Clarification around the DCO

James Bottomley James.Bottomley at
Sat Oct 17 01:05:08 UTC 2020

On Fri, 2020-10-16 at 17:43 -0700, Jeremy Allison via samba-technical
> On Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 04:59:20PM -0700, James Bottomley via samba-
> technical wrote:
> > I noticed the thread you had about Renaming the Samba DCO:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > The kernel developers have spent nearly two decades trying to
> > develop and refine the DCO process so that any inbound=outbound
> > project can use it in place of a more formal signed contributor
> > agreement.  When you introduce a novel legal concept like this, the
> > key to getting it to work is to have broad unanimity about what
> > you're doing and why ... in the case of the DCO this is what the
> > DCO actually says and what Signed-off-by: means.  To that end we've
> > invested a lot of effort in trying to prevent DCO fragmentation,
> > which is why the licence of the current DCO says
> > 
> >    Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of
> > this
> >    license document, but changing it is not allowed.
> > 
> > Firstly, in the above thread there was some confusion about who
> > could use the name DCO with a lot of other projects being
> > cited.  Every other project you referred to is an unmodified DCO
> > user and thus is fully entitled to use the name DCO as well ... we
> > encourage this unmodified reuse to keep a unitary DCO ecosystem and
> > spread its utility to other projects.  However, since Samba
> > modified the DCO, you don't fall into this category.
> > 
> > Secondly, Bradley dug up an older version of the DCO which had this
> > licence
> Yes, that was the version I originally based ours on.
> I thought it was a really good idea :-). I called it
> our "DCO" as I just assumed that's what such things
> were called.
> >    The Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.0 is licensed under a
> >    Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License. If you
> > modify
> >    you must use a name or title distinguishable from "Developer's
> >    Certificate of Origin" or "DCO" or any confusingly similar name.
> Yeah, I didn't notice that bit :-).
> > So if you want to keep your modified version you may, provided you
> > endeavor to respect that condition of not having a similar name.
> I was a little concerned about the effect that changing
> our text might have on people/companies who have already
> sent in our text.
> I don't want to have to get re-submissions from everyone,
> as I hope you can understand.

Absolutely.  If you manage to go with a standard DCO it would be
because it fits your retroactive needs without having to do any

> We provisionally came up with a name of "Samba Developer's
> Declaration" which would seem to satify the "different name"
> criteria.

Yes, I don't disagree (hey, double negative ... being around lawyers is
rubbing off on me).

> > 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 :-).

OK, so lets work on that then.



> Otherwise, renaming ours to "Samba Developer's Declaration"
> might seem to work also (with proper (C) attribution
> added of course).
> Cheers,
> Jeremy.

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