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Old 06-24-2011, 11:45 AM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

Hi

There was a discussion in identi.ca earlier ( for context,
https://identi.ca/conversation/71981654#notice-74661045) with Richard
Fontana, Maureen Duffy and others about a few things in the
fedoraproject.org website and I am following up here because it seems to
be a project level decision.

a) Has a prominent splash "A Red Hat Community Project" and it is not
clear what means. If it merely means Red Hat is the primary sponsor,
that seems redundant with the notice in the bottom. Can this be
clarified or removed?

b) Has a copyright notice, "Red Hat, Inc and others" and that divides
the community into Red Hat vs others. Since Red Hat doesn't have any
copyright ownership over Fedora. Why not just (c) Fedora Project
contributors ? Also refer to

http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/docs/2011-June/013474.html

I think it is better to remove any such notices or if it is really
required, just make it clear that the copyright belongs to the
individual Fedora contributors and Red Hat has no particular claim to
that.

c) FPCA is certainly a much better replacement for the legal agreement
than the CLA was but I am not convinced that any type of contributor
agreement is required at all and still causes confusion and debates. For
example, I don't see why anyone submitting content for the design team
under CC-BY-SA has to sign the FPCA as per the warning on top at
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_connect_to_the_design_team_sparkleshare.
For anything that is copyrightable, a requirement of a explicit
license seems to be a better choice. In the case of things like spec
files and kickstart files, one could have a copyright notice on each of
them similar to what openSUSE and others seem to have done already. The
choice of a permissive license such as MIT or the same license as the
component if it is a upstream codebase would avoid the necessity to have
a "default license". I assumed when it was originally proposed that
this was a Red Hat Legal requirement and didn't oppose it when it was
originally proposed but I am not sure it is
(https://identi.ca/notice/73733284). So, who is driving this and why?

Rahul
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:31 AM
Richard Fontana
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 05:15:41PM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:

> b) Has a copyright notice, "Red Hat, Inc and others" and that divides
> the community into Red Hat vs others. Since Red Hat doesn't have any
> copyright ownership over Fedora. Why not just (c) Fedora Project
> contributors ?

In the docs list thread, Pam Chestek and I supported this approach for
documentation, FWIW.

My only view on this particular issue is that this Gilligan's Island
copyright notice is as undesirable for fedoraproject.org web pages as
it is for Fedora documentation, for the same reasons.

- RF

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:18 PM
Tom Callaway
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On 06/24/2011 07:45 AM, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> Hi
>
> There was a discussion in identi.ca earlier ( for context,
> https://identi.ca/conversation/71981654#notice-74661045) with Richard
> Fontana, Maureen Duffy and others about a few things in the
> fedoraproject.org website and I am following up here because it seems to
> be a project level decision.
>
> a) Has a prominent splash "A Red Hat Community Project" and it is not
> clear what means. If it merely means Red Hat is the primary sponsor,
> that seems redundant with the notice in the bottom. Can this be
> clarified or removed?

Red Hat really likes that splash. I would prefer it remain.

> b) Has a copyright notice, "Red Hat, Inc and others" and that divides
> the community into Red Hat vs others. Since Red Hat doesn't have any
> copyright ownership over Fedora. Why not just (c) Fedora Project
> contributors ? Also refer to

Please note that the "Fedora Project" is not a legal entity, and I am
not sure that it can claim to hold copyright on anything. I would rather
see some sort of list of copyright holders, or rather, something like:

This page was created by the Fedora Community. A full list of copyright
holders can be found here: https://foo.bar/

The problem with that approach is that tracking it is... fun. Which is
why we've defaulted to "(C) Red Hat, Inc and others" for so long, on the
grounds that interested parties who want the details of "others" could
contact Red Hat, Inc, not to "Mary Anne" the non-Red Hat copyright holders.

