Zimbra Leverages Red Hat Exchange to Navigate License Issue

July 24, 2008

by RHX Team

Red Hat Exchange (RHX) has been working with its partners to extend the enterprise open source community by bringing more of our partners’ software into Fedora and EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux). Zimbra has long seen the value of making its software easily accessible by the large community of Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux users, so it recently leveraged RHX to help get useful community feedback on a license issue.

Earlier this month, Zimbra announced on its forums that in collaboration with Red Hat and the Fedora community, it made a change to the Yahoo! Public License (YPL) Version 1.0 in order to meet Fedora licensing requirements. Red Hat Exchange was an integral part in helping Zimbra advance this initiative.

Here’s the background: To be included in Fedora, software must either have a license certified by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) (http://www.opensource.org/licenses), or terms that meet the open source definition as outlined by the OSI (http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd). Zimbra is licensed under the YPL which has not yet been submitted for OSI approval.

The Red Hat Exchange team requested that Fedora review the YPL as part of its efforts to assist Zimbra with contributing to Fedora. Fedora reviewed the license and was concerned that the termination provisions of the YPL could be read to limit licensees’ rights in such a way that would make the YPL not a true open source license.

The RHX team helped facilitate a discussion between Zimbra/Yahoo! and the Red Hat and Fedora teams. The resulting feedback helped produce a minor change in the wording of the license which was acceptable to Fedora.

We are glad we could help great minds collaborate to produce a good outcome for the open source community, and potentially make Zimbra Collaboration Suite and Zimbra Desktop more available for Fedora, Red Hat and RHX users in the future. Interested in helping Zimbra package their software in RPMs? Email us at rhx-info@redhat.com or sign up for the ISV special interest group list at Fedora and let us know!

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