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From: eonu24@castle.ed.ac.uk (I Reid)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 21 Jul 92 10:22:33 GMT
Distribution: comp
Organization: Edinburgh University

I just came across this article (in comp.unix.internals) which I think is quite
relevant to Linux since it could mean a lot more people deciding to use it.

Iain

p.s. no email followups please... this was posted FYI.

_______________________________________________________________________________
From: merlin@neuro.usc.edu (merlin)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.internals
Subject: AT&T vs. BSDI --> 4.3BSD-NET2 distribution requires AT&T license!!!
Keywords: AT&T 'Death Star' rises over BSDI's horizon [Tel. 1-800-800-4BSD
Date: 21 Jul 92 09:02:14 GMT
Sender: merlin@neuro.usc.edu (merlin)
Organization: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Lines: 129

[For people in comp.unix.sysv386 -- two products were recently released in
field test versions with a production version intended in the near future.
Berkeley Software Design, Inc [Tel. 1-800-800-4BSD] has offered full source
code for a product called 'BSD/386' based on the publically available code
made available via numerous archive sites from the UC Regents 4.3BSD-NET2
UNIX software distribution.  Willian and Lynne Jolitz have offered the full
sources for an alternative product called '386BSD' which is also based on
the publically available UC Regents 4.3BSD-NET2 UNIX software distribution.
'BSD/386' sells for $1,000 for the full source and $200 for a binary right 
to copy.  '386BSD' is available from numerous public archive sites without
any charge of any kind.]

[The UC Regents 4.3BSD-NET2 software was claimed not to contain any AT&T
derived source code -- as a consequence it was believed by many people to
be an appropriate base for development of extremely inexpensive versions
of 'Berkeley UNIX' compatible operating systems.  This claim is disputed
by AT&T as described below.]

[This note is not an advertisement of any kind.  I am not connected with
AT&T, ATTIS, USG, USDL, USL (or whatever AT&T would like to be called in
the near future), Bell Laboratories, UC Regents, CSRG, BSDI, or the Jolitz 
Development Team.  This is simply an expression of concern about litigation 
which will have a dramatic effect on whether or not AT&T is allowed to have
monopoly interest in operating systems derived from publically available 
source codes.  Frankly, I am curious about the ultimate judge's decision.]

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Two days ago I told a colleague in Psychology that the world had changed
-- we spent several hours talking about the possibilities for good which
arose from the free or at least very low cost release of 386BSD & BSD/386.

However, AT&T [and it's massive army of high paid staff attorneys] have
fired the first shot in a legal action which may doom such possibilities.

Tomorrow I'm going to have to tell him the forces of darkness and greed
have decended to crush hope of using UNIX in extremely low cost systems.

The bottom line is that AT&T claims NET2 is contaminated with intellectual
property misappropriated from AT&T -- perhaps not direct copies of source
code -- but at least ways of doing things (trade secrets) -- and therefore
any system derived from NET2 requires an AT&T source code license [it used
to be about $10,000 to get an AT&T source license].  The threat is twofold

o  AT&T can sue anyone who has any assets or any prospect of assets for
   each and every copy of an operating system maintained or allowed to
   be copied by any individual without payment of the AT&T license fee

o  AT&T can withdraw it's contribution from any organization which would
   permit the maintenance or copying of systems derived from 4.3BSD-NET2

AT&T's complaint 92-1667 filed in US District Court--New Jersey claims:

o  AT&T authorized the UC Regents to distribute certain works derived
   from their UNIX software to third parties ... subject to restrictions

   o  Those restrictions include a requirement limiting such distribution
      to persons who have also acquired licenses from AT&T or USL

o  'Networking Release 2' contains software code that was copied from, 
    based upon, or derived from, code licensed to the Regents by AT&T 

o  Any operating system derived from 'Networking Release 2' requires a 
   license from AT&T or its successor, USL

AT&T's entire complaint is contained in a false advertising and unfair
competition claim based on BSDI's brochure which states BSDI sources are 
not derived from AT&T code --and-- do not require an AT&T source license.

