Sponsorship Plan - Debian-NP at the International Free Software Forum (FISL)/Debconf

*May 26th - June 5th*

Revision History Revision 1 2003-12-23 Revised by: Ian Lawrence

This document is 'owned' by "Debian-NP" and it's written to present a Sponsorship Plan for the 1st Debian-NP subconference at the 5th International Free Software Forum (FISL)/Debconf, which will happen during *May 26th - June 5th*.

Proposal Contents

1.The Proposal

2.What is Debian?

3.What is Debian-np?

4.What is the Debian Social Contract?

5.Free Software in the context of Brazil

6.Who is likely to attend the conference?

7.Information about the event

7.1.When will it happen?

7.2.Where will it happen?

7.3.Who promoted sponsored supported the previous International Free Software Forum (FISL)?

8.Why sponsor Debian-NP?

9.Recent Debian-NP News

10.Contact Details

Chapter 1. The Proposal.

A Debian-NP mini-conference will be held alongside the Debian Conference (Debconf) and the 5th International Free Software Forum (FISL) in Porto Alegre,Brazil on May 26th - June 5th The goal is to bring in a number of NGO's, organizers, civil society groups and others (perhaps those in some sort of technical/managerial role) with an interest in using free software but who, for whatever reason, are not doing so yet. We will hold a series of sessions designed to get developers and users talking about ways that they can work together and these sessions will include a number of more tutorial-based workshops aimed at less experienced developers, some brainstorming, and some collaborative work between developers and NGO's.

There are established precendents for this kind of collaboration as seen at the successful Skolelinux mini-conference held alongside/inside Debconf last year.

Chapter 2. What is Debian?

Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. Debian uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux.

Debian GNU/Linux provides more than a pure OS: it comes with more than 8710 packages, precompiled software bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine.

Chapter 3. What is Debian-NP?

Debian-NP is an internal Debian project to develop Debian into an operating system that is designed to fulfill the requirements of small non-profit organizations. The goal of Debian-NP is a complete system for all common tasks that non-profit organization need using 100% free software. We want to provide this functionality in a integrated and documented stable free desktop environment.

The name Debian-NP includes NP meaning "non-profit." We've considered the name Debian-NGO but "non-profit" was the best description of the community of not-for-profit, civil-society, worker-owned, cooperative, and activist groups that we think this distribution will benefit.

The general idea for this kind of project was adopted from the other Debian Custom Distributions that include, in no particular order Debian-Lex, Debian Junior, Debian-Med, Debian Desktop and DeMuDi/ANGULA projects.

Debian-NP aims to create a Custom Debian Distribution (CDD) designed to fit the needs of non-profits. Working within the Debian system, Debian-NP will select, highlight, and document a subset of packages within Debian. In addition to package selection, Debian-NP will work to allow for package customization in ways useful to non-profits to allow for the creation of custom configured Debian packages — all while working completely within the Debian system.

Eventually, many participants aim to write new pieces of software, useful outside of Debian, to replace programs important to non-profits but currently unavailable as free software or on GNU/Linux systems (e.g., a good fund raising database).

Chapter 4. What is the Debian Social Contract ?

Debian, the producers of the Debian GNU/Linux system, have created the Debian Social Contract. The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) part of the contract, initially designed as a set of commitments that we agree to abide by, has been adopted by the free software community as the basis of the Open Source Definition.

"Social Contract" with the Free Software Community Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software

We promise to keep the Debian GNU/Linux Distribution entirely free software. As there are many definitions of free software, we include the guidelines we use to determine if software is "free" below. We will support our users who develop and run non-free software on Debian, but we will never make the system depend on an item of non-free software.

We Will Give Back to the Free Software Community When we write new components of the Debian system, we will license them as free software. We will make the best system we can, so that free software will be widely distributed and used. We will feed back bug-fixes, improvements, user requests, etc. to the "upstream" authors of software included in our system.

We Won't Hide Problems

We will keep our entire bug-report database open for public view at all times. Reports that users file on-line will immediately become visible to others.

Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software

We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free-software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environment. We won't object to commercial software that is intended to run on Debian systems, and we'll allow others to create value-added distributions containing both Debian and commercial software, without any fee from us. To support these goals, we will provide an integrated system of high-quality, 100% free software, with no legal restrictions that would prevent these kinds of use.

Programs That Don't Meet Our Free-Software Standards

We acknowledge that some of our users require the use of programs that don't conform to the Debian Free Software Guidelines. We have created "contrib" and "non-free" areas in our FTP archive for this software. The software in these directories is not part of the Debian system, although it has been configured for use with Debian. We encourage CD manufacturers to read the licenses of software packages in these directories and determine if they can distribute that software on their ?CDs. Thus, although non-free software isn't a part of Debian, we support its use, and we provide infrastructure (such as our bug-tracking system and mailing lists) for non-free software packages.

The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) Free Redistribution

The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license may not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

Source Code

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form.

Derived Works

The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.

Integrity of The Author's Source Code

The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software. (This is a compromise. The Debian group encourages all authors not to restrict any files, source or binary, from being modified.)

