Request for Comments: Fedora Project Contributor Agreement Draft (Replacement for Fedora Individual Contributor License Agreement)

Tom "spot" Callaway tcallawa at
Thu Apr 22 13:25:30 UTC 2010

On 04/22/2010 01:45 AM, Sir Gallantmon (ニール・ゴンパ) wrote:
> But it should be explicitly stated anyway. Legalese isn't English.
> Note: IANAL

Well, there is nothing in the FPCA that says we will accept or use your
contribution, even if it is acceptably licensed. :)

I'm not sure there is a lot of merit in writing out all of the possible
permutations of what consists of a contribution that Fedora will accept,
outside of licensing.

For example, stating "no binaries", wouldn't be true, as we might have a
situation where we would have a bootstrapped binary contributed along
with the source, but for bootstrapping reasons, needs to be included as
a starter.

Stating "no binaries without matching source" wouldn't be true either,
as content isn't always required to have matching source (what is the
"source" for a PNG file?).

This road leads to pages and pages of conditionals and cases, which are
inevitably going to be incomplete, and to which we will need to make
revisions overtime, and everytime we make a revision here, we'll have to
open a new discussion period on a new draft which has to clear through
Red Hat Legal, and then we have to revoke the old FPCA for everyone and
have everyone sign the new one. We're desperately trying to avoid that
by keeping it as simple and direct as possible.

We already have separate guidelines which we enforce independent of the
FPCA that say:

"All software in Fedora must be under licenses in the  Fedora licensing
list." (


"All program binaries and program libraries included in Fedora packages
must be built from the source code that is included in the source
package." (... and several notable paragraphs documenting exceptions there)

These guidelines are much easier for us to change in the format that
they exist in today.

When the FPCA is boiled down, it amounts to this:

You, the individual agreeing to the FPCA is promising Fedora (and Red
Hat) that:

* If you aren't the copyright holder for a work that you are submitting
to Fedora as a contribution, that you have received appropriate
permission from the copyright holder(s) of that work to submit it to
Fedora (and if that work is under a Fedora acceptable license, that
counts as appropriate permission.) [Clause 1]

* If you are the copyright holder for a work that you are submitting to
Fedora as a contribution, but you have not put a license on it, you are
agreeing to let Fedora use it under specific, defined Fedora Acceptable
licenses (MIT if it is code, CC-BY-SA with section 4d waived if it is
content) [Clause 3]

* You agree to give Fedora the right to change the default licenses for
unlicensed contributions, from the list of Fedora Acceptable licenses,
and have that new license also apply to your contributions.
[Clause 3]

The Fedora Project is promising to You (and everyone) that:

* If a contribution comes to us under a Fedora acceptable license, and
we decide to accept it, we will use it under the terms of that license.
[Clause 2]

And to be honest, we really didn't want to overreach with the FPCA.
Thats all we really felt that we needed to have you explicitly agree to.


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