Kernel contributions from organisations and individual privacy

Ruben Safir ruben at
Thu Jun 11 19:26:23 EDT 2015

On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:57:00AM -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 12:39:47PM -0400, Ruben Safir wrote:
> > > 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:
> > >
> > > 
> > 
> > I didn't know that and looking at it, that is pretty flimsy.
> Not at all, in fact, it's very strong.  A number of other projects also
> use this same document (SAMBA, Docker, etc.), so it is well known and
> proven to work.
> > It is a good thing that up until know this hasn't bit them in the ass
> > so far.  I might be all that is possible though because a CLA, to be
> > really blanket, would require one having to go back to every
> > contribution to date.
> That's only if you wanted to do something crazy like relicense the work.
> And even then, a CLA doesn't help you out, see all of the projects that
> have undertaken this task and what they have done to enable it.  A CLA
> doesn't do much there.

Not at all.  You have a good point there are definitely legal situations
other than relicensing which are problematic.

Lets say Apple decides that are going to take the Linux Kernel and
alter it extensively, in order for it to work with a new hardware platform 
that they created. And lets say don't return the code base to the public.  
Now who is going to protect the license and sue them?  You have literaly 
thousands of partiticpants who have standing now in this case.  Apple can just
blow there nose at you if they are willing to put up with the bad publicity.


and I'm finished with this commentary.

Broadly I agree with you and the CLA discussion is a side track.

> greg k-h
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