brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Thu Feb 16 12:21:13 CET 2006
At 3:56 PM +0900 2006-02-16, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> For what it's worth, although I don't use Gmane and consider their
> operation to be irresponsible, I'm moderately in favor of allowing
> them to gateway the Mailman lists for the convenience it apparently
> affords many users.
I'm of two minds when it comes to Gmane.
On the one hand, they take our content, store a copy locally,
index that local content, and then make that available to their user
base. Clearly, there is a benefit here to the Gmane users,
potentially even a commercial benefit. But what do they contribute
back to the larger Mailman community? I don't see anything -- they
take and take and take, and they give to their own private community,
but I don't see them giving anything back to us.
On the other hand, I understand that there are some people in
this community who like to use Gmane, and I would not be generally
opposed to them being able to read our content and participate in our
discussions through a news gateway solution. And Gmane has a news
gateway solution. But the problem is that it is out of our control,
and I have personal experience in the kind of spewage that can occur
when these sorts of things go haywire. Okay, maybe it's a private
news spool so these kinds of spewage are less likely, but I still
don't know enough about their internal operations to help guarantee
that these sorts of things don't happen to us.
Given our past history with Gmane and the fact that they take our
content without our permission, and that they've supposedly fixed
this procedural problem and yet they did it again, I believe that we
have good reason to distrust them.
Personally, all code I write gets published under a BSD-style
license. And all the slides I create for all the invited talks I do
at various conferences, gets published under a Creative Commons 2.0
Non-commercial/share-alike license. So, I don't mind too much if
someone takes my own personal content and makes that available
somewhere else -- but they had better not be making a profit on doing
However, I am extremely uncomfortable with taking the content
created by an entire community and then leeching off that. Taking
the content of a single person is one thing, taking the content of an
entire community is quite something else.
Yet, I find myself holding back. I want to like Gmane. I get
their concept, and I understand the benefit to their members. I
would like to be able to allow them to continue gatewaying these
If they were to actually operate by the rules they espouse, and
they were to provide some sort of benefit back to the communities
whose content they are taking, I would support their gateway service.
But we know they're not operating by those rules, and I don't see
their benefit back to the larger Mailman community.
Unless I'm missing something pretty big, I don't see a way out of
this situation with a positive outcome for Gmane.
Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755
LOPSA member since December 2005. See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.
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