Interview in Byte with Chris Sontag/SCO and FUD relating toBSDsettlement agreement

Terry Lambert tlambert2 at
Thu Jun 19 01:30:52 PDT 2003

Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> On Wednesday, 18 June 2003 at  2:38:34 -0700, Terry Lambert wrote:
> > Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> >> Yes, it reminded me of that thread, but wkt was actually referring to
> >> System III, not 32V.
> >
> > I am also pretty certain that it was widely stated at the time
> > that the UCB's license was the older Western Electric license,
> > which is the same license which allowed Lyon's to publish his
> > commentary, legally, including the kernel source code.
> I suppose you mean John Lions.

Yes.  I always spell his name wrong.

> He got into a lot of trouble for that,
> and I doubt he would have got away with it in the USA.

Really?  Can you point to the signed non-disclosure agreement
that he violated in order to publish his commentary?  The U.S.
was not nearly as anal about this stuff until the 1980's.

> > While the university, proper, did obtain a more modern license, that
> > license could not be retroactive to change the terms of the original
> > license.
> Which university are you talking about?  UCB or UNSW?


> > The original licenses were very lenient in their terms, since, at
> > the time, the 1956 consent decreee prohibited them from making money
> > from software sales, as part of their being a regulated monopoly at
> > the time.  It was only later, after the breakup, that they were
> > permitted to profit from sales of their software.  And that's when
> > license fees went up.
> There's a difference between fees and conditions.

Sure; conditions are things you get your lawyers to write up, if
it ever becomes possible to recover their fees.  8-).  Until the
Bill Gates diatribe about people trading software being stealing,
no one considered software as real property: it was always the
stuff that comes for free in order to get you to buy the computer
from the vendor.

You're in the area, aren't you?  Why don't you ask to see the
original license agreement that Lions was under at the time of
his commentary's publication.

-- Terry

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