Kernel contributions from organisations and individual privacy

Greg KH greg at
Thu Jun 11 11:38:13 EDT 2015

On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:41:57AM -0400, Ruben Safir wrote:
> On 06/11/2015 10:28 AM, Greg KH wrote:
> >> If the copyright is owned by the company then ONLY the company can push
> >> > it up stream and assign copyright to the Linux Foundation.
> > No one assigns kernel copyright to the Linux Foundation unless you have
> > entered into some odd business agreement with that legal entity.  And
> > that is quite rare to do so and takes lots of lawyers and time.
> It doesn't take a lot of lawyers anymore than a license would.  I
> thought that the Foundation requests this routinely in order so that it
> has standing in court if a lawsuit should happen.

No, it never has done this, where are you getting this crazy idea?

The only thing you have to agree with when contributing Linux kernel
code is the DCO, which can be found in the file
Documentation/SubmittingPatches, or here online:

You keep your copyright on the contribution you make, it's always been
that way for Linux kernel development for its entire development history
(22+ years).  I don't know where you got the idea that you have to
assign copyright away to contribute to the kernel, but please do not
spread false information like this.

> The FSF has copyright to a large bulk of the software under GNU for
> this reason.

The FSF is insane, don't confuse the two groups please :)

> Obviously you have first hand knowledge of practice I don't have, but
> copyright is a huge problem with contrition.

"contrition"?  The state of feeling regret?  What are you talking about?

> In order to contribute, you must have copyright ownership.  You can't
> prove that if your anonymous.

Which is why we can not accept anonymous contributions to the Linux

But then there's the technical aspect of it all.  When you put your name
on code, you have "ownership" of it and you end up doing a much better
job than if it is anonymous or just hidden within a larger company.  And
that's a good thing for both the developer, and the overall project.

greg k-h

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