Torvalds: Code development process still 'fine'

The success and maturity of the Linux development process has led to the operating system becoming a mission-critical fixture inside enterprise server rooms and data centers worldwide. But the informal ways of contributing code to the kernel appear to be over. Developers can probably thank the SCO Group and its multi-billion dollar suits against IBM and commercial Linux users for that. SCO has spent the last 14 months raising the possibility of copyright infringement and intellectual property theft with regard to the millions of lines of code that make up the Linux kernel. To stem future allegations of impropriety, kernel author Linus Torvalds announced this week a new method of accurately tracking code contributions and making proper attribution. The Developer's Certificate of Origin (DCO) requires developers to sign off on their contributions before they are considered for inclusion in the kernel. In this e-mail exchange, Torvalds explains why this step is necessary.

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