The term OSS to mean free as in beer is just not correct.   The sources were always free a as in available to be read but just like today they are licensed.  

Ad for Universities. The point is if you had a vax you had troff as a miniimun an $50 for ditroff was not a hardship.

If you had a binary workstation from DEC or Sun you got troff on the system and if you got a masscomp you got ditroff.

The point is people had access to a working binary without spending any we real extra money - which was Jons point.

The ecosystem under Unix was fine until the real a FOSS world which was when groff appears.

On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 10:28 AM <> wrote:
Clem Cole <> wrote:

> ditroff was always >>open source<< and any licensee could get it and see
> it.  The problem you are suggesting is that it was not >>free<< i.e. FOSS.

I don't like your use of "open source"; it is way out of skew with
how it's used today.

> AT&T licensed it with a small set of fees.   IIRC $1K for the first CPU, an
> $50 for each and redistribution license was $10K and $5/system.

That was very painful for universities and/or small businesses. Sure
Sun and Masscomp could afford that. Your average computing center /
computer science department / startup would have to think twice or thrice.

Per CPU licensing was particularly painful if you had a bunch
of workstations.

Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual