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Re: Licensing directions for Fedora content



On Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 02:23:25PM -0400, Tom spot Callaway wrote:
> On 04/06/2009 02:21 PM, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> > My understanding is that, CLA does not make Red Hat, a additional
> > copyright holder but only allows Red Hat the right to use the content.
> > Also Red Hat's content for RHEL doesn't use OPL with the restrictions as
> > it used to before. Can spot go through this FAQ and make it up2date?
> > 
> > If we decide to relicense the wiki/published content under CC share
> > alike license, do we have to ask again all our contributors? My
> > understanding is, yes since CLA doesn't assign copyright to Red Hat as
> > the blog post claims.
> 
> So, in reply:
> 
> * The CLA does not make Red Hat a copyright holder, unless the
> contributor explicitly assigns their copyright to Red Hat.
> * The CLA does give us the right to relicense any contributions that
> Fedora receives without an explicit license assignment from the upstream
> author. (It is likely that this will not be the case in future CLA
> revisions, as it also means that Fedora could relicense these
> contributions under non-free licensing terms, even though that is not
> our intent and we have never done so).
> Basically, what that means is that if someone committed changes to
> documentation without explicitly stating that those changes were under
> the OPL, we could relicense those changes without their permission. I
> suspect that very few (if any) Fedora Docs contributions came in with a
> license attached.

I've tended to watch the commits for the last several years.  The only
thing I've seen falling into the category of explicitly licensed files
are the included files containing the license itself, simply to be in
agreement with policy.

We have moved licenses before, from FDL to OPL, and it involved a huge
amount of effort to track down all the contributors for sign-off.  I
would encourage a CLA that still allowed Red Hat, on behalf of the
Fedora Project, to relicense contributions in a way that imposes no
additional terms on the recipient.  (I.e. you can get less
restrictive, not more restrictive.)  However, I suspect that's a
really difficult target to hit in legalese.

The CC-BY-SA license has changed over time, so we *should* indicate a
specific version, I believe.  I'd be completely in favor of moving to
CC-BY-SA if our worries about it no longer apply.

We should not make this effort without communicating with our
compatriots in Red Hat Documentation.  They moved to the OPL to match
our requirements so it would only be fair to coordinate with them.

-- 
Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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