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From: Mark Crispin <M...@SU-SCORE.ARPA>
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards
Subject: public domain?
Message-ID: <6779@brl-tgr.ARPA>
Date: Wed, 26-Dec-84 05:13:35 EST
Article-I.D.: brl-tgr.6779
Posted: Wed Dec 26 05:13:35 1984
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     I have been told the following things about the Unix software world.
I would appreciate some commentary about how [un]true these statements
are:
 . the object code from a proprietary C compiler is itself proprietary.
 . the executable binary of a C program is proprietary if it uses any of
   the standard library functions, which are proprietary.
 . any program written in yacc is proprietary, because the algorithms
   output by yacc are proprietary.
 . the proprietary ownership of all of this is good ol' Bell.

     In other words, what this seems to say is that I am unable to
develop any applications in C or yacc and distribute binaries produced by
a Bell C/yacc compiler without requiring that the site I distribute the
software to has a Unix license.

     I have trouble adjusting to this, coming from a world (DEC-20) where
no matter how proprietary the compiler may be, the ownership of the
executable binaries belongs to the owner of the source code even if some
library routine from the compiler's runtimes is used.

     Perhaps GNU may be a salvation, however the GNU developers may not
be totally sympathetic to my efforts, as part of my plans include the
development of proprietary software -- MY proprietary software.  I don't
want to be limited to selling only to Unix systems though.

     Have any of the legal eagles on this list worked out all the hairy
issues involved?  Does Bell really want to strangle the greater acceptance
of C by making Unix licenses essential to run programs written in it?
-------

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umcp-cs!chris
From: ch...@umcp-cs.UUCP (Chris Torek)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards
Subject: Re: public domain?
Message-ID: <2114@umcp-cs.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 27-Dec-84 01:38:15 EST
Article-I.D.: umcp-cs.2114
Posted: Thu Dec 27 01:38:15 1984
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References: <6779@brl-tgr.ARPA>
Organization: U of Maryland, Computer Science Dept., College Park, MD
Lines: 13

> . any program written in yacc is proprietary, because the algorithms
>   output by yacc are proprietary.

I have heard the claim (and it makes sense to me) that SOURCE code put
out by yacc is proprietary, since it contains /usr/lib/yaccpar.  I've
never heard it claimed (but wouldn't be TOO surprised at ANYTHING AT&T
does) that object code produced with the aid of yacc is proprietary.
-- 
(This line accidently left nonblank.)

In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Univ of MD Comp Sci Dept (301) 454-7690
UUCP:	{seismo,allegra,brl-bmd}!umcp-cs!chris
CSNet:	chris@umcp-cs		ARPA:	chris@maryland

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From: and...@orca.UUCP (Andrew Klossner)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <1276@orca.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 29-Dec-84 21:28:26 EST
Article-I.D.: orca.1276
Posted: Sat Dec 29 21:28:26 1984
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Organization: Tektronix, Wilsonville OR
Lines: 22

[]

	"I have heard the claim (and it makes sense to me) that SOURCE
	code put out by yacc is proprietary, since it contains
	/usr/lib/yaccpar.  I've never heard it claimed (but wouldn't be
	TOO surprised at ANYTHING AT&T does) that object code produced
	with the aid of yacc is proprietary."

In 1982, it was the official legal position of AT&T that object code
from yacc is proprietary.

I checked into this because the company I was working for was
considering OEM'ing the Aztec C package for CP/M-80.  The problem is
that the included assembler (but not the compiler) was written using
yacc.  We concluded that Manx was violating a Unix license, and decided
to steer clear.

You can make your yacc output be non-proprietary by rewriting
/usr/lib/yaccpar.

  -- Andrew Klossner   (decvax!tektronix!orca!andrew)       [UUCP]
                       (orca!andrew.tektronix@csnet-relay)  [ARPA]

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sdcsvax!sdcrdcf!trwrb!desint!geoff
From: ge...@desint.UUCP (Geoff Kuenning)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.legal
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <288@desint.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 3-Jan-85 06:13:34 EST
Article-I.D.: desint.288
Posted: Thu Jan  3 06:13:34 1985
Date-Received: Sat, 5-Jan-85 02:14:52 EST
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Organization: his home computer, Manhattan Beach, CA
Lines: 50

In article <1...@orca.UUCP> and...@orca.UUCP (Andrew Klossner) writes:

>>	"I have heard the claim (and it makes sense to me) that SOURCE
>>	code put out by yacc is proprietary, since it contains
>>	/usr/lib/yaccpar.
>
>In 1982, it was the official legal position of AT&T that object code
>from yacc is proprietary.

