On Wed, Mar 15, 2023, 5:42 PM Luther Johnson <luther@makerlisp.com> wrote:

I think the real risk is not measured in dollars, but potential damage to reputations, ill will, the perception that it's not legal or kosher, etc.

Yea. However, there could be novel, perhaps untested, legal theories one could use in this circumstance. THE LAW often times isn't cut and died like engineering. 

In this case one could likely argue fair use because the purpose is educational and only a small portion of the source is ever disclosed at any time. One look no further than google books to see this working out. They won cases with similar broad stroke outlines, though they had the resources to win...

My earlier analysis was more on the worst case financial side of things.

> I completely understand this well-founded caution.

As do I, to be honest. 

However if anyone was interested in approaching the license holders and seeing if licenses could be obtained or purchased, I'm interested in that.

Yea. Only way I see that working is buying the rights outright... I suspect too few licenses would be sold to recoup even a modest amount of effort it would take. I'd bet it would only be a modest sum at this point.. 


On 03/15/2023 04:30 PM, Warner Losh wrote:

On Wed, Mar 15, 2023 at 3:56 PM steve jenkin <sjenkin@canb.auug.org.au> wrote:
"What “uses” would SysV codebase have now?" may be a better Q.

A System V release 2 might have very limited use (old VAXen are all it ran on from
AT&T though there were at least a few ports: 68k for sure).

The successor code base of OpenIndiana which forked from OpenSolaris which was System Vr4 plus a bunch... And that's open... illumos is still using that for its distribution... They'd have been totally dead, imho, were it not for OpenZFS using illumos for so long as the reference platform (that's changed, so now Linux and FreeBSD are the reference platforms, though one of those two is more equal than the other).

But the successor code base being open isn't quite the same as System V being open. There's no 'orphan exception' or 'abandonware rider' that would allow us to distribute this without any legal risk.

But there's the rub: what's the legal risk. The legal risk here is that somebody could show up and assert they have rights to the software, and that we're distributing it illegally. Actual damages likely are near $0 these days, but statutory damages could become quite excessive. But to get damages, one would likely need a lot of money to fight it, and there's not any kind of real revenue stream from System V today (let alone from System V r2). Plus, were this successfully prosecuted, it's not like that would increase that revenue stream: TUHS has no assets, so the current IP owner would have to somehow assess there was blood to be had from this stone, which is unlikely... So, how do you rate the risk of a low-probability, high damage outcome vs the near certainty of a no-damage outcome. Since it's none of our butt's but Warren's, he gets to decide his comfort zone here. :)

So the risk of adverse consequences is likely low, but not zero were we to distribute this without a license to do so. There's plenty of others that are doing so today, but that's between the others and whatever IP owners 

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice...