The FSF Europe recommends: avoid SourceForge

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Wed Nov 14 15:58:19 UTC 2001

 || On Wed, 14 Nov 2001 12:14:24 +0000
 || MJ Ray <markj at> wrote: 

 mr> Does the FSF have something similar to the Debian Social
 mr> Contract?

Other than in its work and documents? I'm not aware of anything beyond
the GNU manifesto or the basic documents about Free Software that
would read comparably to the Debian Social Contract.

But it is important to keep in mind that the Debian project and the
FSF are rather different organizational models - other than the FSF,
Debian is more or less a loose bunch of people getting together for a
single project.

Being a registered charitable organization for Free Software, the FSF
Europe must only do things that further Free Software. Should we
somehow violate this policy, the German (or other local) authorities
would come down on us. Control for these things is actually rather

I don't know the details for the FSF in the U.S. as I'm not involved
in the administrative work, but I would assume things are similar

Also since the U.S. copyright assignment is not valid in most European
countries, we are working on writing a copyright assignment that will
be valid in Europe.

As copyright assignments are essentially contracts, there is a certain
amount of freedom involved in their creation, so we included a part
that the FSF Europe guarantees the author that it will never abuse the
assigned copyright for proprietary software. 

We haven't published it as it isn't completed yet, but as soon as I
find some time to finalize it together with our lawyers, we will do

 >> This is what we did with savannah.

 mr> But Savannah is another island based on the sourceforge code.  It
 mr> is a clone, not an alternative and looks poor when compared to
 mr> the original.

Technically speaking it may be a clone, but it is an alternative in
terms of freedom as it was carefully set up to only use and host Free

Of course the technical issues can and should be improved, but that is
another issue.

 mr> Please, if you must criticise, do it as part of promotion of
 mr> alternatives, not promote alternatives as part of a criticism.

You are right, it might have been better to end the document with a
more postitive outlook on alternatives.

 mr> Sorry, perhaps I have not been clear in this forum, although I
 mr> ...
 mr> organisation, I think that the FSF is a realist, although it
 mr> contains some fundamentalists.

Okay, I now understand your statement better. I believe this is not
how the majority would use the term "pragmatist," though, so
communication problems are to be expected. I'll try to keep your
definition in mind for the next time we have a discussion.


Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
GNU Business Network                        (
Brave GNU World	                           (
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 268 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the Discussion mailing list