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Re: permission to use spec files in other projects (Was Re: clamav)

On Wed, 26 Sep 2007 10:05:44 -0400 (EDT)
Max Spevack <mspevack redhat com> wrote:

> On Wed, 26 Sep 2007, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> > On 25.09.2007 22:59, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> >> On Sat, 2007-09-22 at 13:00 +0200, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> >>
> >>> @FESCo,@Board, you have the power to do that -- are you willing to do
> >>> something like that? Currently it's a bit a grey area IMHO and that
> >>> sucks. tia!
> >>
> >> The CLA covers this:
> >>
> >> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal/Licenses/CLA
> >>
> >> "2. Contributor Grant of License. You hereby grant to Red Hat, Inc., on
> >> behalf of the Project, and to recipients of software distributed by the
> >> Project:
> >>       * (a) a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide, fully paid-up,
> >>         royalty free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce,
> >>         prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform,
> >>         sublicense, and distribute your Contribution and such derivative
> >>         works; and,
> >>       * (b) a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide, fully paid-up,
> >>         royalty free, irrevocable (subject to Section 3) patent license
> >>         to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and
> >>         otherwise transfer your Contribution and derivative works
> >>         thereof, where such license applies only to those patent claims
> >>         licensable by you that are necessarily infringed by your
> >>         Contribution alone or by combination of your Contribution with
> >>         the work to which you submitted the Contribution. Except for the
> >>         license granted in this section, you reserve all right, title
> >>         and interest in and to your Contributions."
> >>
> >> Short answer: All Fedora spec files get these rights. Anyone downloading
> >> them gets them too.
> >
> > And the latter is not obvious to anyone downloading the software. He
> > often will not even be aware of a "Contributor Grant of License" that
> > contributors make with the software provider, as he just wants to use
> > the software and don't contribute to it.
> >
> > It's like a contract that one makes with the author of software "foo"
> > that states that all contributions to foo are Free Software. But then
> > foo get shipped without any license and the users of foo cannot be sure
> > if it's free software (thus it would be unshippable in Fedora!).
> >
> > Further: As IANAL I read stuff like "a perpetual, non-exclusive,
> > worldwide, fully paid-up [...] sublicense, and distribute your
> > Contribution and such derivative works [...]" and wonder "that gives RH
> > a lot of rights -- even to distribute it as non-free software" (afaics
> > an IANAL). So who says it's free software if I just download a SPEC file
> > from CVS or a SRPM from the web?
> >
> > IOW: We should obey our own guidelines that at
> > http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging/ReviewGuidelines
> > say: "If the source package does not include license text(s) as a
> > separate file from upstream, the packager SHOULD query upstream to
> > include it." I think we don't need to include it in the spec files, but
> > clarifying it is IMHO really needed and not a big deal.
> >
> > So could the Board please put it on its agenda?
> What is the decision that you are looking for here, Thorsten?  A 
> statement that the Fedora spec files are just as redistributable as all 
> the rest of our source code (ie: that the spec files are GPL'd just like 
> the source?)
> I must confess I don't really understand the fundamental question of 
> this thread.  It would never even OCCUR to me to think that our spec 
> files aren't as Free as everything else.
> But if you can help me understand what you want, I will try to make that 
> thing happen.

A declaration of what license (if any) the spec files are under
globally.  Spot is right in that they are covered by the CLA, but I
don't consider that to be straight forward for people consuming
downstream. It's also complicated by the fact that nothing disallows
people from adding their own license to the spec file.

The end goal is simply to allow others to take the Fedora spec files
and use them in other projects.


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