#1617 Council update on Third Party Software policy
Closed None Opened 3 years ago by jwboyer.

= phenomenon =

Recently the Workstation WG approached the Council for review of a Third Party Software policy proposal. This was discussed in council ticket https://fedorahosted.org/council/ticket/57

The Council has review the suggestions and I am opening this ticket to inform FESCo so that they can be aware and adjust their policy page accordingly.

= background analysis =
The original Workstation proposal is available here: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Workstation/Third_party_software_proposal

After much discussion in the Council ticket, the Council has agreed on two things.

  1. "The Fedora Council supports a third-party software policy that conforms to Fedora's definition of free and open source software. The policy must require a distinction between Fedora-provided and third-party software that is clear to novice users. The selection and curation process for third-party software must be community-based and transparent."

  2. We also generally agreed on "The Council recognizes that allowing selected third-party non-free software to be installed is a valid experiment in advancing Fedora's mission. Non-free software may not be presented to the user without explicit user enablement in any Fedora Edition or Spin."

For item 2, we believe the suggested implementation of labeling third-party software clearly may be sufficient, but we would like to review the implemenation when it is available. We have approved this tentatively with the idea that details can be worked out during development. Matthew Miller is going to work with the designers to ensure the implementation sufficiently distinguishes third-party software.

= implementation recommendation =

At this point, the Workstation WG is free to pursue presenting Third party software to users with the above caveats about review and revisit. However, that is in direct conflict with the last section of https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Third_Party_Repository_Policy

The Council would like FESCo to reword this to reflect the change in approach so that we do not have conflicting information.


Current section:

"Repositories with non-free (libre) software

Repositories that contain non-free software are not allowed in any form as they are contrary to the aims of Fedora. If a product should want to make these repositories discoverable it would require a change in policy from the Fedora Board. Please be sure that FESCo is included on any such request to the Board."

How about:

"Repositories with non-free (libre) software

Repositories that contain non-free software may be offered to users under the following conditions:

  • Users must be presented with clear information about Fedora provided/Libre software vs Non-free/3rd party software.

  • Users must explicitly opt in to such repositories after the information is presented to them.

  • The selection and curation process for third-party software must be community-based and transparent.

Non-free software may not be presented to the user without explicit user enablement in any Fedora Edition or Spin."

Wordsmitthing welcome.

Can I know technically where can I get to know about certain software being presented to me is free or non-free? Is it that appdata will contain this information in gnome-software? I don't use gnome-software so I might be missing this information.

What if a certain third party repository is enabled and it contains non-free software, how can I know about it if I am only using dnf CLI to update/install packages on my system?

My understanding (and please correct me if I am wrong), but this is only in gnome-software.

So, if you don't use gnome-software you will just never be given the choice of non-free repos.

If you do, you will be given information and have non free apps clearly marked as non free.

I suppose once you enable something in gnome-software (agreeing to the non free software), you may be able to see or update it via dnf, but you will have to use gnome-software to accept that in the first place and enable the repo.

Yes, that is correct.

Can it be not possible to have some config option provided to set non-free enablement that is independent of gnome-software binary? Maybe by dnf config variable?

We discussed this during the last meeting:

https://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/fedora-meeting/2016-09-02/fesco.2016-09-02-16.11.log.html#l-222

  • ACTION: nirik to review and revise wording

So, there was concern about who approves and allows these non free 3rd party repos in the last meeting.

Looking at the entire page (and especially the section about other free repositories), we should probibly make this similar at least to those.

"Repositories with non-free (libre) software

Repositories that contain non-free software may be offered to users under the following conditions:

Users must be presented with clear information about Fedora provided/Libre software vs Non-free/3rd party software.

Users must explicitly opt in to such repositories after the information is presented to them.

Non free software repositories must be approved by Fedora Legal and FESCo, and are subject to the same critera as the section above on other free software repositories (ie, permission may be revoked, repositories with many different applications will be rejected as too difficult to police, etc)

Non-free software may not be presented to the user without explicit user enablement in any Fedora Edition or Spin."

Does that still match the Boards vision here?

Does it meet the concerns folks had in the last meeting?

It's possible we could split out common items from all those sections and rework the page entirely, but I would like to see if just the above would work for now.

To be clear the proposal that was approved by the Council leaves the approval of 3rd party repositories in the hand of the individual working groups, not FeSCO.

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Workstation/Third_party_software_proposal

ok, I must have misread that part... how about:

"Repositories with non-free (libre) software

Repositories that contain non-free software may be offered to users under the following conditions:

Users must be presented with clear information about Fedora provided/Libre software vs Non-free/3rd party software.

Users must explicitly opt in to such repositories after the information is presented to them.

Non free software repositories must be approved by a active Fedora Working Group, and are subject to the same critera as the section above on other free software repositories (ie, permission may be revoked, repositories with many different applications will be rejected as too difficult to police, etc)

Non-free software may not be presented to the user without explicit user enablement in any Fedora Edition or Spin."

We discussed this during today's FESCo meeting and decided to go with nirik's proposal with some small edits. nirik is going to update the wiki page.

AGREED: Approve https://fedorahosted.org/fesco/ticket/1617#comment:10 with the edit "... by an active Fedora Working Group (for Editions) or FESCo (for all other deliverables) ..." (+1:6, 0:0, -1:0) (kalev, 16:22:27)

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