Fwd: Re: Fwd: License for the dictionaries

John Dennis jdennis at redhat.com
Mon Nov 21 22:48:11 CET 2011

I sent this question to our non-lawyer license guru, Tom Callaway who 
watches over licensing issues for Fedora. This is Tom's response.

BTW, we do have in-house attorneys who specialize in open source 
licensing and I could probably ping one of them if a clarification was 
needed but we generally do not bother the real lawyers unless it's 
really important and Tom can't answer it.



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Fwd: License for the dictionaries
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:01:23 -0500
From: Tom Callaway <tcallawa at redhat.com>
To: John Dennis <jdennis at redhat.com>

On 11/21/2011 03:53 PM, John Dennis wrote:
> Hi Spot:
> This question came up on the FreeRADIUS developers list. Do you have a
> suggestion for a license type for these files. FWIW they are text files
> that map integers to "attributes". I suppose they might be in the same
> class of file as ASN.1 descriptions (e.g. this number means that).

Well, those files might not be copyrightable in the United States. The
ODBL is a giant pile of legalese that hasn't been reviewed by Fedora,
mostly because it tries to protect the "database right owner" (note,
this is different from copyright owner) in certain European
jurisdictions where theoretically there is the capability to hold
special rights on a database set that are different from copyright. None
of that has any case law backing, so for the most part, it is the noise
of overly-paranoid lawyers.

My advice would be to instead use one of the Creative Commons licenses,
as they apply well to Content, are widely used.

The Free ones (the ones that are okay for Fedora) are:

CC-0 (essentially a public domain declaration)
CC-BY (Attribution requirement)
CC-BY-SA (Attribution and Share Alike, meaning that derivatives inherit
the license)

Any of the CC licenses with the "Non Commercial (NC)" or "No Derivatives
(ND)" clauses are Non-Free and not okay for Fedora.



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