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Re: political action?

On Fri, 5 May 2000, Gary Preckshot wrote:

> The problem with a political action HOWTO is that it contaminates the
> LDP with concerns that are not at its level. It's as much a design
> issue as anything. The design of the LDP has the objective of
> documenting Linux and the problems involved in getting Linux to run on
> various hardware platforms. As soon as you get everything but the

I find keeping it legal and getting my goverment to stop requiring
proprietary binary formats an important step in getting it working :).

> kitchen sink in LDP, you lose focus. Like Bill Gates and his attempt
> to make a web browser an integral part of Windoze. I'm looking not at
> our political action proposer but at the effect his submission would
> have on the purpose of LDP. I admit it's through a scope, but that
> scope is design purity. The discussion we've been having about SGML is
> exclusively about design and how to make LDP more accessible to new
> authors who would prefer never to have contact with SGML. This has
> nothing to do with politics and shouldn't have.

Agreed. Two different topics. Sorry if I made it seem I was debating

> >> Linux is an enabler. It enables all sorts of people to use
> >> computers for whatever they want, be it political action or
> >> pornography. What the LDP is for is for documenting hardware
> >Aren't those two the same at the US-national level[1]? ;-)

I forgot the subthingy before, see below :).

> It doesn't have anything to do with Linux documentation. This is
> called the LDP, you know.

That's why I brought up technical documentation. It would be great to have
part of it concentrate on the differences between the different licenses
and their possible incompatabilities, ala GPL and QPL, written for people
who don't speak fluent legalese. These are issues I run into all the time
while trying to support Linux. They are not the strongpoint of my
knowledge :). Maybe what I'm really describing is a "legal issues
HOWTO". Less implication of a political stance with that.

> >BTW, FSF is political. It's taken a stand on UCITA,
> 1) They aren't using the equivalent of LDP to do it.

gnu.org. We could pin that on rms, though.

> 2) UCITA strikes at the very basis of FSF. It's equivalent to Linux
> being outlawed. As a matter of fact, assuming they could find someone
> to sue, Linux may also be subject to UCITA.

The way I understood it, UCITA strikes directly at Linux (and every other
Open Source, non-shrink-wrapped project) and they go directly after those
who have credits in the code :(.

> He wants to use the resources of LDP, which is more the issue. The LDP
> isn't about political action. If it publishes a HOWTO about political

I agree that LDP docs shouldn't take a political line. Not even on UCITA
(thought I'm willing to change my mind on that :), but that doesn't mean
we can't encourage a technical explanation for the layman.

> action, the IRS may suddenly take an interest. Up to now, LDP probably
> hasn't even considered it's tax exempt status. But if LDP is perceived
> as an advocacy organization, contributions of money, effort, and
> equipment are no longer tax exempt. Also, if someone uses the

Didn't know about that. A good reason to be careful, even though it
doesn't apply in this case as the LDP isn't a NPO AFAIK.

> Deal with it like the FSF has. Keep it separate from the LDP, and if
> necessary, spin it off into a separate entity so that tax questions
> don't impact the LDP.

Maybe the HOWTO should be placed with the FSF instead.

[1] The US federal government ran a bordello for a while after the Mustang
Ranch in Nevada declared bankrupcy ;-).


#  der.hans@LuftHans.com   home.pages.de/~lufthans/   www.OpNIX.com
#  If you're not learning, you're not living. - der.hans

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