BitKeeper licence critic

Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at
Thu Mar 7 21:34:28 UTC 2002

On Thu, Mar 07, 2002 at 08:59:08PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> >From: Bernhard Reiter <bernhard at>
> >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?

Does that matter? Talking or not talking with him, BK is still
non-free software.

> 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.

I haven't seen anybody insulting in this thread (well, actually there
was somebody insulted Debian and/or texinfo, but Larry wasn't insulted
AFAIK). That he has the power to terminate the current license is very
bad IMHO.

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

I don't see why you have to take away freedom from other people. Lots
of other ways to make money exist without limiting other people's
freedom. You can also make money with free software, a lot of
companies already proved that.

> We at are still trying to find a way to get the money to
> keep berlios running. People the service but every idea we have to 
> finance Berlios is either unethical, considered competition by people
> I don't like to name or has ho hope.

I don't see anything wrong with competition. I see it as a good thing:
competition causes a higher quality. Our economy is build on

> If you clain freedom for everything in the IT world, you are counter
> productive in many cases. Please try to better think about the result
> of certain actions. Claiming for freedom is a good idea, but it should
> be done where it helps and not where the result of the actions is 
> less freedom.

It's not only proven in the IT world but also in the general world
that restricting people is counter productive. A big example is the
Soviet Union where the people didn't have any freedom.

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - Jabber ID: jdekkers at
Debian GNU supporter -
IRC: jeroen at openprojects
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