Unable to buy a copy of BK
Posted Nov 25, 2004 18:45 UTC (Thu) by djao
In reply to: Unable to buy a copy of BK
Parent article: An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
I freely admit that I am not at all involved with or affected by anything related to bitkeeper, but even as a detached party, your license shifts do worry me.
Two years ago you said, or at least strongly implied, that BKCL had no non-compete clause. In fact you even specifically mentioned that BKCL did not, in order to defend yourself against the (at the time) controversial notion of BKL having a non-compete clause.
Now we find that not only the free users but also even the commercial users of BK are not permitted to develop competing software. Can you imagine (say) Microsoft refusing to license Windows to any person developing competing OSs, or to any company employing any person developing competing OSs?
That is EVIL.
You can't claim on the one hand that the no-reverse-engineering clause already prohibits competing against you, and on the other hand refuse to sell BK to competitors. This very position is a contradiction in terms -- if the clause is sufficient protection, then why do you feel the need to further protect yourself with discriminatory sales tactics?
I can understand your logic in not making BK free software, but I cannot understand your logic in refusing to sell BK to competitors. The no-reverse-engineering clause already provides you enough protection. Any incremental gain to BK from sales discrimination is not worth committing such an evil act, if only for public relations reasons.
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