GNU Business Network Definition comments

MJ Ray mjr at
Mon Jun 26 11:13:27 UTC 2006

Alex Hudson <home at> [...]
> Of course it's not a exact comparison, but then nothing ever is. I think
> we can learn a lot from Fair Trade type systems, though.

I agree, but I tend to think we can learn "how not to do it"
as Fair Trade approves horrors like "baby milk" Nestle and
"don't mention our salmonella pipe" Cadburys, lets the supply
chain pocket much of the premium commanded by the Fair Trade
mark and is mostly silent about the unfair traders.  It's only
when they're in multi-organisation alliances that I've noticed
anything about the problems of unfair trade from the Fairtrade
Foundation.  They try to promote a comparative "this is better"
label without talking about what it's better than.  Madness.

> If the GBN is solely about applauding those businesses who do work with
> only free software, then I suppose it will have its niche. I don't see
> that type of system encouraging other businesses to change, though, and
> that strikes me as the more important issue.

I'd be quite happy for it to label branches of a business,
but I think the product level is far too open to exploit.
If there is a product level, there should also be some
general whole-business standard to exclude a NestleSoft.

I'd also be happy to see multi-level contrib and main labels.

Hope that helps,
MJ Ray - personal email, see
Work:  Jabber/SIP ask

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