> c) FPCA is certainly a much better replacement for the legal agreement
> than the CLA was but I am not convinced that any type of contributor
> agreement is required at all and still causes confusion and debates. For
> example, I don't see why anyone submitting content for the design team
> under CC-BY-SA has to sign the FPCA as per the warning on top at
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_connect_to_the_design_team_sparkleshare.
> For anything that is copyrightable, a requirement of a explicit
> license seems to be a better choice. In the case of things like spec
> files and kickstart files, one could have a copyright notice on each of
> them similar to what openSUSE and others seem to have done already. The
> choice of a permissive license such as MIT or the same license as the
> component if it is a upstream codebase would avoid the necessity to have
> a "default license". I assumed when it was originally proposed that
> this was a Red Hat Legal requirement and didn't oppose it when it was
> originally proposed but I am not sure it is
> (https://identi.ca/notice/73733284). So, who is driving this and why?

I'm happy to have a larger discussion on this topic, but I think it is
important for there to be a "safety net" to ensure that contributions
made to Fedora are always under a Free License. I do not feel that
requiring that contributors agree to the FPCA is a confusing choice.

In addition, requiring an explicit license seems like a much more
confusing option in most situations (especially ones where there is not
an established upstream default). I do not look forward to an INBOX full
of "What license should I choose for this contribution?". I think it is
far more likely that people will ignore this requirement (as there is no
good way to enforce it) and upload files without proper licensing, only
to have us discover 5 years later that we do not have licensing
permission on that contribution, and be in a situation where the
contributor decides they want to play games with the license.

I think our approach is a lot cleaner and simpler than the openSUSE
approach, and since FAS authentication is necessary for practically
every sort of copyrightable contribution to Fedora, FPCA agreement on a
per account basis seems like the cleanest fit.

~tom

==
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:50 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On 06/27/2011 09:48 PM, Tom Callaway wrote:
> Red Hat really likes that splash. I would prefer it remain.

Ironically, when opensource.com was about to be launched, I was
suggesting that splash in the first place but I am not sure putting up
that splash on fedoraproject.org gives the right impression.
Would someone explain what that really means in this context?

>> b) Has a copyright notice, "Red Hat, Inc and others" and that divides
>> the community into Red Hat vs others. Since Red Hat doesn't have any
>> copyright ownership over Fedora. Why not just (c) Fedora Project
>> contributors ? Also refer to
> Please note that the "Fedora Project" is not a legal entity, and I am
> not sure that it can claim to hold copyright on anything.

Do note that what I suggest is different. Fedora Project may not able
to hold copyright but Fedora Project contributors certainly can.
Please correct me if I am wrong but both Richard Fontana and Pam seems
to agree with this. There is no reason not to replace all instances of
(C) Red Hat and others within Fedora with (C) Fedora Project
contributors IMO.

> I'm happy to have a larger discussion on this topic, but I think it is
> important for there to be a "safety net" to ensure that contributions
> made to Fedora are always under a Free License. I do not feel that
> requiring that contributors agree to the FPCA is a confusing choice.

I think you ignored the fact that it clearly is although one could argue
about whether this is worth the price or not. As I pointed out earlier,
why does anyone submitting content under CC-BY-SA have to agree to the
FPCA? CC-BY-SA is clearly acceptable as a in-bound license for Fedora
and having anyone sign the FPCA when there is a explicit license is
superfluous as far as I can see. What about patches submitted via
bugzilla where the person has not agreed to the FPCA? I think explicit
licensing is always the better option. For instance, If a spec file
from Fedora gets reused by any other distro, the FPCA default license
is far from obvious to them. As a matter of policy, I think we need
to seriously consider dismantling FPCA although FPCA is a enormous
improvement over the CLA. I prefer we publish license recommendations
that covers the obvious use cases and handle the corner cases as
needed. I would be happy to work on a initial draft if the Fedora Board
is willing to consider this.

Rahul
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:34 PM
Tom Callaway
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On 06/27/2011 12:50 PM, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
>> Red Hat really likes that splash. I would prefer it remain.
> Ironically, when opensource.com was about to be launched, I was
> suggesting that splash in the first place but I am not sure putting up
> that splash on fedoraproject.org gives the right impression.
> Would someone explain what that really means in this context?

It boils down to "Red Hat is the parent and primary sponsor of this
community".

