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SubjectRe: New BK License Problem?
On Sun, Oct 06, 2002 at 07:33:13PM +0100, wrote:
> > You can argue all you like that I'm wrong, I'm misguided, I don't have
> > a clue about opensource or whatever. The problem is that if I did what
> > you'd like to see, GPL the code, and it turns out I was right, there is no
> > turning back. That's a gamble I'm unwilling to make because I am positive
> > of the outcome. And given what I've been doing for the last 5 years,
> > my knowledge is probably more complete than your for this particular
> > space. I know it isn't a popular position to take, I'd love to be the
> > guy everyone loved instead of hated, but I'm not going to screw up BK's
> > future and our ability to support our users to win a popularity contest.
> Roughly how much would you want to raise, in order to GPL Bit Keeper? Seriously, this was done with Blender...

My guess is that it would take about another $12M to do what we are
planning to do. So if you were just trying to raise enough money
to cover salaries, it's in that range. On the other, you need to
consider that we'd like to get back more than salaries for our efforts.
We're not greedy but I walked away from $60M of Cobalt stock to do BK.
I also walked away from Google when there were three people there (the
full story is that I din't know it was $60M at Cobalt, I was guessing
more like $5-12M million, but I was fully aware of what I was giving up
at Google and it was certainly more, at least it is in my opinion).

Other people here also gave up a lot. The first three years, we didn't
pay anyone, we all lived off of savings. It's not unreasonable to want
that back.

If we decided to GPL it, I don't see how it would make sense for us
to do so for any reasonable price. Noone is going to give us $12M to
then give away the IP. They want their $12M back with a return on the

I hate to burst your bubble, but that's what it takes to do this stuff.
Most of what we do you don't directly see, it's bugs that you never hit
because we've fixed them, writing regression tests, stuff like that.
It's not very fun work, but it has to be done, it's what makes BK useable.
BK isn't done by volunteers because there is *no* way that anyone would
do this work for free.
Larry McVoy lm at
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