[svlug] MS outlaw?

John Conover conover at rahul.net
Thu May 29 22:12:44 PDT 2003


It depends on whether it comes from BSD 4.4 Lite, (AKA FreeBSD,
OpenBSD, etc.,) or later.

Unix has a long history of intellectual property litigation. The one
that was settled between AT&T, (the owner of Unix in the early 90's,
circa SysV, Rel. 4.x, AKA Solaris,) and the Regents of the University
of California in February, 1994, required some minor re-write of the
BSD code to expunge AT&T's IP from the BSD/BSDI sources; the new OS
became known as BSD 4.4 Lite, (which can't be, legally, called Unix.)

So the out-of-court-settlement goes, (much of it has never been
disclosed,) if certain re-writes were done, AT&T would give its
blessing for the BSD/freely distributed/unencumbered source license:

    http://www.daemon.org/bsd-releases/misc/USL-lawsuit
    http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/bsdi/bsdisuit.htm

The first is from the BSD mailing lists in 1994, and contains the text
of the announcement between BSD/BSDI and AT&T. The second is a list if
URL references, in reverse temporal order, concerning the
litigation-mostly court/judge opinions in the case.

        John

BTW, almost all modern OSs use BSD sources-mostly in the TCP/IP stack.
For example, my Linux box, (a 2.1 variant,) has TCP/IP sources in the
kernel carrying the UC Regents copyright.  I think if you look further
in the About pull down in IE, you will find that it contains
copyrighted material from Mosaic, U. of Indiana, Urbana/Champaign,
too.

lists at victoire.com writes:
> 
> I am not a lawyer but with this infringement, can UC Berkeley have MS server 
> 2003 removed from the market? Settle with MS for a few billions $...
> 
-- 

John Conover, conover at rahul.net, http://www.rahul.net/~conover




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