Code of (still) uncertain origin
Posted Aug 17, 2006 17:16 UTC (Thu) by JoeBuck
In reply to: Code of (still) uncertain origin
Parent article: Code of (still) uncertain origin
If the contributor reveals himself/herself to Linus, and Linus is satisfied that there isn't a legal problem, I see no reason why it couldn't go in.
However, Linus should find out the reason why the person wants to be anonymous, and if the reason is that the person's employer would object, this is a major red flag. In the US at least, many employment contracts pretty much give the employer ownership rights, or at least right of first refusal, on any code that the employee produces that is in any way work-relevant.
So it's not just a matter of trade secrets. The risk that an employer could take legal action against a free software project based on an employee contribution is why the FSF requires employer disclaimers for contributions to software that it owns.
But if the contributor is a self-employed person who can convince Linus that s/he didn't base the driver on stolen trade secrets, then the contribution should be allowed.
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