SPI Workshop at Debconf4

Benj. Mako Hill mako at debian.org
Tue May 11 01:08:31 UTC 2004


Again this year, I will be facilitating a workshop and discussion on
Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI)[1] at Debconf[2].

As I did last year, I'd like to start the discussion before the
workshop on the lists so that folks with ideas, brainstorms, or
criticisms can participate now whether they'll make it to Porto Alegre
or not. My goal is to upload recordings and notes after the session to
bring those who could not be at Debconf back into the loop.

Here are a couple ideas to start people up (I am *not* advocating any
of these at this point personally. I'm just throwing them out to start

 - Supporting Debian outside of the US: SPI is based in the United
   States and can only offer tax benefits to individuals donating
   there. How can Debian/SPI work with other organizations, existing
   or new, to give the same level of support outside of the US? What
   has worked in the past and how can it be expanded and improved?

 - Trademark issues: There have been a number of issues raised in the
   last year with "abuse" of the Debian name (people incorrectly
   claiming to be related to the project) that SPI's policy of
   trademark enforcement has been able to halt. At the same time,
   enforcing a trademark introduces a level of risk to the
   organization that some people found alarming. Some others just
   oppose the idea of a trademark.

 - Debian/SPI relationship: Some people, including the president of
   SPI, have suggested that a new "Debian Foundation" should replace
   or emerge from SPI. Other have argued that it's just a name change
   and can be accomplished within the current framework -- or that
   little needs to change at all.

In terms of format, I like the idea of starting with a short
introduction to SPI, past and present, and then to open up the floor
for questions and discussions -- maybe broken up logically as the room
sees fit and splitting off into BOFs later in the week as necessary.

Please direct follow-ups to both debconf4 and spi-general (as the
M-F-T has been set). The lists have only partially overlapping
memberships, both of whom I believe this is on topic for.


[1] http://www.spi-inc.org
[2] http://www.debconf.org/debconf4

Benjamin Mako Hill
mako at debian.org

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