#410 Abolish Fedora Project Contributor Agreement
Closed: deferred 12 days ago by bcotton. Opened 5 months ago by ref.

The FPCA was introduced in ~2010 as a replacement for the controversial Apache-style Fedora ICLA which apparently Red Hat Legal asked Fedora to begin using sometime in the mid-2000s. The FPCA was an important and progressive advance for its time. However, as time went on (in large part growing out of Fedora's experience) Red Hat retreated from its partial flirtation with use of contributor license agreements for FOSS projects. Red Hat never used anything like the FPCA for any other project (although CentOS has some informal contribution guidelines that are based on the FPCA). Today Red Hat deliberately does not use CLAs or other types of contributor agreements (apart from the DCO) for projects as a matter of legal policy. Fedora, as a project closely connected to Red Hat, is the exception.

There have been some (at least theoretical) problems associated with the FPCA. It hasn't been clear (to me at least) whether it is supposed to extend to all Fedora-related project activity, thus I think the FPCA may in some cases lead to less certainty about licensing of contributions rather than more certainty The concept of "default licenses" has led to some interpretive problems for the licenses in question. It is not really clear whether the default licensing feature even applies to non-explicitly-licensed code contributions to repositories that are pretty clearly under a particular open source license. The specific issue of licensing of spec files is not really super important and could be handled in various other ways.

I recommend getting rid of the FPCA in favor of a looser set of guidelines around licensing of contributions that would cover all Fedora contributors, and perhaps a recommendation that Fedora-related projects use the DCO (Signed-off-by:) practice.


I've created a topic on Fedora Discussion for this ticket.

Please keep this ticket focused. Discuss there, and record votes and decisions here. Thanks!

@ref can you please address the comments in the Discussion thread.

Several Council members have raised concerns and indicated opposition to the proposal. Alternatively, we can close this as deferred.

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue assigned to ref
- Issue priority set to: Waiting on Reporter (was: Needs Review)
- Issue tagged with: policies

a month ago

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue close_status updated to: deferred
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

12 days ago

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