Mind you, I'm not volunteering to be a test case, but my layman's legal
opinion is that AT&T cannot claim ownership of yaccpar, /usr/include/*,
/bin/lint and /bin/spell, and anything else that you can 'cat' at will.

My reasoning is as follows:

    (1) AT&T has traditionally used trade secret law to protect UNIX.  All
	UNIX licenses include a requirement that anyone given access to
	the source of UNIX sign a nondisclosure agreement.
    (2) AT&T has never tried to claim a copyright on the source code of
	UNIX.  This is keeping with the best legal advice of the late 70's,
	which said that copyrighting involved publishing which is antithetical
	to keeping something secret.  There are copyrights on AT&T's *printed*
	documentation, but there are none in the source code.  Nor are there
	any in /usr/lib/yaccpar (I just looked).  My /usr/include stuff has
	copyrights from UniSoft, but none from AT&T.  Since all of this stuff
	has been around for over 1 year, I conclude that it is now in the
	public domain (from a copyright point of view).
    (3) Since /usr/lib/yaccpar is not copyrighted and is not patented, AT&T's
	only legal protection is trade secret law.  But the most basic
	element of that law is that the information must be kept *secret* by
	restrictions and contractual agreements.  Over the years, thousands of
	unprivileged users have been given unrestricted access to /usr/include
	and all other cat-able files.  So where is the secret?

Thus, AT&T would seem to have no legal recourse against people who use
publicly-readable files.  

In fact, trade secret law doesn't prohibit reverse engineering, either.  I
have seen a lot of recent contracts that explicitly prohibit disassembling the
code involved.  Since at least the older AT&T contracts do not cover this
possibility, it is probably also legal to disassemble any binary that has
world read permissions unless you are covered by a more recent contract.

This is not to be construed as advice to go blithely stealing AT&T code just
because it's in /usr/include.  I would at least check with a real lawyer
first.  But I am eagerly awaiting the first test case.
-- 

	Geoff Kuenning
	...!ihnp4!trwrb!desint!geoff

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From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.legal
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <4866@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 5-Jan-85 20:05:32 EST
Article-I.D.: utzoo.4866
Posted: Sat Jan  5 20:05:32 1985
Date-Received: Sat, 5-Jan-85 20:05:32 EST
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<1276@orca.UUCP>, <288@desint.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 54

>   (1) AT&T has traditionally used trade secret law to protect UNIX.  All
>	UNIX licenses include a requirement that anyone given access to
>	the source of UNIX sign a nondisclosure agreement.

I don't recall the exact wording, but I'll be very surprised if it makes
any distinction between source and binary for non-disclosure purposes.
Every byte of software supplied by Bell is covered, source or not.

>     (3) Since /usr/lib/yaccpar is not copyrighted and is not patented, AT&T's
> 	only legal protection is trade secret law.  But the most basic
> 	element of that law is that the information must be kept *secret* by
> 	restrictions and contractual agreements.  Over the years, thousands of
> 	unprivileged users have been given unrestricted access to /usr/include
> 	and all other cat-able files.  So where is the secret?

Anyone who has granted access to this stuff without imposing a non-disclosure
requirement as a condition of access is in violation of their Unix licence,
and AT&T could sue them for their shirts over it.

> Thus, AT&T would seem to have no legal recourse against people who use
> publicly-readable files.  

Bell-supplied software is not supposed to be made publicly-readable, in
the broad sense of the word "public".

> In fact, trade secret law doesn't prohibit reverse engineering, either.  I
> have seen a lot of recent contracts that explicitly prohibit disassembling the
> code involved.  Since at least the older AT&T contracts do not cover this
> possibility, it is probably also legal to disassemble any binary that has
> world read permissions unless you are covered by a more recent contract.

Certainly it is legal to disassemble it, but that is Bell code you are
disassembling, and it is covered by non-disclosure.  My understanding is
that binary-only licences still have a non-disclosure clause.  Giving
people only the binaries is an enforcement tactic, making it harder to
steal things inconspicuously; it does not change the nature of the
legal protection.

Catting things == accessing them.  Ability to access Bell-supplied stuff
without being covered, somehow, by non-disclosure provisions => licence
violation somewhere.  It's as simple as that.  *ALL* Unix licences include
non-disclosure clauses; *ALL* Bell-supplied software -- sources, binaries,
libraries, EVERYTHING -- is covered by those non-disclosure clauses.  No
way is any of this stuff in the public domain, legally.

