CPP: Commitments, Policies and Processes

Thanks for comments!

Can you please give an example? This does not exist alone and works in conjuction with the code of conduct which has solid provisions for not being used against those who it was intented to be used to help.

I think we could be clearer on “contribute” here. I didn’t take it to mean that we would contribute code or do any of the typical skills required in the actual development of free software but more that we, for example: raise useful reports on the issue tracker, lurk the IRC to help if we can and generally give feed back and share knowledge.

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I have seen many people who like to talk. And not to do. And people who like to refer to their rights to do things or to the commitment of certain organizations (“it is written in your charter!”).
I think the self-commitment to listen to people would lead those who like to make trouble to start abusing exactly this self-commitment.
I cannot give you a direct example, but broadly speaking, there are initiatives which commit to helping people. However, there is also people who use these services in an “abusive” way (like using way too much resources so they impact others).
And even when mentioning that, the only point is “You committed to helping everybody, and I am somebody!” or “it is not in your rules that XXX is limited.”

I would say these are the things that users do for their own benefit (like reporting bugs) and IRC is anyway just for idling nowadays?

Then it is more a general question on what this cpp is for. Is it rules every hoster has to comply to or they will be kicked out? Is it rules of good behaviour? Is it a statement of intentions?

So today we have a meeting: Amsterdam Gathering June 2019

Since there were not enough people able to attend in person we decided to make it a remote meeting.

One of the points on the agenda is to adopt the CPP: I would like to know whether all points have been addressed (or: did we reach rough consensus?). In that case, we would adopt the text on Sunday (tomorrow) so we can move on.

I think it should read:
Librehosters review applications and evaluate them carefully(!awaiting sentence etc.!).

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The CPP document is addressing Librehosters members, who are organizations. We are not trying to replace personal psychological support: it’s out of scope and we simply cannot hack minds. All we can do is provide best effort support. Abuse remains abuse, and whatever the rules, abuse will happen, there’s nothing we can do about it but provide sensible guidelines, which I think we did. Am I wrong? If someone starts using a document as a weapon, we can deal with it without even mentioning the document.

Overall I think this document provides sensible guidelines for good understanding among ourselves. When someone starts causing trouble, we can see how to deal with it (and BTW, this resorts to the Care Team, if we want to have one) in an intelligent way: probably by escalating slowly, e.g., private message reminder of the expected behavior, then applying sanctions (still to be defined), etc.

Generally the CPP is not about personal behavior (see the code of conduct for that), but things Librehosters should do as part of their normal behavior in order to promote the values we defend. If someone accepts the CPP and then acts against it, we should eventually come to sanctions, and expulsion from the network is one extreme sanction (but yes, it could happen – unless we screen people at the entrance, and then this is unlikely to happen).

I don’t want to oversweat this: we provide a definition of what image we want to cast, and this image is not fine-grained, but a general idea that most sane people would agree with. Micromanaging and bikeshedding do not seem to match the spirit of the CPP.

I’m not sure this rant answers your questions though…

Trying to respond to concerns from my POV …

I’m OK with the current wording.

We choose to make it explicit here. I see no disadvantage of making this clear.

I am OK to change wording here to make it clear that providing services is also OK if you have limited time but still subscribe to the rest of the values.

The point here it to exclude illegal forms. I mean, in practice, I think we wouldn’t exclude informal groups who aspire to fill out the paperwork to get their official legal status.

I don’t see why you’d want to join the network if this is an issue for you. This is part of making this clear statement that we find free software to be an important part of this entire effort.

This is included in the “functioning of the network” section.

We’re trying to write this manifesto, like the tried and tested manifesto of the CHATONS, so we set the boundaries of what it can mean to be a librehoster. What it really means to be a librehoster will be for each member to understand, express and enact beyond “you are a member who accepts the manifesto”. So, I find this out of scope for now. It will be more clear in time.

So, summary of actions that I see to be addressed:

  • Write a “what is it for” statement to be explicit?
  • More clearly allow for those who only host but cannot take time to contribute to ecosystems but still are valuable members of the network (“Librehosters contribute to the free software ecosystems, communities and projects used.”)?

One final note - let’s appreciate the difficulty of this online medium for achieveing consent at this early stage in the network. Let’s keep our points actionable so as to make it clear what others can do to resolve concerns and push forward the agenda. Thanks.

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I think this is a good base to propose an edit for the “what is it for” statement.

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I guess that would be clearer if the following was done:

Since there seems to be a difference between a manifesto and a charter, it should be clear what this document is for and then lots of things would clarify.
I guess that’s the main point of conflict here.

What is an illegal form?
What I mean: When you say you want a legal entity, you exclude informal groups. Or you have to think about what a legal form ist.
A look at the librehoster list shows to me that many do not even state their legal status on the website, most of them just “projects” run by a few persons (webarchitects, nomagic and Dark Peak being the only? exceptions).

I am not saying this should be dropped, but it should be stated more clearly. I just see that this will spark discussions or even conflict in the future when it is difficult to change the CPP.
There will be raised concerns about blobs. Or is it ok to use closed source software for things that are not possible otherwise? Or to use closed source software wheren open source alternatives are available, but unfeasible? What about appliances, is it ok to use them?

One more point I would like to add (in Transparency and Fairness):

  • Librehosters provide an accessible clear point of contact for users and foreigners.

I saw it on all websites, but I think this is an important quality criterium that is required for transparency and privacy issues like having your data deleted.

Good, we’ve marked this point for discussion. We’ll resolve this together.

I am not a lawyer. I would suggest the actionable point then: we discuss how to word inclusion of informal groups if we want that.

As far as I understand, member aspire to use only free software in their work. That’s it. For an example of people doing this for years successfully, see https://www.webarchitects.coop/floss.

Sounds fine. I think “users” covers all people though.

CPP Task: Add public contact point under Transparency and Fairness
CPP Task: Find a sensible alternative to invite reviewing applications - On-boarding process

Indeed, we insist on “free software” because we agree it’s important to make a point in supporting software freedom, and not just the practicality of open-source. Stating “free software” explicitly places us in the domain of the Commons. We’re looking for social transformation, and understanding the ethical dimension as part of the technical roots reflects our values. This has nothing to do with “purity”, where one should use free software exclusively: we know it’s impossible, but that does not mean we don’t want to see proprietary software and the practices that come with it gone, that were embraced by the open-source world, especially extracting value from, and capturing community value.

I think that if you run free software in production, sooner or later you will stumble across a problem you cannot solve on your own, and then reach out to that software’s community. By doing so, you’re already contributing to help other people solve a similar issue by providing good feedback, bug reports, a bit of documentation, etc. Using free software properly means that when you hit an issue, you solve it using community knowledge: sooner or later, as your experience grows, you will contribute something that is not there yet. It’s more a state of mind than a hassle, IMO.

Sure, and that’s a valid concern. When you do not have a choice, why making it a problem? Let’s consider a typical datacenter: it runs routers, disk managers, and all kinds of appliances beyond our control. But let’s say GreenHost develops an open hardware solution to replace a proprietary solution by the fearsome Cheezco: we would certainly prefer such a solution, and put more effort in testing and documenting it, than say, document AWS setups. Again, it’s a question of steering our efforts towards what we want to achieve, and not be a sect of black&white zealots. We know the world is complex, don’t you?

We have nothing against hobbyists and informal collectives.

Proposal: Librehosters can be non-profits, collectives, individuals, businesses, collectives or other legal forms. The updated proposal is now in post #20 CPP: Commitments, Policies and Processes

Putting ‘collectives’ away from ‘or other legal forms’ makes it clearer that we include informal collectives to inform the network. An individual is hardly a legal form itself. Moreover ‘businesses and other legal forms’ confirms that ‘businesses’ is the associated keyword here.

I think this is a larger discussion we should have with more people. So we should open a specific #proposal for this and link that topic.