AT&T's 1-MAY-92 interrogatory (a series of questions to an adversary) asks:

o  Whether anyone related to BSDI has ever had access to AT&T UNIX sources

o  How much employee time was spent to develop BSDI's source code product

BSDI's motion to dismiss and subsequent press releases argue that AT&T has
not made out an adequate case of copyright infringement -- and -- therefore
cannot maintain their claim of false advertising or unfair competition 
until they prove what BSDI would like to say is a simple copyright claim.  

However, the AT&T claim is not a copyright claim -- it is a claim that BSDI
incorporated intellectual property belonging to AT&T into the BSDI product.
The intellectual property may be in the form of copyright, patent, or trade 
secret protected material.  While NET2 may not literally contain any direct
copies of AT&T source code -- it is very possible it contains a translation
or adaptation of copyrighted material -- or it may contain a patented means
of performing some task -- or it may be based on knowledge of the original
techniques [trade secrets] embodied in the AT&T source code.  Hence, AT&T
only has to prove that someone involved in CSRG's NET2 release or in BSDI's 
BSD/386 development had access to AT&T licensed materials at some time in
his/her lifetime to trigger the spectre of contamination of BSDI's product.

BSDI's position is in stark contrast the Phoenix BIOS project where two
teams of engineers worked in parallel -- one team developing a functional
specification by studying the original IBM BIOS ROM chip codes -- and a
second completely independent and compartmentalized team developing code.
There is no suggestion either CSRG or BSDI made any effort to institute
similar means to prevent the incorporation of AT&T technology in BSD/386. 

Further, AT&T's question about the time investment of BSDI in bringing out
their product [compared with their own cost over many years] will likely go
a long way toward supporting their unfair competition claim.  If it took a
small company like BSDI only a couple of years with a small team of people
to produce BSD/386 vs the multi year investment of a corporate giant - then
it is very possible AT&T may prevail on the unfair competition claim.

On a final note, BSDI's own press release states that:

  Although USL has not sued the University of California, we expect that
  USL (or its parent, ATT) will threaten to review or withdraw research
  grants made to any university or research institution using or
  distributing software based on NET2 ...

All in all, this filing by a corporate giant with virtually unlimited funds
for legal expenses would seem to spell the doom of 'free' UNIX projects as
they are presently conceived.  There is simply too much risk someone with a
prior exposure to AT&T source codes could manage to contaminate the product.

Sigh, AJ

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alexander-James Annala
Principal Investigator
Neuroscience Image Analysis Network
HEDCO Neuroscience Building, Fifth Floor
University of Southern California
University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: murthy@cs.cornell.edu (Chet Murthy)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 21 Jul 92 11:27:05 GMT
Distribution: comp
Organization: Cornell Univ. CS Dept, Ithaca NY 14853

>Sender: merlin@neuro.usc.edu (merlin)
>[Lots of stuff deleted from a press release or newspaper article?]

>Further, AT&T's question about the time investment of BSDI in bringing out
>their product [compared with their own cost over many years] will likely go
>a long way toward supporting their unfair competition claim.  If it took a
>small company like BSDI only a couple of years with a small team of people
>to produce BSD/386 vs the multi year investment of a corporate giant - then
>it is very possible AT&T may prevail on the unfair competition claim.

Y'know, Doug Comer's XINU, Linus Torvalds' Linux, Tanenbaum's Minix,
and I'm sure there are others, all stand as good arguments that the technology
if UNIX isn't just an AT&T invention anymore - the V sytem, Mach,
ad a zillin other ways of implementing the core of UNIX exist.

I think that even if BSDI fails, even if 386BSD fails, and even
if the entire Berkeley net2 distrib gets nuked,
free unix is perhaps 2 years away - in 2 years, linux will be stable.
In two years, the GNU Hurd will be stable.  And AT&T can 
do almost nothing abot that, eh?

But you're right - I'm pissed, too.  From what I heard of the history,
BSD started with V6 unix, a developed a _whole_ _lot_
of what currently constitutes UNIX.  To claim that AT&T did ti all is
goinga bit far.

--chet--

From: cgd@agate.berkeley.edu (Chris G. Demetriou)
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 21 Jul 1992 11:52:56 -0700

for real information on the USL vs. BSDI suit, see the documents in:

ftp.uu.net      vendor/bsdi/usl


Chris
cgd@agate.berkeley.edu
386bsd haaker, and ftpmeister on agate...
-- 
                            Chris G. Demetriou
                             cgd@berkeley.edu

     I'm not from the computer center, and I'm *NOT* here to help *YOU*!

