Fedora 15 completed, new contributor agreement
The Fedora Project has completed the development of Fedora 15 and is currently making final release preparations; this includes the deployment of packages and ISO images on mirror servers all around the world. Late next Tuesday afternoon (24 May), the new version is to be made available to download.
Fedora Engineering Manager Tom Callaway has also announced that all Fedora contributors must agree to the Fedora Project Contributor Agreement (FPCA) by 17 June if they plan to continue contributing to Fedora. An FAQ on the project's web site offers the FPCA wording and provides a more detailed explanation of the reasons for this measure. For instance, the new document is said to be simpler and remove various obstacles that have reportedly been stumbling blocks for some developers.
The FAQ tries to point out very clearly that the FPCA does not involve a traditional copyright assignment; many other open source projects (for example, OpenOffice.org) require such assignments, for instance, to enable the software issuer to distribute the code under a different licence. According to the FAQ, the FPCA is to provide a "default licensing" clause for unlicensed contributions, (MIT for code, and Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported for content). An example of such contributions are the spec files for source RPMs, which are usually not covered by a specific licence in Fedora.
The Fedora Project is about to hold elections to fill several positions on various boards and committees. In this context, Callaway has points our a recent amendment to the election requirements which states that potential candidates must not be citizens of an export-restricted country according to US law; these countries currently include Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. "Unfortunately, the laws in the United States which Fedora and Red Hat are subject to place very tight restrictions on the involvement of citizens of certain countries" says Callaway, directing readers to the Fedora project's position on the issue.