Whether it is in the public domain in practice is another story.  Quite
possibly one could argue that illicit access to Unix materials, including
sources, is so common that AT&T cannot realistically claim that the
stuff is secret any more.  The problem is, AT&T would fight such a
contention tooth and nail, and being right is not comforting when you
are facing a legal battle of that magnitude and expense.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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From: gamiddle...@thunder.UUCP (Guy Middleton)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.legal
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <185@thunder.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 7-Jan-85 13:57:20 EST
Article-I.D.: thunder.185
Posted: Mon Jan  7 13:57:20 1985
Date-Received: Tue, 8-Jan-85 04:14:57 EST
References: <6779@brl-tgr.ARPA> <2114@umcp-cs.UUCP> <1276@orca.UUCP> 
<288@desint.UUCP> <4866@utzoo.UUCP>
Reply-To: gamiddle...@thunder.UUCP (Guy Middleton)
Organization: Lakehead U; Thunder Bay, Ontario
Lines: 16
Summary: 

In article <4...@utzoo.UUCP> he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer) writes:
>> 					Over the years, thousands of
>> 	unprivileged users have been given unrestricted access to /usr/include
>> 	and all other cat-able files.  So where is the secret?
>
>Anyone who has granted access to this stuff without imposing a non-disclosure
>requirement as a condition of access is in violation of their Unix licence,
>and AT&T could sue them for their shirts over it.

Are you saying that *anybody* who uses a system should be made to sign a
non-disclosure agreement?  I doubt that any university (with several hundred
students on a typical Unix machine) could force all of them to sign any such
thing.
________
	Guy Middleton, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ont.
	..{allegra,clyde,decvax,utcsrgv}!watmath!thunder!gamiddleton

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From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.legal
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <4886@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 8-Jan-85 12:14:58 EST
Article-I.D.: utzoo.4886
Posted: Tue Jan  8 12:14:58 1985
Date-Received: Tue, 8-Jan-85 12:14:58 EST
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Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 31

> >Anyone who has granted access to this stuff without imposing a non-disclosure
> >requirement as a condition of access is in violation of their Unix licence,
> >and AT&T could sue them for their shirts over it.
> 
> Are you saying that *anybody* who uses a system should be made to sign a
> non-disclosure agreement?  I doubt that any university (with several hundred
> students on a typical Unix machine) could force all of them to sign any such
> thing.

Check your Unix licence for the exact wording, but a randomly-grabbed
(somewhat old) AT&T licence from my files reads, in part:

	LICENSEE agrees that it shall hold the LICENSED SOFTWARE in
	confidence for AT&T and the other Bell System companies.
	LICENSEE further agrees that it shall not make any disclosure
	of the LICENSED SOFTWARE ... to anyone, except to employees
	or students of the LICENSEE to whom such disclosure is necessary
	to the use for which rights are granted hereunder.  LICENSEE
	shall appropriately notify each employee and student to whom
	any such disclosure is made that such disclosure is made in
	confidence and shall be kept in confidence by him.

In other words, technically you are required to tell all your students
about the confidentiality requirements, and order them to comply.

Also, as I suggested in the earlier message, there appears to be no
distinction made between sources, libraries, include files, and binaries.
It's all covered.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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From: ge...@desint.UUCP (Geoff Kuenning)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.legal
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <298@desint.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 10-Jan-85 04:13:59 EST
Article-I.D.: desint.298
Posted: Thu Jan 10 04:13:59 1985
Date-Received: Sun, 13-Jan-85 07:09:52 EST
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<288@desint.UUCP> <4866@utzoo.UUCP>
Organization: his home computer, Manhattan Beach, CA
Lines: 91

In article <4...@utzoo.UUCP> he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer) writes:

>Anyone who has granted access to this stuff without imposing a non-disclosure
>requirement as a condition of access is in violation of their Unix licence,
>and AT&T could sue them for their shirts over it.

So?  Does U of Toronto require literally *every* student who has ever taken a
Unix course or had a Unix signon to sign a nondisclosure?  If so, you are the
exception, not the rule.

Besides the obvious case of university students, there are also public access
Unixes.  I know of installations in Chicago and San Francisco.  Both have
'guest' logins, and will grant a login to anyone who asks, as well.  There
are also several budding commercial timesharing Unix systems.

I can also point out at least several cases of Unix systems which are on
dialup phone lines accessible to any "cracker," and which have guest logins
with no password.  Several 68000 companies, for example, provide "demo"
phone numbers with guest logins.  (In fact, I have seen systems that don't
even have a root password!).

Finally, there are the commercial installations.  When a TRW employee hires on,
he or she typically signs a blanket nondisclosure/invention ownership
document.  Two or more years later, he/she is given a UNIX login.  But was it
made clear that this involved a specific nondisclosure responsibility to AT&T?