>>> >> b) Has a copyright notice, "Red Hat, Inc and others" and that divides
>>> >> the community into Red Hat vs others. Since Red Hat doesn't have any
>>> >> copyright ownership over Fedora. Why not just (c) Fedora Project
>>> >> contributors ? Also refer to
>> > Please note that the "Fedora Project" is not a legal entity, and I am
>> > not sure that it can claim to hold copyright on anything.
> Do note that what I suggest is different. Fedora Project may not able
> to hold copyright but Fedora Project contributors certainly can.
> Please correct me if I am wrong but both Richard Fontana and Pam seems
> to agree with this. There is no reason not to replace all instances of
> (C) Red Hat and others within Fedora with (C) Fedora Project
> contributors IMO.

I see how what you suggested is different, however, "Fedora Project
contributors" is not a legal entity, whereas, Red Hat is. The
implication in the current statement is that Red Hat is the common
copyright holder, among many, which makes for good legal boilerplate.

The concern raised is that it implies that Red Hat is the majority
copyright holder, which may or may not be true, depending on the work.
It is also possible that Red Hat may not hold any copyright on some
works, however, I still feel that it is inappropriate to attribute
copyright without at least one individual or legal entity as a copyright
holder explicitly called out, which is why if we're nitpicking on this
level, we should be thorough.

For documentation, this should be straightforward, just keep track
within the documentation itself, perhaps on the title page or in an
appendix.

Alternately, because of how the Berne Convention works, there is no
requirement to list out Copyright attributions like this, Copyright is
not lost if it is not attributed. For documents under CC terms, an
appendix of contributors is appropriate to meet the attribution clause
(of course, that depends on how the copyright holders want attribution,
but that is a different can of worms).

>> > I'm happy to have a larger discussion on this topic, but I think it is
>> > important for there to be a "safety net" to ensure that contributions
>> > made to Fedora are always under a Free License. I do not feel that
>> > requiring that contributors agree to the FPCA is a confusing choice.
> I think you ignored the fact that it clearly is although one could argue
> about whether this is worth the price or not.

In the entire CLA->FPCA process, I can count on one hand the number of
Fedora contributors who felt that the FPCA was confusing or unclear, and
I'd still have fingers left. So, I am not ignoring your "fact", but
rather, confronting it as an opinion, which I do not agree with, nor do
I feel you have any significant evidence to support it.

> As I pointed out earlier,
> why does anyone submitting content under CC-BY-SA have to agree to the
> FPCA?

In theory, they would not, but in practice, we have no useful way to
enforce that everyone submitting content is doing so under CC-BY-SA, and
in fact, we have notable evidence that the default behaviour for most
Fedora copyrightable contributions is to come in unlicensed.

In my opinion, a one-time agreement to the FPCA at account creation is
far superior to building infrastructure around all possible vectors of
contribution to Fedora to ensure that a default license is specified.

I agree that explicit licensing is a better option, and I do wish to
encourage it, but I do not wish to build procedure and red tape around
it, when we can be sure that we have what we need for Fedora in a
one-time FPCA agreement.

~tom

==
Fedora Project
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:35 PM
Richard Fontana
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:20:22PM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 06/27/2011 09:48 PM, Tom Callaway wrote:
> > Red Hat really likes that splash. I would prefer it remain.
>
> Ironically, when opensource.com was about to be launched, I was
> suggesting that splash in the first place but I am not sure putting up
> that splash on fedoraproject.org gives the right impression.
> Would someone explain what that really means in this context?

Tom, when you say "Red Hat really likes that splash", do you
specifically mean that Red Hat likes the phrase "A Red Hat Community
Project" (which I see only one other non-Fedora usage of throughout
the universe of public-facing Red Hat-associated open source-related
activities, probably a case of Fedora website emulation), or is it
more the general idea of a prominent non-footer display of the
Shadowman logo? I suppose we should perhaps separate those two
issues, though they are related.

I am now going to put on my Legal hat and say that it bothers me as a
Red Hat lawyer that you have something on the top with Red Hat's
corporate logo saying "A Red Hat Community Project", and then at the
bottom you have a disclaimer stating quite specifically that

The Fedora Project is maintained and driven by the community. This
is a community maintained site. Red Hat is not responsible for
content.

