BitKeeper licence critic

Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at
Fri Mar 8 19:52:26 UTC 2002

On Thu, Mar 07, 2002 at 11:53:06PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> >From jeroen at Thu Mar  7 22:34:35 2002
> >> 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.
> It looks lie you are mixing free speech with free beer.
> You are talking about free speech but you really like to get free beer.
> Now BK does not reduce your freedom it rather does increase your feeedom
> because it gives you a better version control software.

HAHA, this is the best joke I've ever heard.

BK does is no way increase my freedom, it only limits me in doing things
I like, such as hacking software. BK doesn't do anything better than
the current version control software.

Now let's see what freedoms provides:

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

Bitkeeper can terminate the license, I don't have the total freedom to
run the program. I also can't use it without Open Logging.

* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
  needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for

I can't adapt it to my needs because it has to be "Conforming Software".

* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

This seems to be the only freedom.

* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to
  the public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom
  3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

I can't release my improvements if they aren't "Conforming software".

This is really "free beer software", it looks like the
"freeware/shareware" licenses, you don't have to pay to redistribute
and run the program if you do what they say. It has in no way anything
to do with free software, who is mixing those terms here?

> You simply like to get more than dou did get. And yu like this by reducing
> other peoples rights.

I didn't get anything and I will never download BK. And now you may
just give an example where I reduced somebody's right. I would really
like to see that, but you are just telling crap. Go to some other
mailinglist if you like telling lies or keep to the facts.

P.S. Fix your reference and in-reply-to headers so mailers and archive
software can put your mails in threads.

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