Thanks for the elaboration, Ben, it's much appreciated.
I think the clarification that the Fedora Council already has the
ability to withdraw funding and forbid the use of Fedora trademarks
does help put this into some perspective, but, despite the good intent
I am still genuinely dubious of how this one will be used; I'll try to
expand on why that is.
First, I think we may be in some agreement that the vagueness of the
wording on this is frustrating. Whether the relationship is severed
for kupper picking or cat juggling, I think while well intended,
without explicit guidelines on how these determinations are made, at
the peak of the cancel culture era, this can only harm.
Who will determine whether said keynote speaker actually picked kuppies
or juggled cats? What if they didn't and you announce why you severed
and it was a rumour from a jealous competitor or career rival? How
would that impact that person's career? What about their mental
health? I can't tell you how many times I've had to read emails about
people I work with, or people I collaborate with who are being targeted
in this way. People are vicious to each other in the tech scene
I'll say it again. We're at the peak of the cancel culture era. Cancel
culture is misguided (we're sorry, RMS). This type gathering is
especially targeted by social engineering campaigns, often with
activist intent, and it often destroys peoples' careers and personal
lives unnecessarily. Why open yourselves up to having this mechanism
be used as a lever to pull like that? People targeted by these kinds
of campaigns are assessed for vulnerable connections. This would be
one of them. There's a resource assessment. This is a resource.
In that instance, I think we can confidently agree this needs more
design around it to ensure it is executed with empathy, compassion, and
even a minimal assurance of truth to avoid the kinds of problems the
PSF has to deal with.
I think we can visit how this is intended to be used quite a bit, but
when defining organizational policy, it has to be designed to avoid
abuse as well -- or it will be abused and it will be an external party
that is abused.
Ethics aside, how do we ensure that we don't violate the usc's commerce
clause, contractual obligations, or even libel law? Posting the reason
for the severance could be the difference between grounds for recourse
or not by injured parties. From that angle this could actually open up
the Fedora Project to liability. What if Bob wasn't really juggling
cats but a contributor who didn't like what Bob said on IRC finally
found an opening worth taking and decided to rally up the council and
If we're determining whether to announce why we sever, I only see
either it being abused, it accidentally damaging people due to a
misunderstanding, or other general harm that outweighs any good it
But let me go back to the compassion angle. What if Bob *did* juggle
cats. What if he got caught red handed and just hadn't realized, and
grew to be a better person in a few years. Well, he can't, he's
homeless because that publication destroyed his life.
Cancel culture is sick. It destroys. It does not help. It doesn't
feel that way to people who participate in it. This is an angle needed
to foster a community.
Not the IBM community. The Fedora Community. You've built a wonderful
thing, here. It is different, and it needs to stay different. If
IBM's culture were what Fedora needed, it wouldn't have needed to be
purchased by it. I think we all know that. Preserve the Fedora
culture. And don't damage people for a cause. Believe me, it's hard
I understand this desire more than you might be aware of.
Who is going to decide whether this person kicked a puppy
On Mon, 2020-06-15 at 14:16 -0400, Ben Cotton wrote:
Some feedback comments inline. I didn't reply explicitly to
message, but used the messages below to provide some context for my
Two more broad comments first.
1. To be clear, as the stewards of the budget and trademarks, the
Council implicitly has the authority to withdraw funding and the use
of Fedora trademarks. This proposal does not add or remove from that
implicit authority, it just makes it explicit. What it does add is
specific requirements for how any decisions made under that authority
2. I admit the "in the interests of the Fedora Project" part is
frustratingly vague. I wanted to make it clear that we wouldn't
to withdraw support on a whim, which is why that phrasing is in there
instead of just "The Fedora Council may choose to withdraw Fedora's
support from events or other activities that involve fiscal
sponsorship or use of Fedora trademark." This should be a pretty high
bar to clear and happen rarely. On the other hand, trying to make it
less vague rapidly becomes a long document in itself. If there are
suggestions of 1-2 sentences that could be used instead of this
phrasing, I'd love to hear them.
On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 3:40 PM Michael Scherer <misc(a)zarb.org>
> I do think that fictional examples would make clearer the kind of
> this is supposed to cover, since it might help people to dispell
> misunderstanding due to unspoken assumptions.
Example of what the policy is intended to cover:
The Mindshare Committee approves a booth at Totally Normal Open
Conference (TNOSC). Subsequent to Mindshare's approval, TNSOC
announces that the keynote speaker will be someone who has openly
advocated kicking puppies. The Fedora Council decides that puppy
kicking is so egregiously beyond the realm of acceptable behavior
we cannot associate with this. (After all it, is very un-Friends-ly
the good dogs.)
Result: The Fedora Council withdraws support from the event under the
Example of what the policy is not intended to cover:
The Mindshare Committee approves a booth at Some Other Tech
(SOTC). SOTC is run by Computron Ltd. Computron Ltd. competes with
in certain key markets and one day the CEOs fight over the arm rest
the airplane. After that both IBM and Computron Ltd. devote their
entire marketing budget to calling each other names.
Result: The Fedora Council says "wow, this is ridiculous". Fedora's
participation in the event goes on as planned.
On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 3:33 AM Florian Weimer <fweimer(a)redhat.com>
> What does withdrawing support mean, exactly? Request for a return
> funding, and removal of all Fedora trademarks from an upcoming
> Or does this apply to future events only?
That's going to depend to some degree on the timing, the sponsorship
agreement (if any), etc. So for example, if it's six months out, we
may request a return of funding and removal of all trademarks. If the
sponsorship/exhibition agreement does not permit that, we may just
request the removal of trademarks (e.g. from the sponsor listings).
Obviously, if there are printed materials, it may be too late for
> If this ambiguity is deliberate, how can event organizers achieve
> planning certainty if they choose to accept Fedora support?
The same way they do now: with reputations and legal agreements.
Sponsors and exhibitors pull out of events for a variety of reasons.
This proposal is more about defining how the Council communicates the
On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 8:27 AM Till Maas <opensource(a)till.name>
> I would not limit this to "fiscal sponsorship" or "Fedora
> There might also be non-fiscal sponsorship and the Council should
> have veto power. I am not sure but this might for example affect
> on pagure.io, if there would be something inappropriate but it
> would not
> involve the Fedora trademark.
I see your point, but I don't think that's necessary. This example
other cases like it are covered by the Code of Conduct and legal
policies on permissible content.
He / Him / His
Senior Program Manager, Fedora & CentOS Stream
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