fedora mission (was Re: systemd and changes)

Tom "spot" Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Wed Sep 1 22:11:30 UTC 2010

On 09/01/2010 05:55 PM, Till Maas wrote:
> Sorry, I was too imprecise. I meant that the "unlicensed" contributions
> can only be relicensed to another default license by the board. And if
> Red Hat is lost to some evil company, as far as I understand, the Fedora
> project might not have this power anymore, because of the power of Red
> Hat on the board. This might not have any significance in the future,
> e.g. it might not be needed to change the default license, but in case
> it is, this might be a problem. But in the past the similiar condition
> in the CLA was used to change the license of the contents in the wiki
> from something else to a creative commons license. So at least this
> power was needed in the past. Sorry again, I did not mean to imply that
> the FPCA can be used to overwrite the license of contributions under a
> specific license and I really like the new FPCA.

Well, I think that if "Red Hat is lost to some evil company", there are
bigger problems than said evil company replacing the FPL with an evil
puppet, then forcing the board to approve a new (and evil) default
license for unlicensed contribution, then applying the new (and evil)
default license to all unlicensed contributions. ;)

However, to play this out, copies of those unlicensed files would not be
copyright of either Red Hat or the Evil Company, the authors of those
works would still retain copyright, and could simply make the files
available under a non-evil license, so even if the evil company tried to
work the system, those authors could simply circumvent them.

Note: This is one of the many reasons why copyright assignment CLAs are
a BAD BAD idea.

In a more complicated case, like the Fedora wiki, a copy under the old
(non-evil) terms could be forked off and continued, since the license
doesn't stop being applicable to that version.


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