[TUHS] Source code abundance?

Wesley Parish wes.parish at paradise.net.nz
Sat Mar 4 09:56:18 AEST 2017

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one of TV or in a play or any such thing.

My position on this is the result of hanging around Groklaw during The SCO Group - Caldera renamed 
and repurposed - versus Linux and the World shenanigans; namely, it's valuable mostly for historical 
reasons or as some would have it, hysterical raisins. The actual "IP" - intellectual property - has been 
dispersed now for so many years through so many channels that the actual Unix source tree copyrights 
don't serve much of the original purpose of copyright any more. I'm sure we can name any number of 
reimplementations of the various stages of the Unix development - Minix 1.x and Coherent for the V6-
7 interfaces, Schweitzer's Tunix for Unix SysVR3, the BSDs, Linux, etc for various stages of BSD and 
POSIX, and OpenSolaris for the latter stages of SysVR4 and so on.

And since the central Unix source trees have been static - I don't think Novell was much more than a 
caretaker, correct me if I'm wrong - and the last SysVR4 release of any consequence was Solaris - has 
Oracle done anything with it? - I think the best thing for all would be the release of the Unix SysV 
source trees under a suitable open source license. (I've made a similar argument for the IBM/MS OS/2, 
DEC VAX VMS, and MS Windows and WinNT 3.x and 4.x source trees on various other Internet forums: 
the horse has bolted, it's a bit pointless welding shut the barn door now. Better to get the credit for 
being friendly and open, and clear up some residual bugs while you're at it ... )

My 0.02c on this matter, and don't spend it all at once! :)

Wesley Parish

Quoting Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com>:

> I've been given two different interpretations so I'm not sure who to
> believe. I really would like to hear a lawyer from Oracle (ney Sun) for
> Micro Focus (ney - At&t -> Novell) make a statement.
> I believe the issue is that Sun was given something called "complete
> rights", similar to what IBM had( which is how OSF was licensed - from
> the
> IBM one). This was interpreted to believe they could anything with it
> with anything >>they<< did. That is to say, if they hacked on the
> kernel
> and published there kernel, then the parts that came from AT&T could be
> also.
> The question is what happens to the code that got from AT&T but did not
> use. I'm going to be hypothetical here, Larry correct me to the
> specifics
> please as I never saw Solaris sources, but SVR4 had Streams Networking
> in
> it. Let's say the Solaris pulled that out like we did at Stellar with
> SVR3 and put a BBN or BSD style stack back in and never shipped the
> streams
> code. The Network stack they did publish would be available, but what
> about the AT&T version?
> I have heard different legal folks say it was both still "closed" and
> others say, it was now opened.
> I don't know. I'm not willing or have I ever worked for anyone that has
> believed it was now "free."
> I do tend to think of 32V and before as generally open technology. I
> come
> to that between the UCB regents position, one hand, much less the
> publishing of books like the Lions' book years ago. There have been
> publications of how things like SVR3 and SVR4 >>worked<< but I don't
> know
> of source being included the same way the Lions text. If that were
> done,
> I would be more comfortable.
> That said, I do feel like its time it >>should<< be made available; but
> the
> IP is I guess owned by Micro Focus.
> Clem
> On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 3:06 PM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu>
> wrote:
> > > From: Warner Losh
> >
> > > On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 12:49 PM, Random832 <random832 at fastmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >>> My understanding is that System V source of any sort is not legal
> > to
> > >>> distribute.
> >
> > >> surely there are big chunks of the opensolaris code that are not
> > *very
> > >> much* changed from the original System V code they're based on.
> > Under
> > >> what theory, then, was Sun the copyright holder and therefore able
> > to
> > >> release it under the CDDL?
> >
> > > Their paid-up perpetual license that granted them the right to do
> > that?
> >
> > I wonder, if they do indeed have such a license, if they have the
> rights to
> > distribute original SysV source under the CDDL? Or does that license
> only
> > apply to SysV code that they have modified? And if so, _how much_ does
> it
> > have
> > to be modified, to qualify?
> >
> > Maybe we can get them to distribute SysV under the CDDL... :-)
> >
> > Noel
> >
> >

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

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