Developer Certificate Of Origin

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In May 2004, the kernel development community decided to standardize on a requirement to adhere to a Developer Certificate of Origin for contributions to the Linux kernel.

The full text of the DCO is:

    Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.0

    By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

    (a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I have the right
    to submit it under the open source license indicated in the file; or

    (b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best of my knowledge,
    is covered under an appropriate open source license and I have the right under that
    license to submit that work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
    by me, under the same open source license (unless I am permitted to submit under a
    different license), as indicated in the file; or

    (c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other person who
    certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified it.

Here is the online reference for the official DCO: http://www.osdl.org/newsroom/press_releases/2004/2004_05_24_dco.html

Here is an announcement talking about DCO: http://www.osdl.org/newsroom/press_releases/2004/2004_05_24_beaverton.html

There is a kernel thread discussing the original proposal from Linus here (google groups). And here (aimsgroup).