Re: Bitkeeper

From: Larry McVoy (
Date: Sat Jul 19 2003 - 16:57:40 EST

On Sat, Jul 19, 2003 at 10:42:19PM +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 18, 2003 at 03:27:02PM -0700, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > On Fri, Jul 18, 2003 at 02:08:32PM -0700, David Schwartz wrote:
> > > My understanding of the relevant case law in the United States is that
> > > these types of restrictions are not allowed under copyright law itself.
> >
> > On Fri, Jul 18, 2003 at 10:23:30PM +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
> > > Actually your license is simply irrelevant in most of thre world. You
> > > aren't allowed to forbid reverse engineering for interoperability.
> >
> > "Judge, I want to violate this license on this product that I got
> > for free because it's not free enough".
> >
> > "Judge, we give it out for free and we also developed technology
> > to transfer the data out of our product and into a GPLed product,
> > we do that at our expense and even host the competing GPLed repos
> > for free and they still want to violate the license"
> >
> > Who do you think is going to win that one?
> >...
> "Judge, our current German copyright law explicitely states that such a
> clause is void."

No, it isn't. Your case law is based on a *purchase* or *lease* of a
product for *money*. If you paid us money, you'd have a point. But
you didn't. You get to use the product for free and until there is
some case law which says otherwise, we get to make any rules we like.
And our rules say you can't reverse engineer. Too bad for you if you
don't like it, I'm not exactly overflowing with sympathy for someone
who paid nothing and is now complaining that they aren't allowed to
reverse engineer and steal what they didn't pay for.

Larry McVoy              lm at
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Jul 23 2003 - 22:00:38 EST