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Jury says Novell owns Unix copyrights

 
 
peterwn
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      03-31-2010
On Mar 31, 4:33*pm, "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
> Stop playing games. Does Novell have exclusive *property rights over its
> copyrighted code or doesn't it?


Since you are so pig ignorant about this, Mr Impossible, I will try
and explain.

UNIX (the kernel and associated systems) contains code from various
sources. A portion is proprietary code developed by AT&T. Other
chunks of UNIX uses code developed by people at University of
California, University of New South Wales, etc. AT&T used this code as
well and stripped the Universities' copyright notices out of it and
treated it as proprietary code. Some years back, the Regents (ie
Council) of the University of California sued AT&T over this and it
was settled out of court. I think that this code forms the basis of
FreeBSD and GNU code (which is loosely called Linux). This
Universities' code is now licenced for all to use.

Novell subsequently purchased the UNIX product off AT&T and Novell
subsequently sold some of the UNIX business to 'old' SCO (Santa Cruz
Operation), including a licence enabling 'old' SCO to use the UNIX
code as needed in support of this business. Novell did NOT transfer
ownership of the copyrights to SCO, that is what the jury in Salt Lake
City has decided. SCO liked to think they owned UNIX code and tried
to bullshit the jury into believing this.

There was another company called 'Caldera' in same ownership which
originally sold a 'commercial' style of Linux (in a similar manner to
Red Hat). This was not successful and for some reason the owners
renamed old SCO something else and renamed Caldera as SCO and
transferred the UNIX asset to it. The new SCO of course was thorougly
infected with the alleged 'viral' properties of Linux.

SCO was confused as to what it owned. In reality the allegedly
infringing code in GNU/Linux was the original Universities code over
which Novell or SCO had no ownership rights whatsoever. Instead SCO
thought it could run a protection racket by 'licencing' this code and
Microsoft signed up, not because it was afraid of a SCO lawsuit, but
to facilitate SCO trying to cause mayhem with Linux.

So you can see that Novell had ownership rights over a portion of UNIX
only (and this has been meticulously respected by open source people),
and of these ownership rights, non-exclusively licenced them to SCO to
enable SCO to run its UNIX business. Now SCO was supposed to pay to
Novell a portion of UNIX licence fees, and owes Novell millions. When
SCO ended up between a rock and a hard place, it went into Chapter 11
bankrupcy and managed to bullshit the courts etc about how it was
going to win big.

Note well, Mr 'Impossible' that AT&T played fast and loose with the
intellectual property of other people including universities. And yet
it is the likes of YOU who accuse open source supporters of piracy
with absolutely no foundation whatsoever.

See www.groklaw.net for the full story. This must be one of the
world's largest legal research projects.


 
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David Goodwin
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      03-31-2010
On 31 Mar, 22:19, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:20:01 -0700, David Goodwin wrote:
> >> Stop playing games. Does Novell have exclusive *property rights over
> >> its copyrighted code or doesn't it?

>
> > I'm not playing games. It certainly does look like Novell has secured
> > the copyrights to the old AT&T UNIX codebase. I very much hope it stays
> > that way too - the whole thing has been a huge waste of time.

>
> Agreed, and agreed.
>
> Novell has actually secured the copyrights to everything up until the point where it agreed to sell to
> OldSCO the right to further develop UnixWare on x86 machines.


Yeah. It would be really nice if they BSD licensed it all now that
they've won. It seems a real shame that the old UNIXes are slowly
getting left to rot because the original developers hands are tied.
IRIX is fairly nice but SGI has discontinued the line now - in a few
years updates will stop and it will be entirely abandoned. HP has done
the same thing to the only variant of OSF/1 - Tru64 UNIX (formerly
Digital UNIX, formerly OSF/1 AXP), it will be gone soon. Digital did
it to their PDP/VAX/MIPS unix in the mid 90s too - ULTRIX. I would
really like to get my hands on a copy of Apples A/UX - it looks like a
rather interesting system but they abandoned it in 1995 and its
practically extinct now.

