The kernel and BitKeeper part ways
Posted Apr 14, 2005 11:49 UTC (Thu) by forthy
In reply to: The kernel and BitKeeper part ways
Parent article: The kernel and BitKeeper part ways
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.
On the other hand, making a license which contains stuff that's not
enforcible, is also immoral and illegal. That's why contracts that contain
such stuff are not enforcible, and any good contract contains a clause
that makes the contract valid even though (removing the "bad apples" in
Further note that when you get a legal copy of a software without
contract/license, you still can legally use, reverse engineer, patch, and
resell that software (given that you don't keep a copy - that's basic
copyright stuff). If you obtain the software from the copyright holder, it
is a "legal copy". That's why any EULA or other license absolutely should
contain the phrase that no matter what rubbish there's written in it, the
valid clauses still stay valid, because otherwise, the customer has a much
In the end, I'm very happy that this BitKeeper stuff happend as it did.
I didn't understand why Linus didn't use any source management at all for
a long time (even though in the beginning, CVS would have been completely
sufficient), and any free tool he had used long enough would have scaled
into what he needs now. Now, we've just 10 years lost (for the first 5
years of Linux), and have to play fast catch-up. The result will probably
be two or three free distributed source repository systems which are all
capable to do more than we ordinary users ever want. And no one ever again
will depend important free software work on a non-free software.
Note: I usually tell people about contract clauses I'm going to ignore
(if there's a general "ignore the rubbish" clause), or that signing the
contract is a waste of time (when there's not). In the latter case, my
response to such a contract will be rather rude.
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