The Forgotten "F": A Tale of Fedora's Foundations

Christian Schaller cschalle at
Thu Apr 24 08:49:24 UTC 2014

Well my point is I spoke to Red Hat legal before I even posted the 
original proposal to open up to more 3rd party repositories some
Months ago. There are a lot of repositories that it is perfectly 
fine for Fedora to include from a legal perspective. But they will 
need to be reviewed by legal on a case to case basis, going to legal 
up front and saying 'hey can I include a hypothetical repository'
will only yield you the answer 'depends on the repository'.

So decisions need to be general to allow us to look for a variety of options 
to fulfill them. Lets say Fedora decided we want to make it 
easier for our users to get more multimedia codecs. We would not get the 
go ahead from legal to include a repository which contains ffmpeg for 
instance, but legal would probably be perfectly fine with including a 
repository containing the Cisco H264 package or the Fluendo Mp3 plugin.

So in the end this is not a legal question which needs the involvement
of the lawyers at this point, but a question of the overall goals and values
 of Fedora, and how we best achieve those goals and values.

Basically we first need to agree on the 'design' before distracting ourselves
with 'implementation'. 


----- Original Message -----
> From: "drago01" <drago01 at>
> To: "Development discussions related to Fedora" <devel at>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:37:40 PM
> Subject: Re: The Forgotten "F": A Tale of Fedora's Foundations
> On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 4:24 PM, Stephen John Smoogen <smooge at>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > On 23 April 2014 02:29, Christian Schaller <cschalle at> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi Mairin,
> >> Not sure exactly where you are coming from in terms of wanting legal
> >> to weigh in, but in general I don't think legals opinion is very relevant
> >> and this point. The first step here should always be us as a project
> >> deciding what
> >> user experience we want to offer our users, then once that is done go to
> >> legal
> >> and try to work with them to figure out how it can be done.
> >>
> >
> > The reason was that Legal was the big reason the rules are in place in the
> > first place. They are not just in place because of software patents. They
> > are in place because of different national laws on copyright, what is
> > considered to be infringement or redistribution by even linking, trademark
> > use (also dependent on nation etc), competition rules, and a probably
> > another dozen other factors.
> All of this applies to any software regardless whether it is free or
> not (as I said in the other mail).
> Copyright law does not differentiate between free and non free software.
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