The kernel and BitKeeper part ways
Posted Apr 8, 2005 21:22 UTC (Fri) by Xman
In reply to: The kernel and BitKeeper part ways
Parent article: The kernel and BitKeeper part ways
You are trying to call reverse engineering a) immoral and b) illegal.
Please try not to put words into my mouth. You got this from a quote which didn't mention reverse engineering. Indeed, the implication of what I was saying (and which I've stated more explicitly in other comments on this thread) was that I had no problem with a developer reverse engineering BitKeeper if they didn't accept the license.
I did suggest that accepting a license in bad faith is fraud, and I guess that's where you got the immoral and illegal from. I'm guessing you are throwing in with those who feel anti-reverse engineering license clauses shouldn't be valid, which is how that got in to it. Check the case history. You'll find that reverse engineering is not legal when it involved the breach of an implicit or explicit agreement between the parties involved or if improper means such as deceit are used to obtain the secret. The legal debate is about whether EULA's should be enforceable (UCITA clarifies that they are, but it still needs to be tested more in court), but if you like the GPL, you don't want to go down that path.
Now, if the developer in question accepted the license in bad faith and lied when explicitly asked to comply with the license, then that very strongly qualifies as illegal, and I'd be okay with throwing in immoral. If they didn't, then they aren't the "bad apple" Larry is suggesting they are. If you think it is legal and moral, then it follows that someone who accepted the GPL in bad faith, and lied when explicitly asked to comply with the GPL is also acting legally and morally. I for one, can't abide by that, and I'd be shocked if I was alone on that.
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