Clarification around the DCO

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at
Sun Oct 18 22:00:07 UTC 2020

On Sun, 2020-10-18 at 13:38 -0700, James Bottomley via samba-technical
> On Fri, 2020-10-16 at 19:38 -0700, Bradley M. Kuhn via samba-
> technical
> wrote:
> > Jeremy Allison via samba-technical wrote:
> > > Ah, I've just remembered *why* we have a difference from your
> > > "standard" DCO text.
> > Yes, a tremendous amount of time and effort went into figuring out
> > the right policy for Samba with regard to contributor
> > licensing.  Some of those details were reported publicly, and some
> > were reported privately to the key folks in Samba.  I myself put in
> > many hours of work on this, as did many other Conservancy staff,
> > lawyers and Samba volunteers.  Nothing has changed with regard to
> > the
> > analysis.  We also had a private discussion at a developers'
> > meeting
> > at a Samba XP about the reasoning, IIRC.
> In legal terms you usually really, really don't want to be special
> because it causes all sorts of complications if there's any
> litigation.
> This reasoning lies at the heart of our desire to move the DCO beyond
> the kernel, because if we keep it to the kernel it becomes our legal
> specialness problem in the same way.

That is all well and good, but the way this is playing out here is
really awful.

It would be one thing if somebody, perhaps you, came to our project
politely suggesting 'have you considered the benefits of'...

The process here is just rubbing everyone up the wrong way.

Samba was one of the earliest projects to take up the DCO, at a time
well before it was claimed to be the semi-proprietary special thing -
it was (and still is) just a lump of text from SubmittingPatches (now
another file, but the point remains) in the kernel, modified to our

Is our DCO perfect?  Certainly not!

Should we put a GPLv2 or other appropriate licence on it?  Sure that
would be proper and polite, but this thread feels like being bullied
around, which evokes responses like that seen from Rowland.

But right now this whole thing is getting everybody’s back up, which
isn't helping anything.

Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett
Authentication Developer, Samba Team
Samba Development and Support, Catalyst IT - Expert Open Source

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