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Re: Licensing directions for Fedora content

On Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 05:47:00PM -0400, Paul W. Frields wrote:

> 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.

Yes, which was why we included getting everyone under the CLA so
Fedora could choose to move again.  I wish there were a way to do a
slick CLA like you describe.

Next best might be to track people more carefully via FAS, so we can
facilitate any relicensing in the future.  Being able to identify and
then get in contact with all the copyright holders last time was a big
part of the hassle.  If we have a FAS module that tracks the
individual commits in SCM and the wiki by contributors, we could
granularly know who did what in order to know who to ask for
copyright/licensing issues.

> 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.

Yes, let's hear from RHT Legal about that.

> 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.

This is a chicken-and-egg situation.  Fedora Docs switched to the OPL
because Red Hat was never going to release content under the GNU FDL.
We realized we could more easily be an upstream for Red Hat content if
we adopted the OPL in its free form.  That way Red Hat only had to
remove a few clauses rather than pick a new license.  So, originally,
it was Red Hat's preference for the OPL that started things off.

I also think we should consider dual-licensing over switching
entirely.  If anything, there is no advantage to a solid switch, while
dual-licensing gives us flexibility for existing situations, e.g. Red
Hat, CentOS, etc.  Also, I like the OPL and don't to disparage it in
the process of widening choices for our contributors and community.

- Karsten
Karsten 'quaid' Wade, Community Gardener

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