[TUHS] Why Linux not another PC/UNIX [was Mach for i386 ...]

Wesley Parish wes.parish at paradise.net.nz
Fri Feb 24 09:06:12 AEST 2017


And given the Unix-based CS study and research going on world-wide at the time, AT&T versus the 
Regents of the University of California at Berkeley is an example of why you must maintain a careful 
separation of the arts of sticking your foot in your mouth and shooting yourself in the foot. Medical 
authorities warn against it, and who am I to dispute them? :)

FWVLIW

Wesley Parish

Quoting Random832 <random832 at fastmail.com>:

> On Thu, Feb 23, 2017, at 14:15, Clem Cole wrote:
> > On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 6:51 PM, Paul Ruizendaal <pnr at planet.nl>
> wrote:
> > 
> > > I'm not a lawyer, but wasn't part of the background that prior to
> 1988
> > > in US law one could not claim both copyright and trade secret
> protection,
> > > and that for something to be copyrighted it had to expressly claim
> to
> > > be copyrighted material, and be registered as such?
> > >
> > ​Take this with what its worth (it came for free and I'm not a
> lawyer
> > ....) > Your comment got me thinking, why would try to change and can
> you. So I
> > asked on our patent counsel this am to explain the difference. For
> > context in the USA we have Patent, Trade Secret, Copyright
> Registration and
> > Copyright Protection. Her reply to me was:
> > 
> > Copyright *protection* is automatic – as soon as the code is written
> it
> > is
> > considered protected. Copyright *registration* is just a formality
> > necessary to instigate litigation. There is no time limit for
> > registration.
> 
> That's true today, but to my understanding wasn't true in 1988. (Well,
> registration wasn't a requirement to be copyrighted - that requirement
> went away retroactively in 1978, and only applied to unpublished works
> then.) The change seems to have been March 1, 1989 from what I can
> find.
> 
> I think AT&T *tried* to construct a basis to claim that UNIX source
> code
> was "unpublished", even when distributed to source licensees (or e.g.
> shell scripts which were by necessity distributed to all licensees),
> possibly in service of this trade secret theory. Remember, the infamous
> comment on the otherwise empty SVR2 /bin/true had two lines of
> copyright
> notice and three lines of assertion that it was unpublished.
> 
> And if that attempt involved removing all copyright notices from V6,
> V7,
> and 32V (and presumably not registering any copyright on any
> "unpublished" works pre-1978) then that might have killed any
> copyright-based case. By the time the actual lawsuit happened, they
> were
> fully committed to the trade secret theory.
> 
> 
> > Dennis Ritchie wrote:
> > >
> > > "Paul" <pssawyer at comcast.net.INVALID> wrote in message >>
> > > ....
> > >> ISTR there was a copyright notice in a Sys V /bin/true; explaining
> > >> why we thought this was funny might be a violation of that
> copyright!
> > >
> > > The local lawyers here also flip-flopped over the copyright issue.
> > > I can't recall whether it was because of law changes or
> reinterpretation
> > > or whether they just changed their minds. The issue partly had to
> do
> > > with the question of whether a copyright claim amounted to
> publication,
> > > while their primary protection theory had to do with trade secret
> > > protection, and its possible conflict with publication.
> > >
> > > At any rate, here is the whole contents of /bin/true in SVr2:
> > >
> > > # Copyright (c) 1984 AT&T
> > > # All Rights Reserved
> > >
> > > # THIS IS UNPUBLISHED PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODE OF AT&T
> > > # The copyright notice above does not evidence any
> > > # actual or intended publication of such source code.
> > >
> > > #ident "@(#)true:true.sh 1.4"
>  



"I have supposed that he who buys a Method means to learn it." - Ferdinand Sor,
Method for Guitar

"A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." -- Samuel Goldwyn


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