The two things seem potentially to be in conflict. I very much think
the latter disclaimer is correct and must remain, but then the former
(the top-right splash) seems to misleadingly diminish its
force. Actually, it's not even just the disclaimer. The preceding part
of that, "The Fedora Project is maintained and driven by the
community" contradicts "<SHADOWMAN> A Red Hat Community Project".

Why not replace <SHADOWMAN> A Red Hat Community Project with something
prominent at the top saying "Sponsored by <SHADOWMAN redhat logo>, if
you must have anything? In effect, move up the sponsorship
acknowledgement at the bottom to the top?

Otherwise, can the Fedora Project please explain to the public what "A
Red Hat Community Project" means, so that everyone's clear? I did
some research and determined that "A <FOR-PROFIT CORPORATE NAME>
Community Project" is not a standard phrase used in open source or
even the technology industry generally. I can honestly tell you that I
have no idea what "A Red Hat Community Project" is.

- Richard

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Old 06-27-2011, 06:02 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On 06/27/2011 11:04 PM, Tom Callaway wrote:
> It boils down to "Red Hat is the parent and primary sponsor of this
> community

I think that fact is already established in the footer making the splash
completely redundant.

> For documentation, this should be straightforward, just keep track
> within the documentation itself, perhaps on the title page or in an
> appendix.

It is not straight forward anywhere I am afraid. Currently docs just
ignores the authors who have written down the content via the wiki and I
happen to do it only via the wiki ever since I started getting involved
in the docs project. If they really want to start attributing that, it
gets really tricky. For instance, do we credit someone who just fixed
one single typo at the same level to someone who wrote most of a beat?

> Alternately, because of how the Berne Convention works, there is no
> requirement to list out Copyright attributions like this,

I am perfectly fine with no copyright notice. Only mentioning Red Hat
and putting everyone else into the "others" bucket is really really
unfair especially in cases where Red Hat is not involved in anyway.
Ex: a guide written entirely by volunteers.

> In the entire CLA->FPCA process, I can count on one hand the number of
> Fedora contributors who felt that the FPCA was confusing or unclear, and
> I'd still have fingers left. So, I am not ignoring your "fact", but
> rather, confronting it as an opinion, which I do not agree with, nor do
> I feel you have any significant evidence to support it.

Depends on what you count. I know how many questions were directly in
various places about the implications of the FPCA. It is not that the
FPCA itself is confusing but to give a specific example, the fact that
one could very well submit patches via bugzilla without having to sign
the FPCA and noone will be opposed to merging it in as long as the
license is clear is not evident from it. How is anyone copying a spec
file from Fedora supposed to understand it is under the MIT license?
That is confusing as well. I could go on but these are sufficient to
make the case for explicit licensing.

> I agree that explicit licensing is a better option, and I do wish to
> encourage it, but I do not wish to build procedure and red tape around
> it, when we can be sure that we have what we need for Fedora in a
> one-time FPCA agreement.

FPCA itself is just procedure and red tape for people who just want to
submit one background to the design team. The larger community
understands CC-BY-SA far better than FPCA might a advantage for
established contributors but isn't helpful at all for people just
getting started. "Warning: Must sign FPCA" certainly looks like red
tape to me. Fedora cares about licensing very much. Package
maintainers have to understand already quite a bit about it. The pain
of educating people is the price of the licensing clarity we want to
establish in this project. For someone who already has to check through
every source file for license notices and intricacies and complexities
of license compatibility etc, listing the license explicitly in the
spec file or kickstart file is hardly ground breaking. Docs already has
clear licensing. Design team can accept contributions under
CC-BY-SA. The advantages of a implicit license is dubious. I would
even say, it encourages people to ignore licensing issues which are key
to sustaining the freedom of Fedora and is dangerous to encourage.
Educating the Fedora community about legal issues is a painful process.
As someone who has explained MP3 patent issues over and over and over
again, I fully understand the wish to avoid such pain but it is critical
and necessary for us to continue to do so. Implicit license is a
gimmick. I reject the notion that it is necessary. We will be better
without it IMO.

