Richard Fontana | 20 May 16:04 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] Earliest use of Fedora CLA


Does anyone happen to know when precisely the old Fedora CLA (not the
current FPCA) began to be used? The presumably ancestral Apache
Software Foundation Individual CLA was adopted by the ASF on
2004-06-23, which was in between the release of Fedora Core 2 and
Fedora Core 3.

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Adam Jackson | 17 May 21:44 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] Licensing of code derived from Apache 2.0 data

Consider an API whose normative specification is maintained in an XML
file describing enum values, entrypoints, etc. The XML file is covered
under Apache 2.0. I write a python script to parse that XML and emit a
C header describing that API. What license options do I have for that

My amateur reading of Apache 2.0 Section 4 (Redistribution) is that I
can choose whatever I want for the generated header. The last paragraph
in particular:

> You may add Your own copyright statement to Your modifications and
> may provide additional or different license terms and conditions for
> use, reproduction, or distribution of Your modifications, or for any
> such Derivative Works as a whole, provided Your use, reproduction,
> and distribution of the Work otherwise complies with the conditions
> stated in this License. 

The header is the Derivative Work, and I need not distribute the source
XML at all. On the other hand, my amateur reading of the definition of
"Derivative Work" in Apache 2.0:

> "Derivative Works" shall mean any work, whether in Source or Object
> form, that is based on (or derived from) the Work and for which the
> editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other
> modifications represent, as a whole, an original work of authorship.
> For the purposes of this License, Derivative Works shall not include
> works that remain separable from, or merely link (or bind by name) to
> the interfaces of, the Work and Derivative Works thereof.

Suggests that such a header file would not count as a Derivative Work;
(Continue reading)

Adam Goode | 10 May 23:12 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] exfat not mentioned on Forbidden items wiki page


Is exfat forbidden? It is not listed at



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Tom Callaway | 3 May 20:55 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] Policy change on emulators

To the Fedora Community,

The Fedora policy on emulators has been in place for quite some time, it
is one of the first legal rules we put in place. Recently, we
reconsidered that rule and have amended our position (with discussion
from Red Hat Legal).

Previously, the guidelines forbid the majority of emulators from being
included in Fedora, but the new guidelines, while longer, are more

=== Emulators ===

Some emulators (applications which emulate another platform) are not
permitted for inclusion in Fedora. These rules will help you determine
whether an emulator is acceptable for Fedora.

* Emulators which depend on firmware or ROM files to function may not be
included in Fedora, unless the copyright holder(s) for the firmware/ROM
files give clear permission for the firmware/ROM files to be distributed
(either under a Fedora permissible license or under the Fedora firmware
exception criteria). Note: This only covers the situation where an
emulator will not run at all without firmware/ROM files. For example,
emulators that compile and run, but ship with no game ROMs are not
covered by this rule.

* Emulators must not ship with any ROM files (e.g. games) unless those
ROM files are available under a Fedora permissible license and have been
built from source code in the Fedora buildsystem.

* Emulators must not point to any third-party sites which provide
firmware or ROM files that are distributed without the clear and
explicit permission of their copyright holders.

* All other Fedora licensing and packaging rules apply to emulators.


The home for this policy is here:

This change is effective immediately and also applies to Copr.

If you have questions about this change, please feel free to email me
(either directly or on the devel/legal lists).



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Sérgio Basto | 16 Apr 20:56 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] pngquant dual-licensing note

pngquant was relicense under GPLv3 [1] but after a short time author
added an exception and make pngquant as dual-licensed the latest says:


pngquant is dual-licensed:

    GPL v3 or later, and additional copyright notice must be kept for older parts of the code. See
COPYRIGHT for details.

    For commercial/closed-source/AppStore distribution please ask kornel <at> for a license.

This is acceptable for include in Fedora ? 




Sérgio M. B.

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[Fedora-legal-list] possibly non-free bundled library (liberi) not caught in the review of openmx

while trying to rebuild packages dependent on my elpa package,
I noticed that openmx seems to be bundling a library called liberi,
which appears to be non-free. This was not caught during review [1].
I opened a new bug [2] and blocked it against FE-Legal.



RPMFusion | MPlayer
"Faith manages."
        -- Delenn to Lennier in Babylon 5:"Confessions and Lamentations"
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Michael Cronenworth | 14 Apr 23:22 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] Game emulators in Copr


Fedora guidelines prohibit[1] the inclusion of game system emulators since they all 
require proprietary, and copy protected, ROM files in order to be useful.

Those wishing to ship these programs for Fedora have placed them in RPMFusion.

Copr is starting to house[2] builds of game emulators. These builds will still 
require ROMs just as if they were in Fedora.

Copr guidelines[3] (item e) also prohibit anything that Fedora prohibits. However, 
Miroslav, via private mail, believes this emulator is not against Copr guidelines.

What say you, legal?


PS. I'm not "anti-game" - I love NES/SNES systems - however I believe in our 
guidelines and want to see them uniformly applied to Coprs. Coprs should NOT be a 
"safe" area to build packages. That's what RPMFusion is for.

