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From
SubjectRe: Never ever use word BitKeeper if Larry does not like you
Date
On Fri, 14 Mar 2003 22:48:55 +0100, Florian Weimer <fw@deneb.enyo.de>
wrote:

>Jeff Garzik <jgarzik@pobox.com> writes:
>
>> Thus, even to have an open source BK export tool requires that key
>> BK algorithms be open sourced.
>
>You can't "open source" algorithms. Unpatented algorithms are always
>free to use.
>
>It's sufficient if somebody looks at the algorithms employed by BK and
>documents them in plain English at a very abstract level. (Reading
>your properly licensed copy of the BK source code and writing down
>your thoughts can't be illegal, can it?) Somebody else can go ahead
>and implement them, unencumbered by the BK copyright and BK license.
If I were in BitMover, I would treat such advances as trade secrets,
like the formula for coca-cola. Trade secrets are ideas/processes
which are held privately. From the discussion it feels to me like they
have made some real advances in "keeping objects up to date across a
hetrogenous collection of systems and with a varying time flow" and
publishing that advance would remove their advantage.

With patents you have to publish the advance which would provide key
direction to competitors. Copyright is OK but also implies publishing.
You can keep to formula to coca-cola pretty much forever as long as
people want to buy the product.

John Alvord
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