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SubjectRe: Is the BitKeeper network protocol documented?
David Schwartz <>
> On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 16:52:56 +0100, Horst von Brand wrote:
> >> I think you're ignoring the way the GPL defines the "source
> >>code".

> >>The GPL defines the "source code" as the preferred form for modifying
> >>the program. If the preferred form of a work for purposes of
> >>modifying it is live access to a BK repository, then that's the
> >>"source code" for GPL purposes.

> >You are a lawyer working in this area, and so can cite chapter and
> >verse where this definition was made (the GPL text is rather vague)?

> Nobody knows, that's definitely part of the problem. If you
> genuinely want to make a good faith effort to comply with the GPL,
> I'm not sure what you can do other than guess.

Well, as a license is in escence a promise not to sue you for using my
property as long as you comply with certain conditions, it will then be up
to the licensors. If Linus is OK with distributing just tar.bz2's, its OK
for the kernel. Also, RMS specifically said using bk doesn't make the
repository source in the GPL sense (this is presumably the intention the
FSF will put forward, and which most other GPL-licensing parties will

IANAL (and happy for it ;-)
Dr. Horst H. von Brand User #22616
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513
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