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From: Rory Browne <>
To: Larry McVoy <>
Subject: Re: BK Licence: Protocols and Research
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 22:01:07 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

I had hoped to bring this discussion to a more private level between
myself and Larry McVoy. 

I am however disgusted to find that he has shared details, which I
explicitly marked as Private, with a third Party, namely One of the
Educational institutes I am involved with.

I find this breach of confidence distrubing.

* Larry McVoy <> [030717 15:55]:
> With apologies to the list for the off topic post (I'm really trying to
> not annoy you guys but some stuff we can't let slide due to legalities).
> On Thu, Jul 17, 2003 at 01:05:05PM +0100, Rory Browne wrote:
> > Would the conduction of research(and publication of results of same) on 
> > the bitkeeper formats/protocols, preclude users from using the Free version 
> > of Bitkeeper, for the research project?
> Yes, for the research project and/or anything else.
> > Would the carrying out of such research using the free version of
> > Bitkeeper, prevent them from developing a product which contains
> > substantially similar capabilities of the BitKeeper Software in the
> > Future, assuming that all copies of Bitkeeper were destroyed before the
> > development started?
> Yes.
> > Would previous activity in the area of developing a product which
> > contains substantially similary features to Bitkeeper preclude users from
> > using the Free Bitkeeper software?
> Yes.
> Each question above can be restated as "Would it be OK if we used BK
> in violation of its license?".  The answer is no and if you did that we
> would be forced to come after you, if we don't and some large company did
> the same thing we would have a much tougher time enforcing the license.
> Trademarks and licenses tend to lose their value if you don't enforce
> them.
> Your questions indicate one of two things: you either have a burning
> desire to work on BK itself or a burning desire to copy BK.  If it's
> the former, that's easy, send us a resume and if you are a good engineer
> we'll hire you, we need good engineers with a solid understanding of file
> systems, distributed systems, graphs and sets, and/or human interfaces.
> If you are trying to copy BK, give it up.  We'll simply follow in the
> footsteps of every other company faced with this sort of thing and change
> the protocol every 6 months.  Since you would be chasing us you can never
> catch up.  If you managed to stay close then we'd put digital signatures
> into the protocol to prevent your clone from interoperating with BK.
> Instead of trying to copy our work in violation of our license, you'd be
> far better served by doing some new work.  If you like SCM then either
> work here, work on some other SCM unrelated to BK, or expect a costly
> discussion with a lawyer.  I realize this is an unpopular position but
> that's tough, it's our code and our license and you obey the rules
> or suffer the consequences.  The license is a contract and it's an
> enforceable contract, we have gone up against a company who spends more
> on lawyers in a week than our annual gross revenues and successfully
> enforced it.
> -- 
> ---
> Larry McVoy              lm at

  reply	other threads:[~2003-07-17 20:48 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 15+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2003-07-17 12:05 Rory Browne
2003-07-17 12:15 ` Sean Neakums
2003-07-17 12:28 ` Alan Cox
2003-07-17 12:35 ` Jens Axboe
2003-07-17 13:39   ` Rory Browne
2003-07-17 14:09     ` Alan Cox
2003-07-17 14:58 ` Larry McVoy
2003-07-17 21:01   ` Rory Browne [this message]
2003-07-17 21:41     ` Mike Fedyk
2003-07-17 22:01     ` Larry McVoy
2003-07-18  3:01     ` jw schultz
2003-07-22 16:56   ` Jamie Lokier
2003-07-22 20:15     ` Brian McGroarty
2003-07-22 20:23       ` Jamie Lokier
2003-07-17 14:17 John Bradford

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