Raphael Hertzog | 30 Mar 22:26 2012
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Raising money for Debian

Hello,

there's a discussion going on on debian-project about entering an
agreement with DuckDuckGo to get some sort of affiliate commission from
the money that DuckDuckGo would earn from traffic tagged as coming
from Debian.

1/ To Wouter and Gergely: this discussion touches several sensitive topics
but you have not taken position... what do you think of the project?

2/ To all: are there other ways to raise money that we have not yet explored
and that we should try?

3/ To all: The commercial world is full of such "win-win opportunities".
Some are more obnoxious than other. Are there some that would be
acceptable in the Debian context according to you? Where would you draw
the limit?

If you need some examples: an hosting company could give back x% of the
monthly fee paid by customers running Debian servers and would likely
appreciate some promotion of this "offer" on the Debian side. There is
a book editor who is giving $1 for each sold copy of their Debian book.
Etc. Most of those offers are created for marketing reasons in the hope to
get noticed/promoted within the Debian community. Shall we promote those?
Can we just inform people about their existence without promoting them?

Cheers,
--

-- 
Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

(Continue reading)

Stefano Zacchiroli | 31 Mar 17:03 2012
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Re: Raising money for Debian

On Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:26:28PM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> 2/ To all: are there other ways to raise money that we have not yet
> explored and that we should try?

At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I haven't felt good at the idea of
raising more money up to now, because I don't think we were being
transparent enough on how we use those money. This is changing now (see
my platform for some references) and I'm finally starting to feel a bit
more confident with the idea. Also, it looks like we're going to need
some money in the future, at least if we want to implement some
ambitious hardware replacement plans [1], as I think we should.

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2012/03/msg00032.html

All that considered, I think the single most effective way of raising
money for a project like Debian is to knock at companies doors, make
them realize that Debian *is* important for them, engage then in some
yearly donation plans, and acknowledge that with some level-like badge
on the Debian website. As discussed in one of the first thread of this
campaign, we're already doing that, but only for DebConf. We "just" need
to make that fund-raising effort a bit more structured and general.

All other ways to fund-raise (including the DuckDuckGo example) are good
to have, but I don't think we need to plan ahead for them or anything
such. I believe handling them on a case by case basis is good enough.

> 3/ To all: The commercial world is full of such "win-win opportunities".
> Some are more obnoxious than other. Are there some that would be
> acceptable in the Debian context according to you? Where would you draw
> the limit?
(Continue reading)

Gergely Nagy | 31 Mar 23:58 2012

Re: Raising money for Debian

Raphael Hertzog <hertzog <at> debian.org> writes:

> there's a discussion going on on debian-project about entering an
> agreement with DuckDuckGo to get some sort of affiliate commission from
> the money that DuckDuckGo would earn from traffic tagged as coming
> from Debian.
>
> 1/ To Wouter and Gergely: this discussion touches several sensitive topics
> but you have not taken position... what do you think of the project?

I'm afraid I can't answer just yet: I haven't finished reading the
thread yet. After a quick glimpse through the thread, I think there are
certainly good arguments to accept the offer, but, as others expressed
in the thread, there are valid concerns too.

Unfortunately, without reading the whole thing, I'd rather not take a
position, and catching up on the thread may take a day or two more.

> 2/ To all: are there other ways to raise money that we have not yet
> explored and that we should try?

One idea that comes to my mind, is that we seem to focus a wee-bit too
much on raising money at times. While I agree that we do need money, for
hardware, travel and sprint sponsorships and a whole lot of other things
I have little insight into, there are alternative ways.

The problem I see with 'raising money' is that those who donate have
little control over how that money is used. While that works for many,
it might very well stop others (especially companies) from
donating. Transparency helps here, and Stefano's work on this front is
(Continue reading)

Wouter Verhelst | 2 Apr 11:15 2012
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Re: Raising money for Debian

[...I realize campaigning is over; but I notice after a busy weekend
that several questions were asked fairly last-minute, so...]

On Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:26:28PM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Hello,
> 
> there's a discussion going on on debian-project about entering an
> agreement with DuckDuckGo to get some sort of affiliate commission from
> the money that DuckDuckGo would earn from traffic tagged as coming
> from Debian.
> 
> 1/ To Wouter and Gergely: this discussion touches several sensitive topics
> but you have not taken position...  what do you think of the project?

Reading that discussion, I see two concerns being raised:

Some people point out that entering in such an agreement could damage
relations with upstreams who may have different agreements of that sort.

As I understand the proposed agreement, however, this shouldn't be an
issue. It has, or will be, made clear to DDG that implementation of the
agreement would be entirely voluntary for our maintainers; no package
would be required to be modified so it would generate the revenue
streams for Debian.

Since our package maintainers are also our main contact points with
upstream, this means that they can easily dodge that bullet should the
need arise; all that is required is that we formulate any explanation of
this agreement in Policy or the devref, wherever appropriate, in such a
fashion that it's clear it can be ignored if it would be harmful to
(Continue reading)


Gmane