No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

Distribution of License

The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

License Must Not Be Specific to Debian

The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a Debian system. If the program is extracted from Debian and used or distributed without Debian but otherwise within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the Debian system.

License Must Not Contaminate Other Software

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be free software.

Example Licenses

The "GPL", "BSD", and "Artistic" licenses are examples of licenses that we consider "free".

Chapter 5. Free Software in the context of Brazil

Free Software in Brazil has moved beyond the pioneering implementations of universities and local governments such as Rio Grande do Sul into stage of real market viability for profit and non-profit organizations alike.

There are many companies throughout the country that work with the development, support, training and maintenance of free software thereby creating jobs and opportunities where none previously existed. It is important to emphasize the importance of Free Software as an agent of digital inclusion, either through the viability of the "Telecentros" in Brazil or as the most effective tool to combat piracy without any unsustainable outflow of capital.

In addition there are several successful cases of national companies benefitting through the adoption of Free Software in areas such as quality assurance, cost savings and staff satisfaction. It is unsurprising therefore that both the National Congress and Military Supreme Court are recent Free Software adopters.

Data from "Fundação Getúlio Vargas" (FGV) showed in March 2001 that Free Software market share in server operating systems was 3%. It hit 8% in 2002, according to the same research. Some estimates from analysts and companies point to a doubling of that today.

Evidence of a growing market maturity is the choice of the Executive and Legislative of the Federal Government to adopt Free Software. In the Legislative, the Parliamentary Front to Support Free Software in Brazil is formed by 152 deputies and 32 senators. In the Executive, the choice for Free Software already counts on the Strategic Planning for Implementation of Free Software in the Federal Government, discussed and approved by the Technical Council for Free Software Implementation, coordinated by ITI (IT National Institute), of the Civil Office of the Republic Presidency.

These factors combine to place high growth expectations on Free Software within in the national IT market.

Chapter 6. Who is likely to attend the conference?

For the 4th International Free Software Forum the attendance was 3500 and judging from this we expect 4,000 people to attend the 5th International Free Software Forum. A wide range of industries will be represented such as IT,the public sector,investors and financiers. We will invite a wide range of NGO's and civil society organisations from within South America to attend the Debian-NP mini-conference

Chapter 7. Information about the event

7.1. When will it happen? During the period:

May 26th - June 5th

7.2. Where will it happen? Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS)

         Av. Ipiranga, 6635 - Building 41 
         Porto Alegre 
         Rio Grande do Sul 

7.3. Who promoted sponsored supported the previous International Free Software Forum (FISL)? Promoters

Projeto de Software Livre - RS

Porto Alegre City Hall

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS)


Federal Data Processing Bureau (SERPRO)


Rio Grande do Sul Data Processing Company - PROCERGS

Cisco Systems

Rio Grande Do Sul Informatics Companies Union - SEPRORGS

Engineering Faculty of Pontifícia Universidade Católica - RS

IBM Tivoli Softwares

Porto Alegre Data Processing Company - PROCEMPA

Caixa Econômica Federal Bank

Republic Presidency


Rio Grande do Sul House of Representatives

Federal Senate


Brasil Telecom

Feevale University Center




Free Software Consortium

Luca Informática



Porto Alegre Tourism


Brazilian Society for Computation SBC

Service IT Solutions


UERGS - Rio Grande do Sul State University

UFRGS - Rio Grande do Sul Federal University

UNISC - Santa Cruz University

UNISINOS - Sinos River Valley University


Veraz Communication

?WebYES! Internet Systems

Chapter 8. Why sponsor Debian-NP?

We want to build an operating system which is the best it can be. This will only happen if we bring the best developers together with the strongest activists in an atmosphere in which they feel inspired to collaborate. This works as the recent collaborative successes with the debtags project proves.

Sponsorship is a way we can get the resources needed to initiate planning for the event and to cover the costs involved in running the Debian-NP mini-conference.It will also be used to cover travel expenses for developers/participants and provide them with room and board during their stay.Perhaps more importantly it will allow us to provide extra space and resources for them to work.

Sponsorship offers some/all of the following benefits:

Your image linked to a Custom Operating System written specifically for civil society organisations and NGO's

Excellent media positioning

Possibilities to expose your services / products to decision makers

Excellent merchandising opportunities

Possibilities to open new communication channels

Thank you mention in the keynote lecture

Possibilities to organize a session/speaker

Highlighted presence in the event website

Chapter 9. Recent Debian-NP News

[13 Dec 2003] Debian-NP at World Summit on the Information Society

[29 Nov 2003] Debian-NP Bootable CD Released

[10 Sep 2003] Debian-NP at Summer Source Conference in Croatia

[17 Jul 2003] Report from Debcamp Custom Distribution BOF

[04 Jul 2003] (Pre)-Announcing a Debian Custom Distribution for ?NonProfit Organizations

Chapter 10. Contact Details


Ian <vern@riseup.net>

Mako <mako@debian.org>

Michelle <michelle@cipsga.org.br>

Micah <micah@riseup.net>

Contact for sponsorship:

Ian <vern@riseup.net>

Mako <mako@debian.org>

Michelle <michelle@cipsga.org.br>

Micah <micah@riseup.net>