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Re: true-democratic association & the Ethics Officer's veto power

From: Davi Leal
Subject: Re: true-democratic association & the Ethics Officer's veto power
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 22:20:32 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.9.5

MJ Ray wrote:
> [not sure who wrote this:]

After some conversations with RMS, Davi Leal and others proposed:
> > > The Ethics Officer will be appointed by the Free Software
> > > Foundation, Inc. to ensure the below points, having veto
> > > power over all subject related to such points:
> > >
> > >   * the integrity of the GNU name is not breached
> > >   * the Association follows the Free Software philosophy and

Richard Stallman wrote:
> > Those changes would solve the problem from the FSF's point of view.

MJ Ray wrote:
> Doesn't that mean GNU Herds is not a true-democratic association any
> more, if there is a benevolent dictator called the Ethics Officer?

The previous Charter draft did not include the Ethics Officer veto power. The 
Ethics Officer was just an adviser. So, such charter proposal was 

Now, with the current Charter proposal, the Ethic officer has veto power about 
three points related with the Free Software philosophy.

We want to be sure the association will follow the FS philosophy for ever, so 
I think it is good, and maybe necessary, to have an Ethic Officer with veto 
power, under the three conditions exposed at

> Would it be better to have GNU appoint an accreditation officer and if
> the accreditation officer is not happy, then 'GNU Herds' loses its
> name (at least the GNU part), and maybe other penalties (split any
> funds, whatever)?  Hopefully then GNU get some control, but the
> association can still be autonomous.  Autonomy is a cooperative
> principle.

That was exactly the previous version of the charter. But RMS did not like it.

  Richard Stallman wrote:
   "What worries me is the mismatch between the goal of "controlled
    by its users" and "following the GNU Project's policies".  These
    two goals seem to be fundamentally at odds in spirit.  That
    doesn't mean there will be an actual conflict -- but what if
    there is one?"


The current proposal keep the association autonomy except that it forces it to 
follow the Free Software philosophy. I personally think that is not bad. 
Anyhow, it is a Free Software Association. 

With the current charter draft proposal, should we remove the 'true' part from 
the "true-democratic" sentence to avoid confusion?.


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