[Fedora-legal-list] The Iran Question

Roozbeh Pournader roozbeh at gmail.com
Fri Feb 20 19:30:35 UTC 2009

On 18 Feb 2009,  wrote:
> We have a contributor from Iran.

This is no news. Fedora has had quite a few contributors from Iran
before. We have had Iranian package maintainers, bug reporters, code
contributors, translators, ambassadors, etc already. They have been
Iranian citizens, some living in (and contributing from) Iran, some
living in the west (Canada, US, etc).

> It is obvious to me that we can not directly provide him support [...]

What makes it obvious? Are you thinking of any specific law? There are
various United States laws restricting some kinds of business with
"foreigners", but all of them detailed exceptions for this and that.

> The first question in my mind is: what type of liability exists for us
> to have 'members' of Fedora in such countries.

I don't think we need to be extra careful with contributors from Iran,
or any other countries, unless we talk about specific laws. Please
don't let the media carry you away.

Lots of Iran-related stuff I've encountered in the free software world
are just based on FUD. So unless there is a specific law mentioned,
one shouldn't don't worry.

> The example I am
> thinking of is if he as an individual downloads Fedora isos and
> distributes them at an event in Iran, is there risk to us because he
> is a member of the Fedora Project.

That has already happened before quite a few times. I have personally
downloaded such ISOs, burnt them to CDs, and distributed them in
events in Iran when I lived there. I was an Iranian living in Iran,
and the Iranian laws did not forbid me or my sponsors to do that, as
far as I could tell (and we had lawyers look into it too).

> Perhaps a better question is: What is he forbidden from doing.

Whatever the Iranian laws forbids him to do. He is under Iranian
jurisdiction. Tell him to talk to an Iranian lawyer. That's what I

One of the "Iranians" >:)

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