While checking the contents of our `perl' package, I noticed the following:
/* NOTE: this is derived from Henry Spencer's regexp code, and should not
* confused with the original package (see point 3 below). Thanks, Henry!
/* Additional note: this code is very heavily munged from Henry's version
* in places. In some spots I've traded clarity for efficiency, so don't
* blame Henry for some of the lack of readability.
/* The names of the functions have been changed from regcomp and
* regexec to pregcomp and pregexec in order to avoid conflicts
* with the POSIX routines of the same names.
* pregcomp and pregexec -- regsub and regerror are not used in perl
* Copyright (c) 1986 by University of Toronto.
* Written by Henry Spencer. Not derived from licensed software.
* Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any
* purpose on any computer system, and to redistribute it freely,
* subject to the following restrictions:
* 1. The author is not responsible for the consequences of use of
* this software, no matter how awful, even if they arise
* from defects in it.
* 2. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented, either
* by explicit claim or by omission.
* 3. Altered versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not
* be misrepresented as being the original software.
**** Alterations to Henry's code are...
**** Copyright (C) 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999,
**** 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
**** by Larry Wall and others
**** You may distribute under the terms of either the GNU General Public
**** License or the Artistic License, as specified in the README file.
You can see the whole file here:
I looked but couldn't find any common name for this license
of Henry's. Is it on our list? Is it free? What name should
I use in the License tag?
The licensing wiki says that the IEEE license is a “good” documentation
license. However, with the 2017 release, IEEE switched to this license:
| The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and The Open Group,
| have given us permission to reprint portions of their documentation.
| In the following statement, the phrase ``this text'' refers to portions of
| the system documentation.
| Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form in
| the Linux man-pages project, from IEEE Std 1003.1-2017, Standard for
| Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The
| Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, 2018 Edition, Copyright (C) 2018
| by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open
| Group. In the event of any discrepancy between these versions and the
| original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open
| Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be
| obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .
| This notice shall appear on any product containing this material.
This license no longer permits modified redistribution, as far as I can
see. Is this still an acceptable documentation license as far as Fedora
I'm bringing back a discussion from 2012: Figlet fonts!
Indeed, I am trying to package python-pyfiglet as a dependency for other
packages. But, after the review, it came up that a lot of weird fonts were
included. At the time, I didn't know anything about the discussion, and
to abort everything.
Recently though, a developer contacted me through the bug report, and
to help on the issue. He triaged the fonts and separated them depending on
whether they were Open-Source or not, and we were thus able to create a
package with none of the problematic fonts in it.
In that discussion, emerged the fact that a discussion over this already
happened (), but it seems that either no consensus was reached, or
consensus was lost to time as I wasn't able to find any conversation on
either on legal or devel mailing lists archives. And, it seems that the
was just simply avoided since figlet ended up removing the problematic fonts
But, upstream would like to keep the problematic fonts if possible in
And so, I would like to ask Legal to either give me the answer, if it
was a settled matter, or to reach a consensus on Figlet fonts.
To resume the situation (as I understand it, I am not a lawyer, obviously):
In the US, fonts glyphs are not copyright-able as it is considered
insufficiently creative. For the same reason, Bitmap fonts (fonts
by pixel) are also not copyright-able, as they are only considered as
represents glyphs. But, Vector fonts (fonts defined using drawing
and code), is, on the other hand, copyright-able because it is defined
Then, we come to Figlet fonts. For those not aware of what Figlet fonts,
are also known as ASCII fonts:
__ __ ____ __ ____
/ / / /__ / / /___ / / ___ ____ _____ _/ / /
/ /_/ / _ \/ / / __ \ / / / _ \/ __ `/ __ `/ / /
/ __ / __/ / / /_/ / / /___/ __/ /_/ / /_/ / /_/
/_/ /_/\___/_/_/\____( ) /_____/\___/\__, /\__,_/_(_)
The issue with those is that no ruling (as far as I know) ever concerned
type of font in US Court. Though, one argument would be that Figlet
similar to Bitmap fonts, as they only contain data about glyphs, and do
the same way as Vector fonts do, contain code giving to the computer drawing
instructions for the fonts. As such Figlet fonts are not modular, or
they just contain raw data about a font.
But still, all this is speculation, and, as I said, I am not a lawyer, so I
don't have any slight idea if such a defense would hold in court.
I hope to have resumed the situation clearly enough and that I didn't
PS: Can we remove the FE-legal blocker from the review request now that
fonts have been sorted out?
As part of some ongoing efforts to improve information relating to
Fedora licensing and licensing policy, we want to provide better
documentation around the various license approval categories for
Fedora, as currently set forth here:
but which probably will live in the future on docs.fedoraproject.org.
Here's a rough draft which I wanted to publish here for review.
Side note: This preserves Tom Callaway's historical usage of "good" to
mean "Fedora-approved", but I have mixed feelings about this
1. Licenses for Code
“Code” means software code, any other functional material whose
principal purpose is to control or facilitate the building of
packages, such as an RPM spec file, and other kinds of material that
the Fedora Council has classified as "code" rather than "content", but
does not include font files.
[Comment: This annoyingly and confusingly does not line up with
definitions in the FPCA, but Fedora should get rid of the FPCA anyway]
A license for code is “good” if the Fedora Project determines that the
license is a free/libre//open source license.