I suppose even if System V were to go open source SGI/HP/Apple still
wouldn't bother releasing their old code. Too expensive to pay someone
to go over it making sure no other third-party code was released at
the same time.
 
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Sweetpea
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      03-31-2010
On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 03:13:44 -0700, peterwn wrote:

> On Mar 31, 4:33*pm, "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>> Stop playing games. Does Novell have exclusive *property rights over
>> its copyrighted code or doesn't it?

>
> Since you are so pig ignorant about this, Mr Impossible, I will try and
> explain.
>
> UNIX (the kernel and associated systems) contains code from various
> sources. A portion is proprietary code developed by AT&T. Other chunks
> of UNIX uses code developed by people at University of California,
> University of New South Wales, etc. AT&T used this code as well and
> stripped the Universities' copyright notices out of it and treated it as
> proprietary code. Some years back, the Regents (ie Council) of the
> University of California sued AT&T over this and it was settled out of
> court. I think that this code forms the basis of FreeBSD and GNU code
> (which is loosely called Linux).


all the BSDs were based on one particular version of old Unix. The GNU project , IIRC, was entirely
new software written and released under the GPL.

Linux likewise was entirely new software written and released under the GPL.


--
"Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
 
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Sweetpea
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      03-31-2010
On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 03:50:42 -0700, David Goodwin wrote:

> On 31 Mar, 22:19, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:20:01 -0700, David Goodwin wrote:
>> >> Stop playing games. Does Novell have exclusive *property rights over
>> >> its copyrighted code or doesn't it?

>>
>> > I'm not playing games. It certainly does look like Novell has secured
>> > the copyrights to the old AT&T UNIX codebase. I very much hope it
>> > stays that way too - the whole thing has been a huge waste of time.

>>
>> Agreed, and agreed.
>>
>> Novell has actually secured the copyrights to everything up until the
>> point where it agreed to sell to OldSCO the right to further develop
>> UnixWare on x86 machines.

>
> Yeah. It would be really nice if they BSD licensed it all now that
> they've won. It seems a real shame that the old UNIXes are slowly
> getting left to rot because the original developers hands are tied. IRIX
> is fairly nice but SGI has discontinued the line now - in a few years
> updates will stop and it will be entirely abandoned. HP has done the
> same thing to the only variant of OSF/1 - Tru64 UNIX (formerly Digital
> UNIX, formerly OSF/1 AXP), it will be gone soon. Digital did it to their
> PDP/VAX/MIPS unix in the mid 90s too - ULTRIX. I would really like to
> get my hands on a copy of Apples A/UX - it looks like a rather
> interesting system but they abandoned it in 1995 and its practically
> extinct now.


Both AIX and Solaris are being actively maintained, and so your point only really relates to those minor
variants that were never all that popular in the first place.

And besides, IBM is actively promoting Linux these days equally with AIX (if not more so due to the fact
that it is considerably cheaper).

Sun/Oracle is actively promoting OpenSolaris and Linux.

In the Unix world Linux is the future.

Also, most of the original code licensed to IBM and to SUN is also available under a BSD license via a
BSD release. There was only a small amount of code that was exclusively owned by Novell and that
needed to be replaced.


--
"Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
 
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Adam
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      03-31-2010

Nice write-up Peter, thanks.


 
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David Goodwin
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      03-31-2010
On 1 Apr, 07:33, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 03:50:42 -0700, David Goodwin wrote:
> > On 31 Mar, 22:19, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >> On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:20:01 -0700, David Goodwin wrote:
> >> >> Stop playing games. Does Novell have exclusive *property rights over
> >> >> its copyrighted code or doesn't it?

>
> >> > I'm not playing games. It certainly does look like Novell has secured
> >> > the copyrights to the old AT&T UNIX codebase. I very much hope it
> >> > stays that way too - the whole thing has been a huge waste of time.

>
> >> Agreed, and agreed.