Also, a number of AT&T customers (OEM's) have been sloppy about UNIX licenses,
especially in the early days.  I know of more than one 68000-based system
which the owner paid cash for, legally, yet never signed a nondisclosure.

My point is that, although technically you are right (all of these people are
guilty of violating the nondisclosure agreement), legally AT&T has no
recourse against these people.  One of the requirements of trade secret law
is that AT&T must make a sincere good-faith effort to maintain the secrecy of
their material.  My position (if sued by AT&T) would be that the number of
people who have had non-restricted access to all or part of UNIX is prima
facie evidence that AT&T has not taken sufficient care to restrict their
trade secret.  In particular (warning:  I am working from rusty memory on
the contract;  forgive me if I blow it):

    (1) Many editions of the AT&T contract have not explicitly prohibited
	granting access to the "publicly-readable" files.  I am pretty sure
	that I have seen contracts listing /usr/src as the only thing that
	must be protected as an AT&T trade secret.
    (2) Most editions of the contract have said nothing about who may be given
	logins on the system, although there is a provision that anyone who is
	given "access" to the *sources* (not the timesharing system as a tool
	or entity) must be bound by nondisclosure.
    (3) AT&T has been aware for some time of the existence of university
	students who use Unix.  I suspect AT&T has taken no action to
	make sure that these "ordinary" users are bound by non-disclosure.
    (4) The same goes for public-access Unixes, which have been around for at
	least two years now -- plenty of time for an aggressive company to
	learn of their existence and write them a nasty legal letter.
    (5) Finally, AT&T has not (in my perception) been very aggressive about
	seeking out and prosecuting violators of their trade secrets.  In my
	experience, it is normal for your average Unix wizard to leave his or
	her job with tapes under the arm.  The last guy I worked with who had
	access, had tapes of V7, SIII, and BSD.  All illegal, to be sure, but
	nevertheless AT&T hasn't made much news suing those types.  Even former
	AT&T employees are among the violators.

Note that, under US trade secret law, all of the people responsible for letting
the cat out of the bag are liable for damages to AT&T.  However, anyone who
learned these secrets *from* those people can use them at will.  So, although
AT&T can sue a bunch of people for a bundle, the "secrets" are no longer
AT&T's property in the sense that anyone can be sued for using them.

If one accepts that Bell cannot successfully defend "trade secret" protection
on their binaries/public files, many of Henry's other comments become
irrelevant.

>Whether it is in the public domain in practice is another story.  Quite
>possibly one could argue that illicit access to Unix materials, including
>sources, is so common that AT&T cannot realistically claim that the
>stuff is secret any more.  The problem is, AT&T would fight such a
>contention tooth and nail, and being right is not comforting when you
>are facing a legal battle of that magnitude and expense.

This is true.  As Ed Gould pointed out, no wise person is going to volunteer
to be a test case.  But AT&T is in a bit of a bind here.  If they don't fight
AND WIN a test case pretty soon, the thing is going to be so open and shut
that even you and I could afford to fight them off.

DISCLAIMER:  As before, I am not a lawyer.  The legal opinions expressed
herein are gleaned from layman-oriented articles and are probably completely
bogus.  Trust them at your own risk.
-- 

	Geoff Kuenning
	...!ihnp4!trwrb!desint!geoff

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.legal
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <4938@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 16-Jan-85 12:44:48 EST
Article-I.D.: utzoo.4938
Posted: Wed Jan 16 12:44:48 1985
Date-Received: Wed, 16-Jan-85 12:44:48 EST
References: <6779@brl-tgr.ARPA> <2114@umcp-cs.UUCP> <1276@orca.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 75

> ... Does U of Toronto require literally *every* student who has ever taken a
> Unix course or had a Unix signon to sign a nondisclosure?  If so, you are the
> exception, not the rule.

U of T definitely doesn't go this far; certainly my installation doesn't.
Thing is, if it comes to a legal battle, we are clearly in the wrong for
not taking action on the matter.  Note that the AT&T software licences
explicitly demand that users be informed of their non-disclosure
obligations; I can think of no possible defence for ignoring this part
of the licence.  Whether or not certain items of the software really are
protected any more, a signed licence that says you agree to tell your
users about the issue is hard to argue with.

> ... there are also public access
> Unixes.  I know of installations in Chicago and San Francisco.  Both have
> 'guest' logins, and will grant a login to anyone who asks, as well.  ...

I hope they have good lawyers.  If AT&T ever gets tough with them, they
are in big trouble.