[Not sure if it's helpful to add the following:]
In making this determination, Fedora historically relied primarily on
the Free Software Definition as maintained and interpreted by the Free
Software Foundation, but out of necessity Fedora passed judgment on
many licenses never addressed by the FSF and, in the process, built up
an informal body of interpretation and policymaking (admittedly,
mostly undocumented) that went far beyond what the FSF had done.
Fedora has also sometimes considered the decisions of other community
Linux distributions and other important efforts to define and apply
FLOSS norms, most notably the OSI’s Open Source Definition. In a small
number of cases, Fedora has disagreed with decisions of the FSF and
OSI regarding whether particular licenses are FLOSS.
2. Licenses for Documentation
Any license that is good for code is also good for documentation.
In addition, Fedora may designate a license as good for documentation
if (a) the license meets the standards for good licenses for code, (b)
the license is designed primarily for technical documentation or
otherwise has a history of substantial use in free software
communities for documentation, and (c) the license is not commonly or
normally used for code.
[Comment: this feels unsatisfactory to me, for multiple reasons, but I
think it does accurately represent the historical Fedora policy.]
3. Licenses for Content
“Content” means any material that is not code, documentation, fonts or
Any license that is good for code is also good for content.
In addition, Fedora may designate a license as good for content if it
restricts or prohibits modification but otherwise meets the standards
for good licenses for code.
4. Licenses for Fonts
Any license that is good for code is also good for fonts.
In addition, Fedora may designate a license as good for fonts if it
contains a nominal prohibition on resale or distribution in isolation
but otherwise meets the standards for good licenses for code.
5. Licenses for Binary Firmware
Some applications, drivers, and hardware require binary-only firmware
to boot Fedora or function properly. Fedora permits inclusion of these
files if they meet certain requirements [currently set forth at:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:Main#Binary_Firmware but the
non-license part of this needs to move somewhere else ].
Any license that is good for code is also good for binary firmware.
In addition, Fedora may designate a particular firmware license as
good for firmware if the terms in the license that would not be
acceptable in a good code license are limited to the following:
* Requirements that the firmware be redistributed only as incorporated
in the redistributor's product (or as a maintenance update for
existing end users of the redistributor's product), possibly limited
further to those products of the redistributor that support or contain
the hardware associated with the licensed firmware
* Requirements that the redistributor to pass on or impose conditions
on users that are no more restrictive than those authorized by Fedora
itself with respect to firmware licenses
* Prohibitions on modification, reverse engineering, disassembly or
* Requirements that use be in conjunction with the hardware associated
with the firmware license
I recently started to host my own container registry via GitLab. I use it to
build container images for my own use (bundling mostly CLI tools at the moment)
and would like to publish them, too, so others may use them as well.
Now since I use Fedora Linux on all of my systems, I would also like to use it as
a base for the containers where necessary (I.e. where alpine Linux doesn't work).
Now I'm wondering if there are any restrictions that I should be aware of with
regard to the publishing of these images. That is mostly because I have hardly
ever seen any container on e.g. the docker Hub that's based on Fedora.
I do not use the Fedora trademark, I don't advertise that the containers are
built on top of a Fedora base container, I never mention the word Fedora in any
of the docs associated with the containers. The only relation between these
containers and the Fedora project is the line `FROM
registry.fedoraproject.org/fedora:36` at the beginning of my Containerfiles.
Is this acceptable, or does that already mean that I mustn't publish these
In case I am allowed to publish such container images: Are there any packages
that need to be removed from the containers? I know that Fedora Remixes mustn't
use the official Fedora logo RPMs but supply their own instead. Are these part of
the containers and hence need I remove them?
Finally, again in case I am allowed to publish such container images in the first
place, which applications am I allowed to bundle with the containers? I am aware
that Fedora has adopted e.g. the "3rd-party repositories" in Gnome Software,
which give filtered access to flathub applications, due to legal reasons. I would
*assume* that it's okay to publish e.g. GPL-licensed software along with a Fedora
container. What about other licenses such as MIT?
Sorry for the lengthy mail, but I haven't been involved much with legal matters
regarding software in my life before. I just want to make sure I'm legally
allowed to do what I want to, *before* I get into trouble for infringing
trademarks/licenses or anything. I have already searched the web and the archives
of this mailing list, but that didn't produce any results.
Thank you in advance!
Hi Fedora legal and packaging,
I'm cross-posting this, as I think it's relevant to both groups.
The current policy for filling out the license field of the spec file
(as described at
) states, "The License: field refers to the licenses of the contents of
the binary rpm. When in doubt, ask."
As we consider how to improve documentation related to Fedora licensing,
it would be helpful to hear people's thoughts on the following:
1) how do you (package maintainers) interpret this policy in practice?
2) what further information/documentation about this policy would be
3) should this policy be different, and if so, how?
4) any other related thoughts or observations
I took the initiative and drafted
I did **not** set it as ready for wrangler yet. I welcome comments. And feel free to edit it directly. Especially these
who I put there as proposal owners.
I would love to track all remaining work in the Scope section, so we know what needs to be done and who is responsible.
I am sure I missed something there. Feel free to add it.