The Fedora Project Linux distribution, as a collective work, is distributed under the GNU General Public License, version 2. The individual components comprising the Fedora Project Linux distribution each have their own copyright and license.
The GNU General Public License, version 2, places certain requirements upon individuals and organizations that distribute software under this license. In particular, paragraph 3 reads:
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following: a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or, b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or, c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.) The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable. If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with the object code.
The Fedora Project hereby explicitly states that it follows option a) above, accompanying the binary code with a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code. The Source RPMs are placed on the Fedora download servers alongside and concurrent with the Binary RPMs. Anyone obtaining any executable form of Fedora by downloading from one of Fedora's download servers may also voluntarily download the corresponding Source RPMs.
The Fedora Project hereby explicitly states that it does _not_ follow option b) or c) above. As the originator, option c) does not apply to the Fedora Project. As for option b), we cannot know when a piece of Fedora physical media is handed out for the last time, which would then be the start of the three-year clock. In practice this would mean keeping source code for all releases available indefinitely, and ensuring a method by which physical media with that source code could be ordered, indefinitely and without possibility of human or process error. This introduces a level of risk that the Fedora Project Board cannot accept. We realize and regret that this prevents "downstream" distribution of, and derivatives of, Fedora from relying upon option c).
In addition, from time to time, the Fedora Project's Ambassadrors may produce and distribute physical media containing executable or object code. If you receive such media from a Fedora Ambassador, and you would like a copy of the corresponding source code, please obtain it from the Fedora download servers or the Fedora Package Source Code Control System. Should you require the corresponding source code on physical media, you may request such from the same Fedora Ambassador from which you received the executable media.