Proposal: Revision of policy surrounding 3rd party and non-free software

Josh Boyer jwboyer at
Tue Jan 21 17:56:37 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 12:30 PM, Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger at> wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 09:52:04AM -0500, Christian Schaller wrote:

>> So to summarize the proposal.
>> * Fedora will continue to not ship non-free software and as part of that will continue to only default to free software.
>> * We will add the needed metadata to the Software installer to give our users the freedom to choose to install legally cleared 3rd party software
>> * The Working groups will have the ability to work with legal council and technical teams to achieve this goal
> Talking with jwb on IRC, it seems that the intention of this is not to
> overrule FESCo but to get a Board change of policy on libre software.

Um... that's oddly worded and not what I thought the result of our
conversation was.  I'm honestly not even sure what you mean by "change
of policy on libre software."  I don't think anyone is looking to
somehow exclude libre software or promote non-free software over libre

> Taking that as a basis to start this conversation, most of this policy
> should go to FESCo to decide as it came up just a few months ago and
> resulted in this FESCo policy:

Yeah, that was the result of Christian making this this request to
FESCo.  So I'm confused why you think it should go _back_ to FESCo,
when FESCo clearly said non-libre software repositories were something
that would need to be discussed by the Board.

> The Policy covers most of the same things that are covered in the FESCo
> policy.  There is one part of this proposal that does need a Board decision,
> however.  That's mentioned in the non-free repositories section of the
> Current FESCo policy:
> == Repositories with non-free (libre) software ==
>  Repositories that contain non-free software are not allowed in any form as
>  they are contrary to the aims of Fedora. If a product should want to make
>  these repositories discoverable it would require a change in policy from
>  the Fedora Board. Please be sure that FESCo is included on any such request
>  to the Board.
> In FESCo's meeting where we discussed this[1]_, we decided that the Board's
> previously established position(s) of Fedora's relationship to Free Software
> would conflict with our making it easy to search for non-free software.
> Therefore we would need the Board to change that relationship before we
> could consider policy allowing non-libre repositories.
> At minimum, we'd probbaly need the Board to simply say that it was okay for
> us to allow searching and pointing to non-free software in the same manner
> as we allow for COPR repos (see the existing FESCo policy for the details).

As I understand things, this is all that is being requested.  I'm sure
Christian will correct me if I've misunderstood.


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