Slashdot feed...

Josh Coates jcoates at
Wed Apr 6 15:06:20 MDT 2005

>It's not illegal per se.


but i'm pretty sure if you willfully violate an EULA (which typically has
the "don't reverse engineer this" clause), and/or copy someones intellectual
property, then you are breaking the law.

but in either case, you are right that it certainly violates the spirit of
the agreement in this particular case.  my original point is that this is an
example of very unprofessional, immature behavior and if the OSS community
knows whats good for them, they should come down hard on it instead of
celebrating it as some kind of moral victory.

Josh Coates

-----Original Message-----
From: plug-bounces at [mailto:plug-bounces at]On Behalf Of
Gary Thornock
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 2:47 PM
To: Provo Linux Users Group Mailing List
Subject: RE: Slashdot feed...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: plug-bounces at [mailto:plug-bounces at] On
> Behalf Of Steve Dibb
> Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 14:41
> To: Provo Linux Users Group Mailing List
> Subject: Re: Slashdot feed...
> Josh Coates wrote:
>> i read "open source zealots ripped off (ie. stole) bitkeeper
>> by illegally reverse engineering it, which resulted in
>> bitmover killing their free version of the product."
> So, is it really illegal to reverse engineer something even if
> its a license agreement (non-signed contract)?

It's not illegal per se.  If it were, BitMover would be suing
(or, at least, they'd have legal standing to sue) OSDL.  On the
other hand, it does go against the original agreement between
BitMover and Linus, where they said "we'll provide you with our
product and space on our server for free if you don't try to
create a competing product while you're using our free stuff."
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