BitKeeper licence critic

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at
Thu Mar 7 20:29:49 UTC 2002

On Thu, Mar 07, 2002 at 08:59:08PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:

> >Then there there is a clause for termination when you=20
> >create too much support costs. Thus if you report too many grave bugs,
> >you might end up with a terminated license for bitkeeper.
> >Do you think this is a reasonable license to accept?
> It looks like you project your habbit to Larry.
> Did you ever talk to him?

I do not understand that remark.
Larry W. McVoy offers a software for a non-free licence.
I decide that I do not like the licence. Thus I am not using it and
telling other people about it.

Note that I am also using Free Software for which I am paying for.
Sometime even with money.

> If you and other people don't insult him, the  probability that he will 
> terminate the current license will be not higher than the probability
> that FSF diminish the right in the GPL.

The FSF already granted unrevocable rights to everybody.
They cannot take that away. That's a difference to the BK case.

> Larry started in 1997 and spend more than 2 years unemployed and living
> only from his savings and working full time on BK.
> As he is living from income he receives from his work, I can understand
> his decision.

I can understand it from his view, but he also has to understand others.
And people like me or Mr. Moffitt decide 
that we will not use his software, 
because it does not come with enough freedom.

> If FSF would have given him the money for living, I am sure that BK
> would be under GPL now.

The financial ressources of the FSF are limited.
The FSF does support development of core technologies in some cases.
(If the budget allows it, that means they get sufficient donations.)

I do not know much of the background of BK developing.
Did he ask the FSF for funding?

> If you clain freedom for everything in the IT world, you are counter
> productive in many cases. 

I believe in the future of Free Software for the IT world
and I do not think this is counter productive.

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