Giving away Debian domains

People are wondering why on earth would CHF 50,000 of Debian money be wasted on a Swiss lawsuit spreading rumors about a mentor/intern relationship? Especially after I convincingly proved those rumors to be false.

A lot of it seems to revolve around Debian domain names. A whole lot of them are mentioned in the documents. Jonathan Carter is desparate to own the domain and many others:


In fact, Software Freedom Institute SA doesn't even own We don't own We don't own or even

Hypothetically, if the Software Freedom Institute was to lose the Debian trademark registration in Switzerland, Software in the Public Interest could use the WIPO UDRP to make a single bulk request to censor all those domain names/web sites in one procedure. Here it is in the UDRP, rule 3(c):

The complaint may relate to more than one domain name, provided that the domain names are registered by the same domain-name holder.

Enter the Debian Diversity Statement

In 2012, Debian adopted a diversity statement. It is published here.

The implication of the Debian Diversity Statement is that all these domains should be owned by different people. These people can express a diverse range of opinions. Maybe they would sometimes disagree with the Debian Project Leader. So what, he needs to grow up.

Candidates for taking over the domains

Debian has been kind enough to provide a list of candidates to run these new domains and web sites too.

The Debian Social Contract, point 3 tells us we will not hide problems. As it turns out, a whole bunch of people have been censored from Debian communication channels. Their names and contact details have been shared in the widely leaked debian-private gossip emails. I'm contacting them personally about the Debian domain names.

Let's do it

Giving away some of these domains will be a triumph of intellectual freedom. The Australian federal court recently ruled that Intellectual freedom (academic freedom) is superior to a Code of Conduct, even in the extreme case of Professor Anderson. The case concerned employment law but it is even more relevant in the case of hobbyist groups like Debian.

We are not employees of Jonathan Carter, therefore, he has no right to send us orders about what we can and can't say.

I don't have the time and energy to make the best use of all these domains myself. I don't feel that so many domains should be owned by any one person, whether it is me or the Debian Project Leader. I believe that having a diverse group of people blogging about Debian on these different domains will make Debian better in the long run.

The UDRP doesn't give Carter and other cyberbullies an automatic right to shut down domains. The verdict shows that volunteers do have a right to acquire and use domain names containing trademarks. Other verdicts have also given us strong hints about protecting our rights as volunteers.

If you would like to run one of these new Debian web sites, please get in touch with me.