From: veit@du9ds3.uni-duisburg.de (Holger Veit)
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 21 Jul 92 14:29:14 GMT
Reply-To: veit@du9ds3.uni-duisburg.de

In <1992Jul21.112705.6276@cs.cornell.edu> murthy@cs.cornell.edu (Chet Murthy) writes:

>>Sender: merlin@neuro.usc.edu (merlin)
>>[Lots of stuff deleted from a press release or newspaper article?]

>>Further, AT&T's question about the time investment of BSDI in bringing out
>>their product [compared with their own cost over many years] will likely go
>>a long way toward supporting their unfair competition claim.  If it took a
>>small company like BSDI only a couple of years with a small team of people
>>to produce BSD/386 vs the multi year investment of a corporate giant - then
>>it is very possible AT&T may prevail on the unfair competition claim.

>Y'know, Doug Comer's XINU, Linus Torvalds' Linux, Tanenbaum's Minix,
>and I'm sure there are others, all stand as good arguments that the technology
>if UNIX isn't just an AT&T invention anymore - the V sytem, Mach,
>ad a zillin other ways of implementing the core of UNIX exist.

>I think that even if BSDI fails, even if 386BSD fails, and even
>if the entire Berkeley net2 distrib gets nuked,
>free unix is perhaps 2 years away - in 2 years, linux will be stable.
>In two years, the GNU Hurd will be stable.  And AT&T can 
>do almost nothing abot that, eh?

>But you're right - I'm pissed, too.  From what I heard of the history,
>BSD started with V6 unix, a developed a _whole_ _lot_
>of what currently constitutes UNIX.  To claim that AT&T did ti all is
>goinga bit far.

>--chet--

As far as I understood the above article from merlin, AT&T not only claims
that BSDI has used the trademark "UNIX", but more important, that they had
taken code from a 'something system' named net-2 from some university, which
(in AT&T's opinion) might have been rewritten to contain no line that grep 
would match with the original sources, but covers at least the "idea" 
behind UNIX. If I understand this correctly, and AT&T will win, then any 
NIXe or XINe above could be sued. I can imagine an interpretation of what is 
the "idea of UNIX," it might be a lot of things, including
  file system (inodes, hierarchical tree, naming conventions)
  process management (e.g. init, fork, setuid!)
  device driver management (terminal disciplines)
  the set of system and user calls (remember the GETCHAR macro)
  pipelining concept of the shells (in general: user interfacing) 
Any of the derived versions (or reverse engineered or developed from scratch)
has at least one aspect of UNIX. Even if the programmers haven't even seen
one byte of AT&T source, there are things that will likely be done the same
or a similar way, provided the data structures remain "compatible". You may
#include  in your programs and give your source away, but don't 
dare *) to take a part of /usr/include and put it into your distribution to
set up a base of compatible definitions....:-(

*) if grep -i AT&T /usr/include/* returns output

Hopefully this will never come true.

Holger

-- 
|  |   / Holger Veit             | INTERNET: veit@du9ds3.uni-duisburg.de
|__|  /  University of Duisburg  | BITNET: veit%du9ds3.uni-duisburg.de@UNIDO
|  | /   Dept. of Electr. Eng.   | "No, my programs are not BUGGY, these are
|  |/    Inst. f. Dataprocessing |          just unexpected FEATURES"

From: lfoard@Turing.ORG (Lawrence C. Foard)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 22 Jul 92 21:59:06 GMT
Distribution: comp
Organization: The Turing Project, Charlottesville Virginia.

In article <1992Jul21.112705.6276@cs.cornell.edu> murthy@cs.cornell.edu 
(Chet Murthy) writes:
>Y'know, Doug Comer's XINU, Linus Torvalds' Linux, Tanenbaum's Minix,
>and I'm sure there are others, all stand as good arguments that the technology
>if UNIX isn't just an AT&T invention anymore - the V sytem, Mach,
>ad a zillin other ways of implementing the core of UNIX exist.
>
>I think that even if BSDI fails, even if 386BSD fails, and even
>if the entire Berkeley net2 distrib gets nuked,
>free unix is perhaps 2 years away - in 2 years, linux will be stable.
>In two years, the GNU Hurd will be stable.  And AT&T can 
>do almost nothing abot that, eh?

