Legality of Fedora in production environment

Ralf Corsepius rc040203 at
Sun May 13 05:54:58 UTC 2007

On Fri, 2007-05-11 at 13:16 -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-05-11 at 18:43 +0200, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> > On Fri, 2007-05-11 at 10:08 -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> > > On Fri, 2007-05-11 at 18:58 +0400, Dmitry Butskoy wrote:
> > > > Josh Boyer wrote:
> > > > > The Fedora wiki pages link to a list of all approved licenses for
> > > > > packages.  You could systematically go through and print off each of
> > > > > these.
> > 
> > > > But it is more hard for individual user to print, translate and certify.
> > > 
> > > I always forget about translating.  I blame it on me being a stupid US
> > > born citizen.
> > While we're at it: Does Fedora have a rule on a license language?
> Not that I know of.
> > Or conversely: Which languages does Fedora accept as valid wrt.
> > Licenses?
> I actually think this depends on the license itself.  E.g. you cannot
> use a translated copy of the GPL unless it has been certified by the
> FSF, so by default only the original English version is valid.
> > As RH is located in the USA, I'd presume Fedora to be subject to "US
> > courts" in case of "legal matters" and as such I'd presume US laws would
> > prescribe "English" (and may-be Spanish - I don't know)?
> English when it comes to "legal matters" in the US.
So English is mandated on "legal matters" in the USA, but it's legal to
ship products from inside of the USA (such as Fedora) with licenses in
"foreign languages/scripts"?

> > Background: We have precedences of "Japanese-only licenses" in Fedora
> > packages.
> I don't see a problem with those per-se.
Well, this might not be much of a problem if things go to court, because
you'll probably need an official translation to a "legally valid
language" and because such court will not necessarily be located inside
of the USA.

But, how do you expect "arbitrary users" to be able to apply such
licenses? You can't seriously expect any arbitrary user to speak any
arbitrary language or read any arbitrary script.

Consider the "Russian case" having popped up in recent days on
fedora-devel. There a user claimed having to "show all licenses of SW
being used in a production environment to the police". While he probably
is able to translate "English", further languages would raise an
additional level of complications.


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