[TUHS] Legality of porting ancient UNIX

Jose R Valverde txomsy at yahoo.es
Wed Oct 12 07:23:00 AEST 2005

Well, if I remember well, there was this little nifty
legal argument between ATT USL and UCB  BSDI in the
early '90s
that was settled out of court.

One of the factors that helped settle (again if I
remember well)
was that ATT had failed to adequately state its
on UNIX version 32V (may be more, my memory's weak)
had been distributed in source code, and hence those 
sources by the then current Copyright law, had fallen
the Public Domain.

Then, if my recollection is right (better look at the
documents on the case available on dmr's web page),
could do as you well damn please with those sources.


>From one of the rulings:

"Consequently, I find that Plaintiff has failed to
demonstrate a likelihood that it can successfully
defend its copyright in 32V. Plaintiff's claims of
copyright violations are not a basis for injunctive

For others, the license otorgued by Caldera when they 
released the source (a BSD look-alike) would allow you
to as well to a large extent.

No need to go to the Open Group. Besides, they own the
trademark (i.e. you could not call the product UNIX
without their permission) but not the code (besides 
their own microkernel developments).


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