BitKeeper license critic

MJ Ray markj+0111 at
Thu Mar 7 16:10:59 UTC 2002

Joerg Schilling <schilling at> wrote:
>>From: MJ Ray <markj at>
>>Joerg Schilling <schilling at> wrote:
>>> Sorry, but I cannot find anything about money:
>>> You register and get access.
>>OK, so click the "register..." link and then click the "Terms..." that you
>>have agreed to.  Clause 4 contains the text I quoted.
> I don"t understand what you mean!

What part of it?  Read the terms and you see the text I mentioned.

There is also a slightly dubious wording disallowing me to "otherwise re-use
material"... does this mean if I read the standard and implement part of it
on a Free Software operating system, I end up licence hell?

> You fill out first name, last name and email address and after clicking on
> the accept button, you are directed to the web page for free.

IANAL, so I'm wary of agreeing to these "click contracts".  If you read the
terms (the link to which appears *after* the accept button on the page), you
are agreeing to their right to charge you a fee in the future.

> What is your problem?

I will not agree to pay them an unspecified fee at a future date.  I thought
that was simple enough to understand.

> Don"t you like to send them your e-mail address?

Not particularly, but I would if needs must.

>>I try to pass on maintenance after less than five years, because I become
>>stale and the program drifts into being obsolete.  I know that may be a
>>serious flaw in my character.  Fortunately I've avoided that at work by
>>exchanging tasks often.  If you've managed to avoid those, I salute you.
> So how trying to write a program that is not obsolere after 5 years?

The programs (I think there are two which still exist) of mine that are
older than 5 years are not obsolete.  I just don't maintain them any more. 
To me, one measure of a good project is one that the founder can leave and
it survives.

> If you regret to send your e-mail, this is your problem - sorry.

Anyway, why should we surrender our privacy so cheaply?  If this is an open
standard, why do they want to build a database of the people who consult it
and spam them about it?  (There is no opt-out.  I think that would be
illegal if they were in the UK, but I forget the specifics and I'm not
looking them up right now.)

MJR ,----------------------------------------------------
    | Q. Do you need a net-based application developing, 
    |    or advice and training about web technology?
    | A. I suggest you try

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