I'm somewhat concerned about the possibility that some Linux developers
might be familiar with AT&T code. For legal reasons it might be best
to make sure that all Linux kernel code is developed by people with
no prior experience with AT&T code.

>But you're right - I'm pissed, too.  From what I heard of the history,
>BSD started with V6 unix, a developed a _whole_ _lot_
>of what currently constitutes UNIX.  To claim that AT&T did ti all is
>goinga bit far.

The unfortunite thing is that money makes right in court. Atleast Linux
is an international effort and may be harder for AT&T to stop.

-- 
>>Unix/C Contract worker available 5 years C/unix work experience<<  ______
Available for Telecommuting/Travel and contracts on the T Line       \    /
in the Boston MA area. Send me e-mail for a copy of my Resume.        \  /
       -- VWIS 508-793-9568 (2400 baud), Linux support BBS.--          \/

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
From: tytso@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Theodore Ts'o)
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Reply-To: tytso@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Theodore Ts'o)
Organization: The Internet
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1992 02:46:20 GMT

   From: lfoard@Turing.ORG (Lawrence C. Foard)
   Date: 22 Jul 92 21:59:06 GMT

   I'm somewhat concerned about the possibility that some Linux developers
   might be familiar with AT&T code. For legal reasons it might be best
   to make sure that all Linux kernel code is developed by people with
   no prior experience with AT&T code.

Actually, what's really important is whether or not Linux developers had
access to AT&T code under a source license which contains the words
"methods and concepts".  What "methods and concepts" says is that the
licensor owns the "methods and concepts" used in the source code as
intellectual property, and if you ever write code that uses those same
"methods and concepts", the licensor owns it.

Fortunately for me, MIT as an institution refuses to sign _any_ license
which contains a "methods and concepts" clause.  You may want to check
the agreements you or your company have signed to see if they have that
deadly clause.

It may also good idea to make sure we don't use any significant pieces
of code from the BSD networking release, just to be sure, although I
doubt Linux is under any serious threat, since it isn't a commercial OS.

						- Ted

P.S.  Food for thought: apparently IBM holds a patent of emulating the
'Tab' character on a VDT screen.  IBM normally doesn't enforce it,
although apparently Microsoft paid a fair amount of money to IBM to
settle patent enfringements of this nature.

Also, AT&T owns the patent on backing store, and was attempting to
collect $25 for each X server that used backing store.  MIT (on behalf
of the X consortium) is currently fighting AT&T in court on this issue.
Sigh.... what else did you expect from a company whose logo is the Death
Star?  :-)

P.P.S.  Insert standard disclaimer: the views in this letter are my own,
and do not represent the opinions of MIT or its management.  Also, I am
Computer Scientist, not a Lawyer, so what I write should not be taken as
legal counsel.  I do occasionally play one on TV, though.  :-)

From: hedrick@dumas.rutgers.edu (Charles Hedrick)
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 26 Jul 92 18:29:24 GMT

There's nothing illegal about using "Unix ideas".  You can be sued
only if you violate some specific intellectual property right.  These
can be created by copyright, patent, trade secret, or special
contractual arrangement.  Pieces of Unix are protected by each of
these.  Most of the new source code is copyrighted.  I believe there
is at least one patent (the setuid bit), which however I think may be
either expired or not enforced.  But the primary issue in Berkeley's
case is trade secret and licenses that involve "methods and concepts".
Berkeley presumably agreed in their license agreement to regard all of
the methods and concepts of Unix as trade secrets.  If Berkeley has
really recoded everything so that there is no actual Unix code, then
there should be no copyright issues.  However the claim would be that
the code still used the same concepts and methods as the original
code.  Indeed in theory even the networking code, which is completely
original to Berkeley, might also involve general Unix methods and
concepts.  However things could get complex, because ATT has allowed
publication of books by their own people on Unix internals.  Trade
secrets clauses always say that if information because available to
the general public, through no fault of yours, then it is no longer a
trade secret.  So one would have to show that either (1) Berkeley's
code had been written by people who had not seen the ATT code, or (2)
the code used only those concepts and methods that had become public.

