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Re: [board-discuss] How is TDC compelled to keep the user first?


Hi Brett!

On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 2:05 PM Brett Cornwall <brett@i--b.com> wrote:


Other Free Software projects have had for-profit entities created
underneath the stewardship of a non-profit; Mozilla Corporation and
Canonical are two living examples. Sacrifices to user empowerment are often
made at Mozilla Corporation (e.g. Pocket integration, advertising
partnerships to silently install code on browsers, etc. - The list grows
longer by the month as new scandals appear). Canonical has made similar
sacrifices (e.g. Ubuntu One proprietary service integration,
cease-and-desists towards fixubuntu.com).


1. How would TDF intend to protect users against the inevitable
temptations to prioritize money/brand over users/computing ethics? "We can
always pull the plug" is not a compelling argument as that's only used for
the direst of circumstances, not the slow poisoning of the well that
Mozilla have experienced.


This is overstating TDC's vision, so the comparisons are massively
unhelpful. It is being created to put the LibreOffice package TDF makes
into the Windows and Mac appstores on TDF's behalf, and collect a small
payment for the convenience. It will make clear the origin of the software
as far as it is allowed to by those stores. It will spend the money paying
developers in the community (both larger and smaller) to improve
LibreOffice, through the usual TDF ESC processes. So no significant mission
is leaving TDF. This is all in the CIC36 community support statement, which
is this hadn't blown up now for some reason I was planning to post next
week once the steering group agreed it. Your concerns relate to a company
creating a product and operating independently of the community, which is
not what's proposed here.



2. How will TDF assure communities that the creation of a for-profit
entity to manage branding that the above examples will not occur?


TDC is not managing TDF's branding. It just has a narrow, well-bounded
license to act on TDF's behalf in app stores. Full stop.



3. What assurances does TDF offer that assuage fears that the lifeblood of
LibreOffice will pivot from one of community involvement to one of company
culture (with community involvement as a PR spin)?


Because we're not creating that sort of corporate vehicle.

Cheers,

Simon
(proposed CEO for TDC and former TDF director)

Context


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