Re: New BK License Problem?

From: Larry McVoy (
Date: Sat Oct 05 2002 - 13:25:52 EST

On Sat, Oct 05, 2002 at 01:54:37PM -0400, Ben Collins wrote:
> Larry, I develop for the Subversion project. Does that mean my license
> to use bitkeeper is revoked?

Yes. It has been since we shipped that license or when you started working
on Subversion, whichever came last.

> I've also been wanting to use bitkeeper to create a Subversion mirror of
> the kernel repository, but I suspect that my usage falls seriously into
> this category, as my reasons for doing so are three-fold; allow access
> to the bkbits repo to folks who don't want to use bk, but with all the
> joys of an SCM (history, changesets, etc.); stress test Subversion
> against a real-world high-activity repo; promote Subversion.
> Would it be your intention that your license disallow my type of work? I
> think it does.

You bet it does. The Subversion folks would like nothing better than
to displace BK. That's fine, but they don't get to use BK to do it.
You're absolutely correct that you could use BK to make Subversion better.
It is not our job to help you make Subversion better and we've made that
clear for a long time.

We're a business. We're a business which happens to be committed to
helping the kernel team because we think that the kernel is vital to
the world at large. Helping the kernel absolutely does not translate
to helping people who happen to be our competitors. By your own
description and by our experience with you, you would be a competitor.

And since we're here, I'll take this opportunity to remind you that when I
asked about getting a netwinder so I could support the ARM folks, you were
the guy who sent me mail saying you had some that you weren't using and
that we couldn't have one because you didn't like our license. If I recall
it was either that mail exchange or a subsequent one in which you made it
clear that you were working on Subversion so Subversion could replace BK.

You're the guy that refused to help us help the community. And you made
it clear that you'd be delighted if Subversion was made good enough to
replace BK and you were working towards that goal. I can't imagine a
better example of someone who we absolutely do not want to support and
do not want using BK. I am explicitly stating that it is our view that
your use of BK is violation of our license.

Larry McVoy            	 lm at  
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 07 2002 - 22:00:50 EST