>
> >> Novell has actually secured the copyrights to everything up until the
> >> point where it agreed to sell to OldSCO the right to further develop
> >> UnixWare on x86 machines.

>
> > Yeah. It would be really nice if they BSD licensed it all now that
> > they've won. It seems a real shame that the old UNIXes are slowly
> > getting left to rot because the original developers hands are tied. IRIX
> > is fairly nice but SGI has discontinued the line now - in a few years
> > updates will stop and it will be entirely abandoned. HP has done the
> > same thing to the only variant of OSF/1 - Tru64 UNIX (formerly Digital
> > UNIX, formerly OSF/1 AXP), it will be gone soon. Digital did it to their
> > PDP/VAX/MIPS unix in the mid 90s too - ULTRIX. I would really like to
> > get my hands on a copy of Apples A/UX - it looks like a rather
> > interesting system but they abandoned it in 1995 and its practically
> > extinct now.

>
> Both AIX and Solaris are being actively maintained, and so your point only really relates to those minor
> variants that were never all that popular in the first place.
>
> And besides, IBM is actively promoting Linux these days equally with AIX (if not more so due to the fact
> that it is considerably cheaper).
>
> Sun/Oracle is actively promoting OpenSolaris and Linux.
>
> In the Unix world Linux is the future.
>
> Also, most of the original code licensed to IBM and to SUN is also available under a BSD license via a
> BSD release. There was only a small amount of code that was exclusively owned by Novell and that
> needed to be replaced.


IRIX and Tru64 weren't that minor. All SGI systems ran IRIX, many DEC
Alphas ran Tru64 (there were two other official operating systems for
the platform too - OpenVMS Alpha and Windows NT). A/UX was rather
minor though - I'll give you that

SunOS 5.x (Solaris) is actually a System V Release 4 descendant and
the only open-source System V implementation around. I think AIX is
System V with extensions too.

But my interest in seeing those old UNIXes open-sourced isn't so they
can live on alongside Linux, *BSD and Solaris. There is really very
little chance of that as most of them were designed for specific
hardware platforms which have now been discontinued.

Rather, I would like to see them open-sourced so they can be kept in a
working state and made freely available to anyone who wants to explore
them. There are plenty of people out there with the hardware to run
them but no licenses or media. I have the hardware to run A/UX but it
seems unlikely I'll find a copy anytime soon. Luckily my SGI systems
came with IRIX media and HP was nice enough to send me a free
noncommercial copy of Tru64 despite it being discontinued.

Some of them weren't just another UNIX either - there were fairly
unique features. A/UX the most of all I suppose - go look at its
wikipedia page. IRIX had a fairly nice desktop environment too - not
just CDE like all the others were shipping at the time (and still do).
 
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peterwn
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      03-31-2010
On Apr 1, 2:06*am, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 03:13:44 -0700, peterwn wrote:
> > On Mar 31, 4:33*pm, "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
> >> Stop playing games. Does Novell have exclusive *property rights over
> >> its copyrighted code or doesn't it?

>
> > Since you are so pig ignorant about this, Mr Impossible, I will try and
> > explain.

>
> > UNIX (the kernel and associated systems) contains code from various
> > sources. *A portion is proprietary code developed by AT&T. *Other chunks
> > of UNIX uses code developed by people at University of California,
> > University of New South Wales, etc. AT&T used this code as well and
> > stripped the Universities' copyright notices out of it and treated it as
> > proprietary code. *Some years back, the Regents (ie Council) of the
> > University of California sued AT&T over this and it was settled out of
> > court. *I think that this code forms the basis of FreeBSD and GNU code
> > (which is loosely called Linux).

>
> all the BSDs were based on one particular version of old Unix. The GNU project , IIRC, was entirely
> new software written and released under the GPL.
>
> Linux likewise was entirely new software written and released under the GPL.
>

Yes with respect to the Linux kernel, but AFAIK some command shells
etc came from the original 'open' Unix code.

 
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peterwn
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      03-31-2010
On Apr 1, 1:11*am, "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
> So copyrighted software is the exclusive property of the copy holderight?
> Correct?

