Image licensing concerns from

Disclaimer: IANAL and I’m not sure how this works.

According to Wikipedia, the content license of the website (e.g. images) is under a nonfree license called Unsplash License. In the Wikipedia article, I quote:

Before June 2017, photos uploaded to Unsplash were made available under the Creative Commons zero license, which is a public domain equivalent license and a waiver, which allowed individuals to freely reuse, repurpose and remix photos for their own projects. In June 2017[16][17], Unsplash changed the license they made their content available under to their own license, the Unsplash License, which imposes some additional restrictions[13].

The Fedora Magazine docs claims that Unsplash’s images are under Public Domain: has a large library of images in the public domain you can use to get started.

Again, I’m not exactly sure how this works, but I’m concerned if the Fedora Magazine would actually accept such license and if the Unsplash License is actually a nonfree license (given that Wikipedia is not always 100% correct). The Fedora Magazine uses images from Unsplash, and I confirmed some of those images are based on images under the Unsplash License.

It’s above my pay grade (as I like to say :slightly_smiling_face:), but what they have on their main license page doesn’t look very threatening to me.

Edit: But if someone wants to submit a PR to change “public domain” to “Unsplash license” in our documentation, I’ll certainly approve it.

Yup, that’s what I think too. Though I’m not sure how others feel about licenses under the nonfree banner.

Yeah, “ideally” we would use things under one-of-the-fedora-approved-licenses. But if the practical options are limited, we just have to make do with what is available. If you know of a “better” source, we can certainly consider it.

FWIW (and don’t take my word for it, I don’t really know what I’m talking about in this realm), I think a lot of the concern in the Fedora project around the license being true FOSS is to ensure that downstream consumers of the software (CentOS, RHEL, etc.) can rework it for their needs. I don’t think Fedora Magazine really has a downstream derivative, so those concerns may not apply.

Makes sense. I’ll wait and see what others think about it.

In the meantime, I found a FOSS alternative to Unsplash: Openly Licensed Images, Audio and More | Openverse.

So apparently openverse isn’t so much a library as it is a search engine that is supposed to only return matches for content that is under the creative commons license.

It sounds like it might be a little dangerous. Whose fault is it if what it matches turns out not to be CC afterall?

Good point. I’d say it’s up to us to confirm it.

Also, I noticed there are explicit images there too. If we do consider promoting it, we should put a warning.

Do you think we should notify the legal team about it?

I’d suggest getting Ben Cotton’s feedback first. Then, if he thinks it is something that RH legal needs to look into, we can ask them.

Hey @bcotton, but can you look at this?

What are you asking me for? I’m not sure why my opinion specifically is needed here.

I just didn’t want to be making decisions that I’m not qualified to make. I thought you (at least at one time) had something in your title that implied you understood at least some legalese. My apologies if that isn’t the case. So since this seems to have been tossed back to me, my ruling is that we should stick with what we have been using.

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