Tech Insider					     Technology and Trends


			      USENET Archives

Path: sparky!uunet!mcsun!Germany.EU.net!unido!adagio!grog
From: g...@adagio.UUCP (Greg Lehey)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.bsd,gnu.misc.discuss
Subject: AT&T and BSDI -- yet again
Keywords: lawsuit, AT&T, USL, BSDI, new developments
Message-ID: <1842@adagio.UUCP>
Date: 29 Jul 92 18:29:38 GMT
Followup-To: comp.unix.bsd
Organization: LEMIS, W-6324 Feldatal, Germany
Lines: 83


I had a phone call from Mitch Wagner of Open Systems Today today, and
he tells me that USL has extended the lawsuit - apparently, UCB is now
included, and there are specific complaints. I didn't get many
details, but they will presumably fill out as time goes on.

Mitch feels that USL is not fighting dirty - in his opinion, they are
genuinely convinced that BSDI is abusing their intellectual property,
that they have worked long and hard to produce an operating system and
that BSDI has now come and is trying to reap the fruits of their
labour in the commercial marketplace.

I should make it clear - as I did to Mitch - that I don't completely
share this viewpoint. I do agree that they probably are not
consciously playing dirty. However, I don't think that USL can have
any unified view of what is theirs and what they got from BSD - how
can they claim to have worked long and hard on an operating system
when significant parts of their own system were written by non-AT&T
employees, including significant contributions by the current
development staff of BSDI?

Now for the real reason for this posting

1: if USL are going to prove that BSDI have abused their intellectual
   property, and the source code shows similarities, who is going to
   prove where this source came from?  As another example of genuine AT&T
   code (from System V.3, I am told on good authority), consider:

/*
 * Copyright (c) 1982, 1986 Regents of the University of California.
 * All rights reserved.  The Berkeley software License Agreement
 * specifies the terms and conditions for redistribution.
 */

   This is an extreme example, of course, but how can AT&T claim
   ownership of any source file of theirs which carries such a
   copyright statement?

2: How much is any residual AT&T code worth? Assuming UCB or BSDI is
   found to have used residual AT&T code, might it not really be an
   alternative to license it for an appropriate fee (about $0.02 per
   license)?

3: How much of UNIX is based on original ideas anyway? I was rummaging
   in my old documentation (7th edition and earlier) a while back, and
   found (page 1928 of the Bell System Technical Journal, July/August
   1978), the following conclusion to Ritchie and Thompson's article
   on the UNIX Time-Sharing System:

     "Influences

     The success of UNIX lies not so much in new inventions but rather
     in the full exploitation of a carefully selected set of fertile
     ideas...
     The fork operation, essentially as we implemented it, was present
     in the GENIE time-sharing system [my note: somewhere I seem to
     remember that GENIE was developed at UCB, but I can't find any
     reference. Does anybody out there remember?]. On a number of
     points we were influenced by Multics... The notion that the shell
     should create a process for each command was also suggested to us
     by the early design of Multics... A similar scheme is used by
     TENEX."

   On the next page, we read:

     "The contributors to UNIX are, in the traditional but here
     especially apposite phrase, too numerous to mention. Certainly,
     collective salutes are due to our colleagues in the Computing
     Science Research Center. ...."

   In general, I can't see that USL can show that what is left of
   their 13-year-old 32V/7th edition code is worth the tape it was
   written on any more. Does anybody else care to comment?

BTW, I haven't sent this to the alt. newsgroup suggested a while back:
it hasn't made it to Germany, and it doesn't seem to offer the same
coverage. Flame me if you want, I can take it.

-- 
Greg Lehey                       | Tel: +49-6637-1488              
LEMIS                            | Fax: +49-6637-1489
Schellnhausen 2, W-6324 Feldatal, Germany
*** NOTE ***: Headers are mangled - reply to grog%le...@Germany.EU.net

Newsgroups: comp.unix.bsd
Path: sparky!uunet!utoday!wagner
From: wag...@utoday.com (Mitch Wagner)
Subject: Re: AT&T and BSDI -- yet again
Organization: Open Systems Today
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 92 16:43:47 GMT
Message-ID: <1992Jul31.164347.4251@utoday.com>
Keywords: lawsuit, AT&T, USL, BSDI, new developments
References: <1842@adagio.UUCP>
Lines: 44

In article <1...@adagio.UUCP> g...@adagio.UUCP (Greg Lehey) writes:
#
#I had a phone call from Mitch Wagner of Open Systems Today today....
#
#Mitch feels that USL is not fighting dirty - in his opinion, they are
#genuinely convinced that BSDI is abusing their intellectual property,
#that they have worked long and hard to produce an operating system and
#that BSDI has now come and is trying to reap the fruits of their
#labour in the commercial marketplace.
#
#I should make it clear - as I did to Mitch - that I don't completely
#share this viewpoint. I do agree that they probably are not
#consciously playing dirty. However, I don't think that USL can have
#any unified view of what is theirs and what they got from BSD ...
#

I'm sure that Greg is reporting accurately what I said. But it doesn't
precisely capture what I meant to say. (This is why I made the
decision to go into print rather than broadcast journalism many years
ago; I can put my views down in writing with great clarity, but I
often find it difficult to SAY exactly what I mean.)

Basically, I agree with everything that Greg says in the first graf,
except for the stuff before the dash. I think he's accurately conveyed
my understanding of USL's position. I *DON'T* think the folks at USL
are saying "the heck with morality, we have to step on these folks at
BSDI." I *DO* think the folks at USL sincerely believe their
intellectual property rights to have been infringed on.

However, now that we've established that both USL and BSDI believe
themselves to be acting from good and just motives, comes the question
of who is actually in the right. And the answer is, as of now: I don't
know.

And whatever my own personal views on this may be, I'm going to do my
damnedest to make sure my reporting---the words under my byline in
OPEN SYSTEMS TODAY---is fair, accurate and unbiased, because that's my job.

--
Mitch Wagner, senior editor, Open Systems Today 
2353 Massachusetts Ave. Suite 47, Cambridge, MA 02140
wag...@utoday.com  CIS:70212,51  GEnie:MITCH.WAGNER
For subscription information, please call 516/562-5882

			        About USENET

USENET (Users’ Network) was a bulletin board shared among many computer
systems around the world. USENET was a logical network, sitting on top
of several physical networks, among them UUCP, BLICN, BERKNET, X.25, and
the ARPANET. Sites on USENET included many universities, private companies
and research organizations. See USENET Archives.

		       SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM

March 7, 2003 - The SCO Group filed legal action against IBM in the State 
Court of Utah for trade secrets misappropriation, tortious interference, 
unfair competition and breach of contract. The complaint alleges that IBM 
made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of 
UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's Linux services 
business. See SCO v IBM.

The materials and information included in this website may only be used
for purposes such as criticism, review, private study, scholarship, or
research.

Electronic mail:			       WorldWideWeb:
   tech-insider@outlook.com			  http://tech-insider.org/