Docs Project licensing FAQ
What Documentation is Managed or Provided by the Fedora Project ?
Fedora documentation consists of three types of content:
- The contents of the Fedora Wiki, contributed by members of the Fedora community, that has been licensed for distribution
- The formal documentation maintained by the Docs Project, such as the Release Notes and the Installation Guide
Fedora includes many pieces of software developed by other projects. The documentation for these products is provided as the original developers supply it. Third-party documentation may use a variety of licenses and formats.
The Fedora Project only distributes documentation that is provided under a Free license.
What are the Licensing Goals for Fedora Documentation ?
The goals for documentation licensing are the same for the Fedora Project. To create documentation that is perpetually free/libre.
Similarly, Fedora Documentation Project chooses freedom over convenience. It sometimes requires considerable effort to create and maintain something that is entirely free and open, but the resulting work is more valuable and useful because of it.
What are the Licensing Terms of Fedora Documentation ?
All Fedora documentation is provided under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (CC-BY-SA).
This means that:
- You are free to share, to copy, distribute, and transmit our documentation.
- You are free to remix or adapt our documentation.
These freedoms apply for all purposes, commercial and noncommercial.
What Restrictions Does the Licensing Impose ?
The files provided by the Fedora Documentation Project on the public web site include the correct legal notices - you may freely copy and distribute these without having to do anything further.
If you modify copies of the documentation, or reuse portions in another document, you must attribute the work to the Fedora Project but not in a way that suggests that the Fedora Project endorse you or your work.
You must also share alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same license (or a later version of CC-BY-SA, or a jurisdiction-specific version of CC-BY-SA 3.0).
What license does Red Hat Documentation Use?
Much of the documentation provided by Red Hat, Inc. is licensed under the OPL today, but such OPL-licensed docs are in the process of changing to CC-BY-SA.
Red Hat documentation that uses the same CC-BY-SA licensing is going to be able to intermingle content with the Fedora community.
How Does This Affect Previously Released Versions of Fedora Documentation ?
Copies of documents distributed under the OPL remain under the OPL, but all Fedora documentation is now licensed under the CC-BY-SA. The master copies in CVS and the files on the public web site are provided under the CC-BY-SA, and not the OPL.
Existing documentation needs to be re-licensed or dual-licensed by the copyright owner under the CC-BY-SA.
In practice, anyone simply using files previously provided by the Documentation Project is not affected by this change - all Fedora documentation may be copied and used freely.
Do I Have Absolute Control Over My Work ?
You have copyright over all of the material that you contribute to the Fedora Project.
In order to ensure that documentation may be continue to be maintained and distributed, the process of submitting content, including on the wiki, to the Fedora Documentation Project includes a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) that gives Red Hat and all downstream Fedora users a copyright license for that content. This does not affect your copyright ownership of the content in any way.
A proposed Fedora Project Contributor Agreement, which is intended to replace the current CLA, would designate CC-BY-SA 3.0 as the default outbound license for all content not explicitly given another license by the contributor. The practical difference from the current situation is that currently it is Red Hat that grants the initial CC-BY-SA license; under the FPCA, if adopted, initial CC-BY-SA licenses would flow directly from each contributor.
May I Contribute Documentation Under Alternative Licenses ?
In order to provide the guarantees we make for all of our documentation, the Fedora Project may not accept documents under licenses other than the CC-BY-SA.
May I Use My Contributed Work for Other Purposes ?
Yes. As the copyright holder you may provide copies of your work to anyone, under any licensing terms that you wish.
Redistributing and Modifying Fedora Documentation
How Do I Obtain Fedora Documentation ?
The Fedora project publishes formal documentation on the web site, and also provides some of the documentation as packages. The contents of the Wiki are accessible from the Wiki site itself.
To obtain source files for the formal Fedora documentation for use with your own projects, we recommend that you download the latest copies from one of the Fedora Hosted repositories, and use Publican to generate HTML files from the Docbook XML source.
May I Publish Fedora Documentation on an Intranet or a Public Website ?
If you provide copies of documentation files on your own web site we recommend that you join the documentation mailing list or check our web site regularly, in order to be aware of changes and new versions.
May I Distribute Copies of Fedora Documentation ?
Yes, you are welcome to distribute Fedora documentation through any media that you wish.
May I Reuse Fedora Documentation for Other Open Source Projects ?
Yes, absolutely. Note that if you use a modified version of the Fedora software the trademark guidelines apply.
The DocBook master copies of Fedora documentation use variables (referred to as entities) for Fedora trademarked names. This means that you may replace the trademarked names by changing the variables in the file docs-common/common/fedora-entities-en.ent before generating the documentation.
Fedora documentation standards specify that screen-shots and references to specific software version numbers should be kept to a minimum, but you should check the documentation that you use to ensure that it matches your product.
May I Reproduce Fedora Documentation for Commercial Purposes ?
Yes. You may use Fedora documentation as part of your own articles, books, web sites, presentations, training materials etc., with no royalties required. You may also quote or reuse parts of Fedora documents.
The CC-BY-SA requires you to acknowledge the license, and attribute the authors and the Fedora Project - the earlier question on restrictions explains this in more detail.
If you are using Fedora documentation as a significant part of a commercial activity you may wish to contact the Documentation Project to discuss your requirements, or arrange joint development - see the question below for details.
May I Include Fedora Documentation in My Own Linux Distribution ?
Yes. See the earlier question on reusing the documentation for more information on how to do this.
For Inquiries and Further Information
For General Inquiries
To discuss Fedora documentation, please post to the public mailing list of the Fedora Documentation Project.
To discuss the Fedora Project Wiki, or other Fedora web sites, please post to the websites public mailing list .
If you have any legal or licensing queries that are not addressed by either this document or the text of the CC-BY-SA itself, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can forward relevant legal questions on to the Fedora Project Board.