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    SubjectRe: Bitkeeper
    On Sat, Jul 19, 2003 at 03:39:56PM -0700, Larry McVoy wrote:
    > On Sun, Jul 20, 2003 at 12:28:38AM +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
    > > > product for *money*. If you paid us money, you'd have a point. But
    > > > you didn't. You get to use the product for free and until there is
    > > > some case law which says otherwise, we get to make any rules we like.
    > > > And our rules say you can't reverse engineer. Too bad for you if you
    > > > don't like it, I'm not exactly overflowing with sympathy for someone
    > > > who paid nothing and is now complaining that they aren't allowed to
    > > > reverse engineer and steal what they didn't pay for.
    > >
    > > The current German copyright law doesn't talk about money. If you allow
    > > someone to use a copy the law explicitely states that some kind of
    > > contract clauses (e.g. a complete prohibition of disassembling) are
    > > simply void.
    > Alan pointed out to me that the EU rules are for interoperability and they
    > do not allow reverse engineering for the purposes of learning how a product
    > works.
    > Since BK can export any and *all* data and metadata from a one line command,
    > it's awfully hard to make the argument that you are reverse engineering
    > for interoperability. You can get your data as flat files, diffs, unified
    > diffs, context diffs. You can get your checkin comments in any format you
    > want. It's trivial to get data in and out of BK.
    > You can even get all of that from a web server so you don't have to sully
    > your hands with evil BK software.
    > So where is the law that says it is OK to reverse engineer when the product
    > already provides everything you could possibly want for interoperability?

    Current German copyright law says things like that clauses that forbit
    to gather information about the ideas behind a program through normal
    program usage are void.

    IANAL, and we are entering an area where you need a lawyer that reads
    both your licensing terms and the copyright law to tell exactly what is
    allowed and what isn't allowed.

    My main point is:
    There are countries that have laws that are different from US laws (yes,
    there's a world outside the USA...). If I download software from your
    server it is possible that my local law is the one that is valid for the
    contract between us (independent of whether I pay for the software or
    whether you give it for free) and my local laws might be different from
    the jurisdiction in the USA.

    > Larry McVoy lm at



    "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
    of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
    "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
    Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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