Clarification around the DCO

Jeremy Allison jra at
Sat Oct 17 00:56:11 UTC 2020

On Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 05:43:57PM -0700, Jeremy Allison via samba-technical wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 04:59:20PM -0700, James Bottomley via samba-technical wrote:
> > We'd also be very interested in bringing Samba back into the
> > fold of projects using unmodified DCOs.  We now have 17 years of
> > operating experience and for every other modification request (and
> > there have been many) we've always found a way to add the needed
> > clarity to the licence of the file instead of the DCO, so we really
> > think we could help you make this work for Samba as well.  It would be
> > really great if we could work together to do this because Samba is the
> > last outlier using a modified DCO and with it brought inside the fold
> > we'd have a unified front against the various CA/CLA abuses
> > corporations try from time to time.
> I'm not averse to moving to your "standard" DCO, so
> long as it doesn't mean chasing down everyone to
> re-submit :-).
> Otherwise, renaming ours to "Samba Developer's Declaration"
> might seem to work also (with proper (C) attribution
> added of course).

Ah, I've just remembered *why* we have a difference from
your "standard" DCO text.

In our text we have the clause:

"(e) I am granting this work to this project under the terms of both the
    GNU General Public License and the GNU Lesser General Public License
    as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of
    these Licenses, or (at the option of the project) any later version."

The reason for this is that Samba as a whole is under
GPLv3, but there are many useful libraries within Samba
(talloc, tevent, tdb etc.) that started life as an integral
part of Samba - so GPLv3, but then external projects wanted
to use them without being bound by GPLv3 terms, so asked
us to re-license under LGPLv3.

We have done this for a number of our libraries, and will
probably do this for more in future (I'm expecting our
async LDAP library tldap will eventually be requested
to be moved to LGPLv3 once it's matured enough).

Doing it without clause (e) is a pain, as we have to
track down all contributors and check if this is OK.

With our clause (e) it allows us to re-license more
permissively as required without the burdon of tracking
down all contributors.

Hope this explains things better. I doubt you'd want
something like this inside the Linux DCO (but I'm
happy to be proven wrong :-).


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