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Florian Weimer | 7 Apr 12:44 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] TeX licensing

Richard's recent comments regarding the MMIX license (which is derived
from the licenses for other (C)WEB programs) reminded me of a different

tex.web says this (word-wrapped):

% This program is copyright (C) 1982 by D. E. Knuth; all rights are
% reserved.  Copying of this file is authorized only if (1) you are
% D. E. Knuth, or if (2) you make absolutely no changes to your
% copy. (The WEB system provides for alterations via an auxiliary
% file; the master file should stay intact.)  See Appendix H of the
% WEB manual for hints on how to install this program.  And see
% Appendix A of the TRIP manual for details about how to validate it.

Note that there is no permission to distribute or make derivative works.

There is something approaching a public domain dedication published here:


I do not know a more authoritative source for this statement.

In part it reads:

“My work on developing TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern has come to an
end. I will make no further changes except to correct extremely serious

“I have put these systems into the public domain so that people
everywhere can use the ideas freely if they wish. […]

“At the time of my death, it is my intention that the then-current
versions of TeX and METAFONT be forever left unchanged, except that the
final version numbers to be reported in the “banner” lines of the
programs should become [$\pi$ and $e$]. […]

“As stated on the copyright pages of Volumes B, D, and E, anybody can
make use of my programs in whatever way they wish, as long as they do
not use the names TeX, METAFONT, or Computer Modern. In particular, any
person or group who wants to produce a program superior to mine is free
to do so. However, nobody is allowed to call a system TeX or METAFONT
unless that system conforms 100% to my own programs, as I have specified
in the manuals for the TRIP and TRAP tests. […]”

I'm not sure if this can be considered a valid public domain dedication,
considering the “be forever left unchanged” part.

The situation is worse with pdfTeX.  It claims to be licensed under the
GPL, but it is derived from code whose license appears GPL-incompatible.
 See below for the pdfTeX license text (again word wrapping changed for
presentation purposes).

% pdfTeX is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
% under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
% the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
% (at your option) any later version.

% pdfTeX is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
% WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
% General Public License for more details.

% You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
% along with this program.  If not, see
% <>.

% e-TeX is copyright (C) 1999-2014 by P. Breitenlohner (1994,98 by the
% NTS team); all rights are reserved. Copying of this file is
% authorized only if (1) you are P. Breitenlohner, or if (2) you make
% absolutely no changes to your copy. (Programs such as TIE allow the
% application of several change files to tex.web; the master files
% tex.web and should stay intact.)

% See etex_gen.tex for hints on how to install this program.
% And see etripman.tex for details about how to validate it.

% This program is directly derived from Donald E. Knuth's TeX;

I don't think we have public domain dedication for the e-TeX changes,
like the limited one I cited for TeX proper.

The WEB and CWEB systems allow patching of source files without changing
them.  As a result, the restriction on source file changes was not
considered particularly onerous at the time the DFSG was written.
However, I doubt it is compatible with the letter of the GPL.  In any
case, (C)WEB sources which carry this restriction usually lack explicit
permission to distribute and make derivative works.

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Yaakov Selkowitz | 25 Mar 18:12 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] MMIX

MMIX is the successor to Donald Knuth's MIX machine in later editions of 
The Art of Computer Programming.  The canonical software implementation 
is made available with the following license:

While the wording is different from the same author's license on TeX 
(approved as the "Knuth license"), the intent appears to be the same.

Is this acceptable for Fedora, and what name should be used?


Yaakov Selkowitz
Associate Software Engineer, ARM
Red Hat, Inc.
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Mattia Verga | 20 Mar 11:47 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] The limit of "free for non commercial use"

I have a doubt about the "free for non commercial use" license.
Let's say a software licensed under a Fedora good license uses data from a catalog (directly or indirectly -
e.g. to create a custom catalog format) that is licensed "free for non commercial use".

A good example for astronomy programs would be the NGC catalog from

or, in my actual case,

I'm now packaging "astrometry" for Fedora and I actually removed that catalog from sources.
What's the limit of the "free for non commercial use" statement? In this case can the catalog be maintained
in sources? If the software is under a free license there's no "commercial use" involved, in my opinion.


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Stuart Gathman | 16 Mar 14:46 2016

[Fedora-legal-list] Custom license for bencode.js

The cjdns package - 
- is GPLv3, with some stuff BSD, MIT, and ISC.  I delete GPLv2 and ASL 
2.0 stuff in %prep.

There is one file, bencode.js, with a custom license:

  /* Copyright (c) 2009 Anton Ekblad
          Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person 
obtaining a copy
     of this software and associated documentation files (the 
"Software"), to deal
     in the Software without restriction, including without limitation 
the rights
     to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, 
and/or sell
     copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
     furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
          The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be 
included in
     all copies or substantial portions of the Software. */

IANAL, but it seems like BSD to me. But I was advised to ask 
legal <at> when in doubt.
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