Yes

> And the copyright holder has the exclusive right to determine how
> that property right I used/distributed. Correct?

Yes - but the copyright owner can assign partial rights by way of
licence.

> Why then do you claim that
> internet software pirates are entitled to download copyrighted software with
> the owner's permission?


Read carefully what I wrote earlier. I have made no such claim.

 
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peterwn
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      03-31-2010
On Mar 31, 10:16*pm, Sweetpea <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
> In law there is no such a thing as "intellectual property". There are Patents, Copyrights, and
> Trademarks.
>
> All three are quite different and are protected in different ways under the Law.
>


I asked somone I know who works for patent attorneys. Her response
effectively was that 'intellectual property' means what the user of
the term says it means. This is illustrated by this extract from
'Through the Looking-Glass':

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't till I
tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice
objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone,
"it means just what I choose it to mean neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so
many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master that's
all."
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty
Dumpty began again.
"They've a temper, some of them particularly verbs, they're the
proudest adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs
however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I
say!"

The 'narrow' use of the term refers to what is legally protectable in
a particular nation ie patents, copyright, trademarks and registered
designs in NZ. IMO 'Intellectual Property' is 'shorthand' for these
particular rights.

The 'mischief' comes from the 'broad' use of the term where someone
claims that something is 'intellectual property' when this is not
supported by legislation for example as when a poster here a few years
ago claimed that a USA patent was enforceable in NZ.


 
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victor
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      03-31-2010
On 01/04/10 01:04, impossible wrote:
>
>
> "David Goodwin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> On 31 Mar, 16:33, "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> "David Goodwin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>>
>>> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> > On 31 Mar, 13:54, "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> >> "Malcolm" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>>
>>> >>news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>>
>>> >> > A federal jury Tuesday found that Novell Inc., and not The SCO
>>> >> > Group,
>>> >> > owns the copyrights to the Unix computer operating systems used
>>> by >> > many
>>> >> > businesses.
>>>
>>> >> >http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_14786202
>>>
>>> >> Any Larry D'Loserites out there who still think that linux isn't
>>> >> intellectual property?
>>>
>>> > I would be surprised if anyone here argued it wasn't. Some might
>>> > disagree with the term however - see
>>> >http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html
>>>
>>> Stop playing games. Does Novell have exclusive property rights over its
>>> copyrighted code or doesn't it?

>>
>> I'm not playing games. It certainly does look like Novell has secured
>> the copyrights to the old AT&T UNIX codebase. I very much hope it
>> stays that way too - the whole thing has been a huge waste of time.

>
> Copyright=exclusive property right. Novell, and Novell alone, has the
> right to decide how that codebase is used/distributed. Correct?


No, there are conditional exceptions in copyright law, the rights are
limited. Fair use, study and all that.
The main problem here is the copyright period had outlived its purpose
but is now effectively unlimited, the Unix copyrights were now only
useful for the purpose of litigation to bully blackmail settlements out
of users via SCO's bullshit licenses.
Copyrights on obsolete code don't serve the primary purpose
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for
limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their
respective Writings and Discoveries."
Copyright duration has been incrementally extended far beyond this
original intention firstly to provide lifetime royalties for authors of
literature and their heirs, then to establish the revenue stream for
royalty based income from music recording, then to protect licensing of
cartoon characters as a tradeable corporate asset. All accomplished via
the pork barrel partisan politics of the US congress with no economic
analysis or consideration of unintended future consequences.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyrig..._Extension_Act.
Along the way, software has been added to this precedent content because
they have established what is perpetual unlimited copyright.
The sense of entitlement has become embedded and the value set by the
opportunity for potential future income purely through litigation.
The case of Larrikin Records vs Men at Work shows the ultimate absurdity
where a 1934 Girl Guide Jamboree nursery rhyme, which became an anthem
of several generations of primary school kids, part if the culture of
every Australian became such an asset when referenced as a scrap of
Australiana in a song about Australian identity.

 
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