Re: are we being honest about legal resources?

From: MJ Ray <mjr(at)phonecoop(dot)coop>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: are we being honest about legal resources?
Date: 2008-03-11 06:44:01
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Bruce Perens <bruce(at)perens(dot)com> wrote:
> Anthony Towns wrote:
> > I don't think there's ever been a request from the Debian liaison for
> > SPI to do that, has there?

Then-DPL Branden Robinson was part of the last SPI board to consider
the issue and refer it to debian-www, who seemed broadly to coalesce
around a BSD-style licence as default with some contributors using the
GPL for their work.

Was it a request from the Debian liaison? Apart from a few occasions,
Branden Robinson didn't seem to treat his SPI Board and DPL seats as
distinct, which seems sensible to me. Why split hairs about that now?

> > If there has, it should be the liaison (ie,
> > the DPL) chasing it up with the board, not individual Debian developers
> > or SPI members. [...]

The DPL after Branden Robinson seemed not to include it on his list of
SPI issues, but I'm not speculating on why. I've started asking
whether the next DPL will chase it.

Anyway, all SPI members "have the right and responsibility of
overseeing the board members, officers, and committees and ensuring
that they operate in accordance with the goals and principles of the
organization" so I believe individual members checking whether SPI has
operated on this is valid. All this you-must-be-wearing-an-official-
hat-to-even-ask is hierarchical nonsense to me. If there's simply
unclarity, stick asking the DPL for instruction on the next agenda.
No need to turn it into Asterix's Permit A38., mentioned in past SPI discussion as a way to get
debian web copyright right next time, has a similar problem in which could maybe re-use any best
practice developed for the main web site.

> I a,m afraid that the most truthful parts of the answers that MJ and I
> heard were 1) we're not going to listen if you go outside of the
> hierarchy [...]

Amen just to that bit. It's rather disappointing when seemingly
simple requests like for "what needs to happen to resolve
[www.debian's copyright bugs]" or "Will the applications of board
candidates be published?" get bogged down in these bureaucratic
blockages. Happily, among the board at the moment, Jimmy Kaplowitz
seems nearly always a do-er and Joerg Jaspert is usually a do-er,
which cancels out the effect on my happiness of the silly obstructions
from Josh Berkus and Joshua D. Drake this month IMO.

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


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