Working list of CPP points to be addressed:

  • Write a “what is it for” statement to be explicit?
  • More clearly allow for those who only host but cannot take time to contribute to ecosystems but still are valuable members of the network (“Librehosters contribute to the free software ecosystems, communities and projects used.”)?
  • we discuss how to word inclusion of informal groups if we want that.
  • Librehosters provide an accessible clear point of contact for users and foreigners.
  • “values overidde rules” was suggested as a nice way to express that these rules are not dogmatically followed to the letter in all instances all the time forever with no exception always.

Taken from CPP: Commitments, Policies and Processes.

Is the proposal above working for you?

Could even be: Librehosters can be individuals, collectives, non-profits, businesses or other legal forms.

Would be nice to have co-operatives on this list :slight_smile:.

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What about : Librehosters can be individuals and informal collectives, non-profits, co-operatives, businesses or other legal forms.


i know people have been thinking/working on/for libreho.st and CPP for months/years, but to move forward i have a small proposal…:
my opinion about it, is that this is a “mature” text that could finalize. and the “in progress” topics can be discussed in future meetings, and added/edited onwards.
chatons text has some similar problematics raised here as well, but it’s online as is…
any disagreements, adjustments, re-positions, etc, can be edited, PR’ed in the future, after proper discussion-evaluation. what i’m saying is that there’s no need to have a pure 100% perfect text to publish…
just 2c, so that this may proceed, and keep it a continuous process for discussion/adjustments…

– minor remarks –

this spamassassin thing, (along with possible use of RBLs, anti-webbots, etc) should be somewhat stated clearly for librehosts, but not being english native, i’ll leave someone else to propose a “formal” way of stating it…
something in the context of “librehosters may use foss anti-malware (to fight spam & other malicious activity) that need access to parts of network traffic in order to work properly”.
not sure if this has to be stated in each librehost, but i think this CPP could be used a central point for @ll to use. (and a way to “promote” libreho.st at our own web.)
also, there’s stats/analytics that usually for-profit coops/businesses use. that’s another thing, even with Matomo used…

encryption part (about EVs) was clear after @how’s response, +1 there.

about the free software part, i’m mostly in favour of an ethical change at some point, and i would agree with one here as well, but this is just personal…
i got into foss by reading “free software for a free society” but this is no longer the case… same people who stood by that in the past, are now GAFAMI employees, selling foss for “defense” contracts, no matter the cost (= killings, discriminations, leading the way to a dystopic-caged society…).

anyway, sorry for this last rant, it’s just that i’m fighting with myself a lot on this topic lately. :slight_smile:

I wanted to add something about the legal status. In different countries it works a bit different, which might limit people from being involved at LH. For example in Albania where we are established at the moment, having a collective is not known as a legal entity, which brings some issues in terms of managing the legal entity whenever money are involved. Some examples are third party costs (buying hardware, paying for internet connection etc), having a place to work together, invoices etc.
The closest thing would be an association or an NGO, which is really hard to manage in terms of paperwork involved. So, in our case we choose to be established as a company, but this really does not reflect how we run things, which is the definition of a collective. Just wanted to clarify this, because this might be the situation with other entities that want to join LH as well.


Following the organisation of Libre hosters conf 2020 I would like to propose a date for the finalization of the text, at least for the first version. I would propose to gather feedback until August 30th 2020, review the feedback until Sept 7th and finalise everything until Sept 15th 2020. What do you thing?



@xinomilo and others, do you think finalizing the first version of the text can be done in the next 10 days? I saying this because it might be a blocker for Libre Hosters Festival among other things.


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I propose to use the term free and open source software in the text.

The term “free software” was unanimously accepted during the founding meeting as a statement in support of the political engagement of/for free software in comparison with the sweetened “open source” version, or any of its avatars: FOSS, FLOSS, etc. Les Petites Singularités are opposed to changing it to anything that removes the political intention of the network.

We should be talking about minor changes to the text (see #todo), not destroying its original intention or removing any of its radicalism. I am very surprised of this proposal coming from you @nino since I (think I) know your political engagement otherwise.