Getting licenses for old Unix

Warren Toomey wkt at
Tue Oct 31 13:20:50 AEST 1995

Firstly, welcome to some new members of the old unix mailing list. If you don't
get this email, please let me know ;-)

I received an email back from Dennis Ritchie about getting a v6/v7 license
(for those who don't have one). Here is his full reply:

      From: Dennis Ritchie
      To: Warren Toomey
      Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 00:40:55 EST
      Subject: canonical answer about Sixth and Seventh Edition
      So far as I can determine, AT&T doesn't think it has the
      right to issue new licenses for any Unix editions, and won't
      do so.  Several years ago, the Unix IP was transferred to
      Unix Systems Laboratories, at first as a mostly-owned subsidiary;
      USL was then sold to Novell, and recently Novell agreed to
      sell its Unix business to SCO (and HP is partially involved).
      As of the end of October 1995 this last sale had not been
      In other words, AT&T is out of the Unix business, and has been
      for some time; any licenses will have to come from the current
      owner.  But the "current owner" is itself in flux, and I doubt that
      even before the latest sale, Novell was quite geared up to issue
      Seventh Edition licenses; I have no useful suggestions about
      how to obtain one officially (it might be interesting to try).
      Official sources in AT&T have said that they have no objection
      to reissuance of Lions's commentaries and source publication
      of the Sixth Edition.

So it doesn't look like good news at the moment; I guess we could approach
SCO and HP, and ask about trying to get licenses from them. I'll see what I
can do.

A few other people mentioned that they would like to get stuff from the
archive of early Unixes that I'm maintaining, and how to prove that they have
a license. I have no idea how to do this, any suggestions?

P.S There isn't a Sixth Edition in the archive as yet, can anyone send me a
distribution or bootable disk image?

Cheers all,

	Warren Toomey

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