The Fedora distribution has one of the more strict licensing requirements in the Linux community. The project attempts to ship only free software on its installation media and provides only free software in its software repositories, with a few rare exceptions such as binary firmware. There are good reasons for this and Tom Callaway has laid them all out in a talk, covered by LWN. Callaway presented the history of Red Hat Linux and Fedora, some of the legal concerns Red Hat has faced and efforts to simplify the licensing guidelines for the distribution. "Licensing was the next problem. Red Hat Linux used to have a "contrib" repository, where people put all sorts of stuff that had been built against Red Hat Linux so that it could be more widely used. When Fedora opened up, busy volunteers took nearly everything in contrib and threw it into Fedora. Unfortunately, much of this effort happened with no particular concern for licenses. There was a "license" field in the database of packages, but instead of "GPLv3" or "MIT", it often said things like "distributable", or in one memorable case, simply "ok". Callaway went through Fedora and found over 350 different licenses, including 16 BSD variants and 34 MIT variants (there were still more of those, but he stopped counting at 34)." The LWN article is an interesting read and covers some of the legal and practical concerns surrounding distributing open source software.