Re: Linking to non-free websites from

Hi all,

Whist this is a bit entertaining, I think we can all see where it is headed... On balance, there really is only one practical reason to bring up the past and that is for the sake of being able to reliably anticipate the future. So, I have to urge people again to try to move the discussion away from the particular rights and wrongs of publishing the Builder or other IndiGoGo(hst)s past, for that matter.

It really does seem most appropriate to take steps to try to discuss the issue of non-free links/endorsements on neutral territory. That way, nobody has to be made to feel like points of argument about this are being directed at them personally, as individuals. Surely everyone here must be able to recognise that when people feel like they are under attack, that they tend to get into a reactionary mindset and that this does not lead anywhere progressive. Let's move on.

Now, to the subject of whether GNOME should or should not link to non-free websites (as is in line with the subject line of this thread :-)) I think that most people would agree that in principle it is probably right that we should take steps to avoid this in future. I have a few suggestions about that:
  • In personal member blog posts on the blog subdomains, I think it should be discouraged somewhere but generally up to whoever is writing the post to decide given that something like that is practically impossible to regulate, anyway and there is a probably a fine line there between refusing to endorse something and censorship when we get into the realm of what individuals should or should not be saying or doing.
  • On the wiki: Again, quite difficult to regulate but it when I think when we write on the wiki we do represent GNOME (rather than ourselves as individuals) a bit more than with blogs as far as how the public interpret the content might be concerned,. With that said I can imagine that it could be necessary to post links to nonfree sites sometimes (e.g. some information on a site regarding issue x, y or z. In that case maybe we could think about having some sort of a "trigger warning" ):D. Perhaps that seems silly but it might be a nice/amusing way to show "we don't approve" without restricting what we can link to in cases where this is too impractical
  • For fundraisers (and probably endorsements, in general) it probably should be policy not to do it after Builder but again, where this proves too impractical perhaps the "trigger warning" idea might be a neat compromise.
To elaborate on the point about fundraisers a little further: Also though I have to wonder whether future fundraisers could maybe be handled in the same way as the groupon fundraiser was managed. since that did not seem to be too controversial at the time. If that sort of thing would mean more work but ultimately lower fees, then perhaps GNOME could also take an administrative cut off the top for managing the donations on behalf of the relevant project developers? It might also be worthwhile for us to set up a dedicated wiki page guide explaining what alternative fundraising platforms GNOME want projects to use and compile a list of links on there and have some recommendations for standard practices. It might also be handy for those wishing to fund their projects if we compiled and outline the logical steps a project manager and/or project developer might take to get set up and seek permission and support with launch etc. 


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