> I can also point out at least several cases of Unix systems which are on
> dialup phone lines accessible to any "cracker," and which have guest logins
> with no password.  Several 68000 companies, for example, provide "demo"
> phone numbers with guest logins.  (In fact, I have seen systems that don't
> even have a root password!).

Same comment:  I hope they have good lawyers.  We got rid of our "guest"
account as soon as we thought about this for a moment.  The combination
of (a) dialups, (b) a no-password account, and (c) access to AT&T material
strikes me as an open-and-shut case.

> My point is that, although technically you are right (all of these people are
> guilty of violating the nondisclosure agreement), legally AT&T has no
> recourse against these people.  ...

Mmm, really?  Stipulating that AT&T has technically forfeited trade-secret
protection by not being careful enough, that still leaves that nasty little
licence that your institution signed.  Absence of trade-secret protection
would mean that the things are available for general use, but I strongly
suspect that a signed agreement remains a signed agreement, and deliberate
violation of it remains grounds for a lawsuit.  Certain clauses of the
agreement would become pointless, but that does not necessarily make them
null and void.  This is the sort of thing lawyers get rich on.

> ... all of the people responsible for letting
> the cat out of the bag are liable for damages to AT&T.  However, anyone who
> learned these secrets *from* those people can use them at will. ...

You're sure about that?  My impression was that the necessary condition
for use at will was that they acquired the secrets "in good faith", i.e.
not realizing that they were secrets.  Convincing a court that you didn't
realize the Unix kernel was a secret strikes me as hard; if you know
enough to know what it is, you are very likely to know its status.

> This is true.  As Ed Gould pointed out, no wise person is going to volunteer
> to be a test case.  But AT&T is in a bit of a bind here.  If they don't fight
> AND WIN a test case pretty soon, the thing is going to be so open and shut
> that even you and I could afford to fight them off.

Speak for yourself!  *NO* legal fight against AT&T is open and shut if
they are seriously interested in winning.  In an ideal world, a simple
case where the evidence was clear could be won easily and cheaply, even
against a huge opponent.  This is not an ideal world.  We are talking
about undermining the proprietary nature of Unix itself, the keystone
of AT&T's assault on the software market.  (The arguments that would
apply to the binaries today could be applied to the sources tomorrow.)
I would expect the legal warfare to last a decade and cost millions.
I would also refuse to put any large bets on the outcome, regardless
of how obvious the rights and wrongs are.

P.S.:  Like Geoff, I am not a lawyer.  Consult an expert before doing
	anything rash.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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From: s...@gatech.UUCP (Gene Spafford)
Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.legal
Subject: Re: yacc: public domain?
Message-ID: <11930@gatech.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 7-Feb-85 16:01:05 EST
Article-I.D.: gatech.11930
Posted: Thu Feb  7 16:01:05 1985
Date-Received: Wed, 13-Feb-85 00:14:49 EST
References: <6779@brl-tgr.ARPA> <2114@umcp-cs.UUCP> <1276@orca.UUCP> 
<288@desint.UUCP> <4866@utzoo.UUCP> <185@thunder.UUCP> 
<540@ncoast.UUCPThu, 7-Feb-85 16:01:05 EST
Reply-To: s...@gatech.UUCP (Gene Spafford)
Organization: The Clouds Project, School of ICS, Georgia Tech
Lines: 25
Summary: 


> Article <1...@thunder.UUCP>, from gamiddle...@thunder.UUCP (Guy Middleton)
> Are you saying that *anybody* who uses a system should be made to sign a
> non-disclosure agreement?  I doubt that any university (with several hundred
> students on a typical Unix machine) could force all of them to sign any such
> thing.

Here at Georgia Tech, for at least the last 3 or 4 years, anyone getting
an account on one of the research machines with source available is
required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.  The agreement is basically
a reproduction of the part of the license governing non-disclosure, and
a statement that they had read and understood it, and would abide by it.
Everybody, including faculty, signs it.

One the other hand, on the Pyramid where we run only binaries and
no source is available, so the campus department administering it
doesn't require any signatures.  That may soon change, however, since
we want to get source on that machine.  If it means getting hundreds
of students to sign a non-disclosure agreemen, we will.  Our lawyers
here are rather touchy about things like that.
-- 
Gene "6 months and counting" Spafford
The Clouds Project, School of ICS, Georgia Tech, Atlanta GA 30332
CSNet:	Spaf @ GATech		ARPA:	Spaf%GATech.CSNet @ CSNet-Relay.ARPA
uucp:	...!{akgua,allegra,hplabs,ihnp4,linus,seismo,ulysses}!gatech!spaf

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		       SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM

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