Linus Introduces the "Developer's Certificate of Origin"

Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, has proposed changes to the development process in order to assist in defending future claims against ownership of source code in the operating system’s kernel.

“Some of you may have heard of this crazy company called SCO (aka ‘Smoking Crack Organization’) who seem to have a hard time believing that open source works better than their five engineers do. They’ve apparently made a couple of outlandish claims about where our source code comes from, including claiming to own code that was clearly written by me over a decade ago.”

“People have been pretty good (understatement of the year) at debunking those claims, but the fact is that part of that debunking involved searching kernel mailing list archives from 1992 etc. Not much fun… So, to avoid these kinds of issues ten years from now, I’m suggesting that we put in more of a process to explicitly document not only where a patch comes from (which we do actually already document pretty well in the changelogs), but the path it came through.”

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