simple information question won't be answered unless
> it's posted to a new thread. Double yippee(!) We love setting out the
> hoops for jumping...

> Anyway, even before the above, I started trying to reopen the www
> relicensing discussion in debian, during the DPL election, at
> because it seems pretty clear some people won't be happy without DPL
> action of some sort on this.

Looking at the Debian bug reports, one of the things which I'm
confused about is whether Debian actually cares about this officially.
Remember, debian-legal has no real power or official standing. It's
just a bunch of wankers, most of which are lay people, who love to
spend endless and vast amount of time debating related to copyright
law. To me, debian-legal and debian-vote's "last post wins" e-mail
debate culture is prime exhibit #1 in Debian's overall dysfunction,
but that's just my personal opinion --- but it's why I fled those
lists screaming a long time ago. I have better things to do with my

People from the Debian ftpmasters and Debian www team are delegated by
the DPL to have powers to act on behalf of Debian, and they may take
the reasoning hashed out debian-legal if they so choose --- but they
don't have to, and it is ultimately up to them whether or not to take
action. Looking at the bug reports in question, I can't tell whether
or not anyone official at Debian has made the determination that this
is worth being a priority project --- and if I, a Debian Developer,
can't figure this out, how on earth is the anyone on the SPI board who
is not associated with the Debian project have any chance on Earth of
figuring this out?

So don't think asking the DPL to get involved is unreasonable. In
fact, it is the only reasonable thing to do so.

- Ted

> MJ Ray tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
> Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
> consumer and workers co-operative member -
> Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke

Linux Foundation Fellow and Chief Platform Architect, ext4 and
e2fsprogs author/maintainer, First North American Kernel Developer


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