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Re: directions in Fedora desktop project
- From: Thilo Pfennig <email pfennigsolutions de>
- To: Discussions about development for the Fedora desktop <fedora-desktop-list redhat com>
- Subject: Re: directions in Fedora desktop project
- Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 17:17:35 +0100
Adam Jackson schrieb:
> Please read the CLA. Section 2, the Contributor Grant of License, is a
> grant to both Red Hat and to _every_ Fedora user. It states that you
I did exactly that, often.
"You hereby grant to Red Hat, Inc. .... 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, "
So in my words I would say I grant Red Hat an irrvocalbe copyright
license. Why all this CLA thingy? read the words of karsten Wade:
Why am I in favor of the CLA for all contributors (code and content)?
Because then we _never_have_to_do_this_again_. "
-- source: http://www.spinics.net/lists/fedora-docs/msg03640.html
What does that mean? The experience was that because there was no CLA
the users had full copyrights. Now if people contribute under CLA&OPL
Red Hat can relicense this stuff, because they not only have the content
licensed under OPL, but they also do have the full copy right. So they
can relicense under different free licenses or do what they want with it.
And about the OPL - The Wikipedia says:
"The OPL is now largely defunct, and its creator suggests that new
projects not use it. "
-- source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Publication_License
The OPL is the predecessor of the Creative Commons licenses and it is
not understandable why anyone chooses this licenses today if this means
making incompatibel content (neitehr GFDL nor CCL)
I understand that the CLA has no effect on what I can do with my
contributions, but it has a great effect on what others can do with my
works. Everybody can take the content in the wiki and use iot by that
license, but Fedora and Red Hat can take the content and make it
The thing is, that licenses always were there to clarify the
intellectual property. So I am asking me why the CLA states "In order to
clarify the intellectual property license granted with Contributions
from any person or entity, Red Hat, Inc. ("Red Hat"), as maintainer of
the Project, must have a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) on file
that has been signed by each Contributor, indicating agreement to the
license terms below."
If I publish a content under a specific license I exactly do this: I
clarify what right I do give to those who use my content. Why on earth
does Red Hat and Fedora are the only free software contributors who need
an additional agreement? Whats so special about Fedora that they add
something to the licenses?
I think that the OPL was chosen because it allows to extend the license
by adding options. Well, the CLA not really is an option as I would
understand it, but OTOH I think evry other license would have been made
clearly invalid, becausefree licenses often include statements like this:
"You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that alter or
restrict the terms of this License or the recipients' exercise of the
rights granted hereunder. You may not sublicense the Work"
-- source: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/legalcode (CC-BY-2.5)
"Any other attempt to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the
Document is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under
this License. "
-- source: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt (GFDL)
So this is very essential for most licenses other than the OPL: Do not
allow any further terms and restrictions. So for me it is abolutely
clear that Fedora does have a problem with those licenses that aim to
protect the rights of contributors solely with their terms in the way
that they make it impossible to add something like a CLA. Fedora thinks
that free licenses are not enough to give the community the rights they
need - or better the project the rights that it thinks it needs.
> It's really just a statement of good faith, written in the same
> reciprocal spirit as GPLv2, and it explicitly does not grant Red Hat any
> special exclusive powers. I appreciate your caution in legal matters,
> but you're attributing properties to the CLA that just aren't there.
We have free licenses that give us all the rights we need. The Wikipedia
works like that, also. There is no other reason for the CLA as to have
the possibility to impropriate the content of the contributors.
What then would you see is the main purpose of the CLA and why do you
think it is now not enough to publish my content under a free license?
What's next? The kernel developers sign a CLA to Linus Torvalds so he
can republish the kernel under whatever conditions he thinks are good?
Just think about what will happen if we see projects like GNOME, KDE,
Apache,.... doing the same and all under different conditions. This in
fact makes contributing a mess. If somebody says Fedora needs a CLA this
must eb true for every other major distribution or project. And I fear
that once this this starts and is not being stopped as a new fashion
things will get extremely weird.
So I would say in the sense that you wrote "I appreciate Fedoras caution
to legal matters, but I really think they have overdone it"
Fact is: I do not contribute any more and many people do not so, either.
Enforcing the CLA ment favouring legal concerns above user
contributions. And again: Why Fedora and no other project I know? (if
somebody can point me to others I like to look into their issues, too)
PfennigSolutions - Wiki-Systeme
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