TrueCrypt licensing concern

Tom "spot" Callaway tcallawa at
Tue Oct 7 08:05:14 PDT 2008

Recently, we had a request to add TrueCrypt to Fedora, and as part of
that, we did due diligence on the license. What our legal counsel
discovered was truly horrifying: not only was the license non-free, it
almost certainly opens the user and the distributor to serious risk of
legal action from the copyright holder, even if all conditions of the
license are met.

Accordingly, we've blocked TrueCrypt from inclusion in Fedora and marked
it as one of our "ForbiddenItems".

While this should not be construed as legal advice (IANAL), I felt it
was important enough to pass this information along to this mailing
list, so that other distributions could do their own research into this
package. At least Mandriva appears to be shipping this code currently.

Certainly, I'm not telling any other distribution what they should do,
but I'm just throwing this warning out there. I see plenty of non-free
licensed material suggested for Fedora inclusion, but I've never ever
seen a license that actively (and arguably, intentionally) put both the
distributor and the end-user at such serious legal risk.


Tom Callaway, Fedora Legal

More information about the Distributions mailing list