Josh Berkus's platform on political activity, was: money handling

Anthony Towns aj at
Tue Jul 18 03:57:47 UTC 2006

On Mon, Jul 17, 2006 at 08:30:14PM -0700, Josh Berkus wrote:
> > To put it another way: if PostgreSQL were to think patents are good,
> > and SPI were to think patents were bad, but PostgreSQL is good; is
> > there any reason for PostgreSQL to stop using SPI for its finances,
> > just because they're arguing different sides of an issue in public?
> Where it would become a critical issue is if it affected PostgreSQL's (or any 
> other member project's) ability to raise funds and/or run their project.  And 
> the only way we can know that is if we check with those projects.
> Are you arguing that it's *not* necessary to check?   If not, what are you 
> arguing?

I'm more suggesting that I think it's possible to setup the relationship
between SPI and the projects it supports in such a way that they can
handle those sorts of issues without needing approval from every member
project; mostly by making SPI and its member organisations roughly as
independent from each other as, eg, IBM and PostgreSQL are when it comes
to promoting DB2 perhaps.

Which is to say that SPI could take the view that it undertakes multiple
activities in the public interest, some of which is supporting
organisations like Debian and PostgreSQL, while others include
participating in patent reform, and not trying to claim a particularly
strong relationship between the two activities.

I'm not sure it's possible to do so while still having the "liability
shield" stuff that's been talked about, though. And SPI's relationships
with Debian and OSI and others certainly aren't at that point yet.

BTW, Software Freedom Day is Sept 16th this year, with the signup
deadline being tomorrow (Wednesday); is that something any of the SPI
board/candidates think SPI should be involved in in some way?


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