Package Maintainers Flags policy
Tom "spot" Callaway
tcallawa at redhat.com
Mon May 18 17:17:23 UTC 2009
On 05/18/2009 11:53 AM, Andrea Musuruane wrote:
> May I kindly ask what is the reason behind this decision? Or, even
> better, can someone update the above wiki page explaining the reason?
As the person who drafted the flags policy, let me try to explain the
In January, Roozbeh Pournader posted to fedora-legal-list where he said
I recently found that Deluge is using country flags to indicate the
location of bittorrent peers. Flags are cute and nice of course (and a
mental exercise), but are geopolitical hot spots.
Upstream didn't like the concern, calling some people (including me?)
"crazy ideologists". But the Fedora maintainer (Peter Gordon) fixed
the bug in Rawhide (but we're still shipping flags in F9 and F10):
But this is not why I'm writing. I'm writing because during the
report, I found that we really don't have any official policy on
flags. All I found in the wiki was what I had written myself a while
ago, here, which is just based on my own experience as an i18n guy:
But we really need a policy. And I thought this list is the best forum
to get it into shape. The history is like this: With RHL 8.0, Red Hat
decided to remove the Taiwan/Republic of China flag from KDE because
of sensitivities/legal requirements of mainland/People's Rebublic of
China. That created some public unease, including people stopping to
use RHL because of that. Red Hat went a bit further of course, and
removed all national flags in a later version.
He raised some specific concerns, it is worth reading his original email:
At the time, the only policy in place was the informal, unwritten, no
flags policy that we inherited from Red Hat Linux. I consulted with Red
Hat Legal to codify that into a more formal policy for Fedora to use.
Red Hat Legal felt that there was minimal legal risk to including flags,
although, by having them, it may prevent Fedora from being
available/acceptable in some countries (China being a notable example).
Based on his original request (and his repeated reminders), I drafted
this policy and submitted it to FESCo for review. I did not tell FESCo
that they had to pass this for legal reasons (those sorts of things I'm
empowered to simply implement), nor did Red Hat require this. If FESCo
decides that they are not concerned about the possible geopolitical
controversy or possible international restrictions, there's no skin off
my back. I just drafted it upon the request of Fedora Community members.
Tom "spot" Callaway, Fedora Legal
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