Re: Bitkeeper

From: Adrian Bunk (
Date: Sat Jul 19 2003 - 17:28:38 EST

On Sat, Jul 19, 2003 at 02:57:40PM -0700, Larry McVoy wrote:
> 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

There is no case law in Germany. Case law is somethig that is only used
in England and the USA.

In Germany there are laws for _everything_. Rules like who owns the
swarm of bees when several swarms of bees unite aren't made at court,
they are explicitely written in laws.

German judges don't read 200 years old judicial decisions, they read
written laws.

Please ask a lawyer about the differences between the English/US and the
continental Europe law system if you don't believe me.

> 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.

The current German copyright law doesn't talk about money. If you allow
someone to use a copy the law explicitely states that some kind of
contract clauses (e.g. a complete prohibition of disassembling) are
simply void.

> Larry McVoy lm at



"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days. "Only a promise," Lao Er said. Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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