On Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 4:07 PM Bakul Shah <bakul@iitbombay.org> wrote:
On Sep 21, 2022, at 8:25 AM, Warner Losh <imp@bsdimp.com> wrote:

That makes a lot of sense. When there was a name, it was preserved, but a huge amount of the sources had nothing at all in the source files to identify it. One big area of contribution was into the kernel where the options sometimes contained the name of where the code came from. In the 2BSD kernels we see eg TEXAS_AUTOBAUD, MENLO_OVLY, MENLO_KOV, MENLO_JCL, MPX_FILS, CGL_RTP and a bunch of UCB_ names. It's clear the non UCB ones came from elsewhere, but there's no info on where they came from (they are documented in setup.5 at least so I know what they are). So given the sparseness of the early marking for provenance, the coments make more sense and give a better timeframe to it.

Recall that the US joined the Berne Convention in 1988. As I recall prior to that you had to stick to some copyright formalities such as putting your copyright & year in the source code. As I recall the US law didn't protect your copyright if you didn't do this in sources. This may have played a part in UCB adding a copyright source files that didn't have anything? I could be wrong but these are just some random bits picked up at the time. I did get in the habit of putting at least a one line copyright notice by default starting in 1981 (either for whatever company I worked for at the time or my own copyright for code I wrote on my own at home).

Indeed. One of the reasons that USL settled was because they released 32V without the proper copyright notices (whatever that means, but in this case there were none at all in the media) and the judge issued a preliminary ruling declaring that 32V didn't have copyright protection. They were scared of losing that and that motivated them to settle.

Interestingly, in the settlement, USL specifically agrees not to pursue trade secret claims against anybody using 4.4BSD-lite, but copyrights aren't mentioned, outside of the restricted files getting an USL copyright added:

"c. USL agrees that it shall take no action against any person who utilizes any methods and concepts in the restricted 
files which as of this date have become available to the general public by acts not attributable to the University,
its employees or students...."

and "i. USL agrees that it shall take no action base on the use or distribution by any person of material
contained in the Unrestricted Files."

also (for another message in the thread)

"f. USL agrees that it shall affix the University Copyright Notice and the University Acknowledgement to the
files in exhibit C.." Where the wording of those phrases is defined elsewhere in the settlement. And there's
about 8 paragraphs as to exactly how AT&T will do this in both code and documentation...