Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Distributed vs centralized scm comment

So the question is whether this kind freedom is a good thing. For the forking issue, if you want to fork, you will do that anyway and I doubt you will care that much about how hard would that be. But at least you will retain the full history
As of subversion 1.4.0 and its client/server support for "svnsync", you can indeed replicate a repository with nothing more than anonymous read access. Prior to 1.4.0, there were hacks to accomplish more or less the same thing, and you could always use rsync if you had shell access to the server.
and it will be possible to easily merge the projects back later, which I'd say makes the situation at least somewhat better than with centralized VCS.
That part of the problem, subversion does not solve.
Comment on Re: Distributed vs. Centralized Version Control
by Peter Samuelson