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Gmane
From: Ian Jackson <ijackson <at> chiark.greenend.org.uk>
Subject: Re: Validity of DFSG #10
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.debian.devel.project
Date: Tuesday 8th January 2013 17:26:18 UTC (over 4 years ago)
Joerg Jaspert writes ("Re: Validity of DFSG #10"):
> But we would be happy to work with / lead / whatever-one-names it with a
> group of volunteers together. Exact details of how that works out are to
> be found, but im sure we can. If there are volunteers for it...

I would volunteer.  But:

We have had problems in the past with a self-selecting group
containing an imbalance of views (compared to the rest of the project)
trying to take control of these important and politically charged[1]
decisions.

This has been worked around to an extent by ftpmaster essentially
ignoring "conclusions" from debian-legal (which FAOD I think is
entirely proper), but the perception from outside the project is
confused to say the least.

While licensing discussions are for many people a tedious interruption
from real work there are also people for whom they are an attractive
way to influence the world and advance their ideological[1] causes.
(Obviously I'm including myself in that latter category.)

So if we are to set up a formal decisionmaking group for licensing
questions, we need to be sure that its selection mechanisms are sound,
that it is properly representative of the project as a whole and that
all of its members are DDs.

Perhaps we should have a project-wide election, with hustings and a
set of representative licence questions for the candidates to answer ?
(Condorcet is a bad voting system for electing representative panels -
it tends to result in majority domination; we should use STV or
perhaps Shulze STV.)  If we did this we'd have to redo the election
every few years.

Such a panel would arguably also be a more appropriate venue than the
TC for deciding what policy should say about cross-suite dependency
lines (#681419).

IMO we should also establish a new forum for its deliberations to
which only members of the panel are able to post.  This avoids
domination of the discussion by those (like myself...) who have a lot
of time to argue about licensing, vis a vis those doing technical
work.

Ian.

[1] I use "political" and "ideological" without criticism.  Debian's
chief goal - freedom - is a matter of ideology.  And because freedom
always means escaping from someone's control, it's also a matter of
politics.
 
CD: 3ms