Iranian Export Control

by havoc

I have no objective way to know if you or Red Hat’s lawyers have the correct
interpretation of US law and Fedora’s EULA language.

However, I’m tempted to take into account that 1) they are lawyers 2)
they wrote the EULA in the first place 3) they talk to the FSF and OSI
all the time 4) they are pretty much open source licensing experts due
to working here and 5) there’s no indication of bad faith; there
aren’t any payments (let alone $348 million in payments) or even any
apparent benefits to Red Hat.

In short, why would Red Hat’s lawyers be interested in making up a
bogus answer for you? They are probably telling you (or Rahul and
Jesse) their honest opinion about the law.

You and I might not like the law, but that’s a separate issue.

As James
posted long ago
, the EULA specifically states that the GPL license
of each individual component “wins,” so I don’t see how a GPL
violation is possible. The EULA flat-out says that it’s superceded by
the GPL’s requirements, as I read it. (I am not a lawyer.)

Finally, there is no change to the level playing field here,
because there aren’t any deals or payments or patent rents
involved. Anyone has the same choice Red Hat does (or probably
doesn’t) have to offer a distribution with or without this clause. So
if there is any benefit to Red Hat, anyone can copy the benefit, and if
there’s any detriment, anyone can remedy it and compete on that
basis. And anyone can copy or remedy this feature of Fedora without
paying anyone or asking anyone, and they can do it today. Maybe Ubuntu
or someone already does, in fact, I have no idea.

(This post was originally found at

My Twitter account is @havocp.
Interested in becoming a better software developer? Sign up for my email list and I'll let you know when I write something new.