Rahul
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:17 PM
Stephen John Smoogen
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 12:02, Rahul Sundaram <metherid@gmail.com> wrote:

>> I agree that explicit licensing is a better option, and I do wish to
>> encourage it, but I do not wish to build procedure and red tape around
>> it, when we can be sure that we have what we need for Fedora in a
>> one-time FPCA agreement.
>
> FPCA itself is just procedure and red tape for people who just want to
> submit one background to the design team. *The larger community
> understands CC-BY-SA far better than FPCA might a advantage for
> established contributors but isn't helpful at all for people just
> getting started. *"Warning: *Must sign FPCA" *certainly looks like red

I think you are overblowing it by a bit. Here are the steps that would
be needed:

1) Person A makes a background, image, mp3, etc.
2) Person B who has signed the FPCA vets the item and makes sure its
license and content is ok (it doesn't rip off something, etc etc)
3) Person B submits it for Fedora.
4) Person B deals with issues with item and reports them to Person A
if A wants to know.

Which is 1:1 with packaging

1) Person A makes a program
2) Person B who has signed the FPCA vets, makes a spec file,etc etc
3) Person B submits it for Fedora
4) Person B deals with bugreports by either fixing them or reporting
them upstream.

The most important reason for doing this is to make sure that the core
is being maintained by committed and invested people.


--
Stephen J Smoogen.
"The core skill of innovators is error recovery, not failure avoidance."
Randy Nelson, President of Pixar University.
"Let us be kind, one to another, for most of us are fighting a hard
battle." -- Ian MacLaren
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:49 PM
Max Spevack
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On Mon, 27 Jun 2011, Tom Callaway wrote:

>> Ironically, when opensource.com was about to be launched, I was
>> suggesting that splash in the first place but I am not sure putting
>> up that splash on fedoraproject.org gives the right impression. Would
>> someone explain what that really means in this context?
>
> It boils down to "Red Hat is the parent and primary sponsor of this
> community".

My $.02:

Red Hat is proud of the Fedora Project, is proud to be the primary
sponsor of the Fedora Project, and wants to make sure that the world
knows about the connections between the Fedora community and Red Hat.

--Max
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:08 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora website, Red Hat, copyright notices and FPCA

On 06/28/2011 01:47 AM, Stephen John Smoogen wrote:

> I think you are overblowing it by a bit. Here are the steps that would
> be needed:
>
> 1) Person A makes a background, image, mp3, etc.
> 2) Person B who has signed the FPCA vets the item and makes sure its
> license and content is ok (it doesn't rip off something, etc etc)
> 3) Person B submits it for Fedora.
> 4) Person B deals with issues with item and reports them to Person A
> if A wants to know.
>
> Which is 1:1 with packaging
>
> 1) Person A makes a program
> 2) Person B who has signed the FPCA vets, makes a spec file,etc etc
> 3) Person B submits it for Fedora
> 4) Person B deals with bugreports by either fixing them or reporting
> them upstream.
>
> The most important reason for doing this is to make sure that the core
> is being maintained by committed and invested people.

In case, it wasn't clear, my point wasn't that submitting artwork is
more problematic than packaging but that FPCA is superfluous in both
cases and a warning like the one in
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_connect_to_the_design_team_sparkleshare
is not helpful or welcoming when there is a explicit license like
CC-BY-SA attached to them which is perfectly acceptable. In either
case, someone has to check the license and make sure the content or code
is acceptable for Fedora. FPCA doesn't help much.

The only case where FPCA can partially help is if someone who has signed
FPCA submits content or code which is not otherwise explicitly license
and IMO, it is better to just get it under a explicit license in that
case instead of relying on the FPCA. Always having a explicit license
makes it more obvious for someone who wants to reuse it, outside the
project. Ex: Fedora wallpapers get packaged by other distros or
Fedora spec files getting used by other distros.

I think I made my points clear as best as I could. I don't know if FPCA
was really voted on or considered by the Fedora Board before but I
would like to reiterate that if there is interest from Fedora Board in
reconsidering the use of FPCA, I would be happy to submit a proposal on
how to accomplish this in more detail but I don't want to spend more
effort if this matter is not really open for discussion. That's all I
got to say on this topic for now.

Rahul
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