Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Fri 18th Jul 2008 23:29 UTC, submitted by Dale Smoker
Legal The convoluted case of SCO v. Novell dealt a heady blow to the SCO Group Wednesday, with United States District Judge Dale Kimball ordering the company to pay $2.5 million to Novell for improperly claiming, and collecting royalties for, the Unix operating system.
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What about 32v?!
by neozeed on Sat 19th Jul 2008 00:29 UTC
neozeed
Member since:
2006-03-03

I know this is a weird question, but does anyone know how this handles when Caldera "released" the source to Unix 32v?

It's kind of important in the BSD world.... Not that anyone really runs 32v (well you can, thanks to simh & it's 11/780 emulator) but more so with 4BSD......

When they gave 32v away, it basically ended the old AT&T vs BSDi/BSD legal wars.....

Now I wonder if all that old code is now questionable? And if they can finally open AT&T SYSVr4, or is Solaris 10 as close as you are going to get to that...

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about 32v?!
by dlundh on Sat 19th Jul 2008 07:16 in reply to "What about 32v?!"
dlundh Member since:
2007-03-29

Caldera nee SCO has released 32v under a nice permissive license. There is nothing to suggest that Novell should reverse such a decision - and since they have taken no action to stop SCO I think there is some legal entanglements to trying to stop it by now.

In fact, if there are no appeals this could possibly happen:
1a. SCO goes into chapter 7 and liquidates
1b. SCO pays up (maybe Microsoft or Sun will give them more money?) and continue to change their story in the IBM litigation to keep it alive
2a. Novell open sources all of SysV
2b. Novell demands money and/or sues Sun for acting in bad faith and open sourcing SysV - and THEN open sources SysV

Other ghosts that may appear - the arbitration between SuSE (Novell) and SCO in Switzerland.

Novell has no interest in the litigation "business", after all, how well has it worked for the SCOundrels?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: What about 32v?!
by zztaz on Sat 19th Jul 2008 07:31 in reply to "What about 32v?!"
zztaz Member since:
2006-09-16

32V and earlier are more than likely in the public domain. This is one of the reasons AT&T settled the case with the UC Regents, and asked that the terms of the settlement be secret. Some of those secrets have leaked. The rumor is that while AT&T showed that the BSD release infringed on a minor amount of AT&T code, AT&T was claiming copyright on and distributing a large quantity of code written by others.

When Unix development began, the conventional wisdom was that copyright did not apply to software. NDAs and other contract provisions typical of trade secrets were used instead.

At some point, someone claimed copyright on software and won in court. So AT&T retroactively pasted copyright notices on the then-current code. But they botched the details, such as registration, and also failed to distinguish AT&T code from that contributed by universities and licensees. No one had kept track of who owned the copyrights to which lines at a time when everyone assumed copyrights didn't apply to code.

So some code was released without copyright, but under NDA. But AT&T was sloppy, and gave the code to many people without an NDA. Courts have held that you can't require someone to keep secret something that you yourself have disclosed to the public.

Some early code is under an unenforceable NDA. Some later code is under unenforceable copyright. Only later code, System III or V, is clearly protected by copyright.

None of the Unix licensees were willing to challenge the copyright status of 32V. It was in their interests as much as AT&T's to pretend that AT&T's copyright claims were valid and that they had good licenses. Only McBride and friends were stupid enough to raise that lose/lose situation, and once the good lawyers looked at it, they told McBride to shut up about 32V.

It looks like Caldera gave away copyrights that they didn't own. On the other hand, Novell's claim to 32V copyrights (through AT&T) isn't worth warm spit. A good working assumption is that no one owns 32V, it is in the public domain. No one with any sense will go to court over 32V, on any side.

Reply Parent Score: 8