BitMover Kills Free BitKeeper Tool
BitMover is cancelling support for the free version of BitKeeper used by many kernel developers. According to the story on Kernel Trap, the decision comes after attempts to reverse-engineer features in the free tool for open source projects.
Most recently, two such reverse engineering efforts led BitMover to question the free portion of their business model. Worse, one of these efforts was inadvertandly funded by the OSDL, Linus Torvalds' place of employement.
Larry explained that a contracter still under pay from OSDL for an unrelated project was also actively working on reverse engineering the BitKeeper protocol. Discussion began about five weeks ago to try and resolve the situation, getting so far as to obtain a verbal agreement that the individual would stop his efforts. After that time, however, it turned out that the reverse engineering effort had continued. Although OSDL wasn't directly paying for the reverse engineering effort, they were still employing someone who was actively developing a competing product, something the free BitKeeper license doesn't allow.