BSDI may be in a different situation, because they have signed no
trade secret agreements with ATT, and have no access to ATT trade
secrets, except from Berkeley.  I don't know enough about trade secret
law to be sure whether they are responsible for violations of
Berkeley's license by Berkeley (if any such violations occured).  This
is a situation where as a non-lawyer I don't even want to speculate.
But I'm pretty sure BSDI is in a different legal situation than
Berkeley.  ATT may be trying to finesse this issue by using false
advertising rather than a direct suit for violation of trade secret.
I think the theory is that if Berkeley has violated their agreements,
then BSDI's claim that their code is ATT-free is false, even if BSDI
themselves can't be sued for that violation.

However the point of all this is to talk about the implications for
Linux.  I'm assuming that Linus has not had access to any ATT trade
secrets.  Code written from scratch by someone with no access to ATT
information is clearly not in violation of copyrights, trade secrets,
or concepts and methods.  It could be in violation of patents if there
were any patents and those patents were valid.  My guess is that there
are no relevant patents, but that's just a guess.  As far as I know,
Linux, Hurd, Coherent, and other Unix variants done by people without
access to ATT code are safe.  In order to maintain that status, people
with access to ATT code should not contribute any substantial code to
the Linux kernel.  (People at MIT may be an exception, if they really
an ATT license that doesn't have the trade secret clause.  I frankly
find that hard to believe.)  I assume that bug fixes and other minor
tweaks are not a problem.

I've read the ATT claims and BSDI counter-claims.  ATT is making only
the most general claims.  They do not give any specific examples, nor
do they specific exactly which type of intellectual property right was
violated.  BSDI's response compares it to a Xerox suit against Apple,
which was apparently very similar.  Like ATT's, they did not give any
specific violation of intellectual property right.  Instead, they sued
for false advertising, as ATT has done here.  (The alleged falsehood
is BSDI's claim that the code is free from ATT licensing.)  BSDI says
that you can't make a claim that this is false without showing that
some specific intellectual property claim is violated.  In effect they
say that the suit is too vague to be meaningful.

The question of the use of the Unix name seems more clear-cut.  It is
well-known to be an ATT trademark.  Unless someone wants to try to
prove that it has become a generic name, it should not be used without
ATT's permission.  It appears that BSDI has settled on this issue.

As usual, before taking actions that depend critically on these
issues, consult a lawyer who is familiar with intellectual property
issue.

From: S_TITZ@iravcl.ira.uka.de (Olaf Titz)
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 27 Jul 1992 08:37:32 GMT

In <veit.711728954@du9ds3> veit@du9ds3.uni-duisburg.de writes:

...
>  NIXe or XINe above could be sued. I can imagine an interpretation of what is 
>  the "idea of UNIX," it might be a lot of things, including
>    file system (inodes, hierarchical tree, naming conventions)
>    process management (e.g. init, fork, setuid!)
                                          ~~~~~~
>    device driver management (terminal disciplines)
>    the set of system and user calls (remember the GETCHAR macro)
>    pipelining concept of the shells (in general: user interfacing) 
>  Any of the derived versions (or reverse engineered or developed from scratch)
>  has at least one aspect of UNIX. Even if the programmers haven't even seen

Some time ago, in a UNIX manual (which one I unfortunately don't
remember), I read that the SETUID principle was actually covered by a
patent (inventor Ken Thompson, I think).



MfG,
        Olaf
--
                                                             o
 Olaf Titz           \    s_titz@iravcl.ira.uka.de \        _/\
                      \   uknf@dkauni2.bitnet       \      _//|_.
y.a. comp.sc.student   \  +49-721-60439@voice        \    (_)`(_) 
Uni Karlsruhe, Germany  \ praetoriu@irc               \~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: wirzeniu@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Lars Wirzenius)
Subject: Re: BSD Unix aka Freedom is a myth....
Date: 27 Jul 92 16:09:08 GMT

S_TITZ@iravcl.ira.uka.de (Olaf Titz) writes:
>Some time ago, in a UNIX manual (which one I unfortunately don't
>remember), I read that the SETUID principle was actually covered by a
>patent (inventor Ken Thompson, I think).

As long as were remembering things, I remember it being Dennis Ritchie. 
The patent has been released by AT&T (i.e. they won't enforce it)
because otherwise POSIX (and Unix look-alikes) would have been
impossible.

--
Lars.Wirzenius@helsinki.fi

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		       SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM

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