[Samba] Legal questions with jCIFS 0.8.2

Greg J. Zartman, P.E. greg at leiinc.com
Mon Oct 11 18:44:54 GMT 2004

First, I think you're posting to the wrong list.  I think you would have 
better luck here for all things jCIFS:


>    If people submit code changes to your product, do you find out if the
>    submitter has the right to distribute the code?  If so, do they need to
>    sign any kind of statement?

I'm not all that familiar with jCIFS, but a quick look at
http://freshmeat.net/projects/jcifs/ indicates that this is an open 
source/GPL project.  Like most projects of this type, they aren't 
"owned" by anyone specifically.  The code belongs to the community, 
meaning we all own the code.  IMO, it would be highly unusual to find a 
GPL project that required devs to sign a statement before submitting code.

I think would be of tremendous value for you to read the GPL.  One of 
the nice things about this license is that it's written in plain 
english.  You don't need to have a degree is law to understand it.

In my experience, people not used to working with GPL projects tend to 
really mis-understand what the GPL means and how it effects a project. 
For example, one of the commonly mis-understood aspects of the GPL is 
it's viral nature. That is, the license essentially spreads to all code 
that is in any way attached to other GPL code.  This aspect of the GPL 
somewhat addresses your concern about devs sighing a statement prior to 
submitting code.  If devs are making code changes to jCIFS, then there 
changes are all GPL unless these changes are 100% stand alone (i.e., 
they can run w/o any jcifs code).  Simple as that....  Very nice for a 
community of volunteers who want to spend their time writing code and 
not collecting statements. ;)


Greg J. Zartman, P.E.

Logging Engineering International, Inc.
1243 West 7th Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97402
Voice 541-683-8383    Fax 541-683-8144

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