Good News re PDP Unix Licensing

Steven M. Schultz sms at
Fri Jun 28 02:05:17 AEST 1996

Warren, et al -

> 	I just received a very pleasing letter from Dion L. Johnson II, the
> Product Manager at SCO, about the legal status of the PDP UNIXs. I've included
> his email and my response below. If I can get a legally authorative statement
> on paper from SCO, I'll pass it on to you all, especially Steven Schultz.
> 	Warren

	Wow.  I never even dreamed that such a thing would happen - how times
	(or people) have changed over time.  Very welcome news indeed!

> In particular, you said that ``SCO would cheerfully encourage them to run UNIX
> on these antiques without any payment to us''. Does this mean I can legally
> distribute the source code to the PDP versions of UNIX, and to anybody? or
> just to people who own PDP-11s. There are PDP-11 emulators available, so
> it is conceivable that people who don't even have a real PDP-11 might like
> to try UNIX out on these emulators. If to anybody, then I assume this means
> the source is legally owned by SCO but freely distributable?

	I submit that running an emulator does not demonstrate the proper
	degree of obsession or investment (financial as well as emotional) with 
	``antiques''.  No investment in actual old hardware is involved when 
	running an emulator.  That is, I believe, what SCO is referring
	to when mention is made of ``run UNIX on these antiques''.  Not a new
	fangled Pentium Pro running an emulator but an honest to DEC PDP-11 
	and all the dealing with 9-track (or TK-25, etc) peripherals and
	front panel or console ODT banging which that entails.

	Basically I think it would be a 'good thing' to honor the "spirit" of 
	Dion's mail item as well as the "letter" of it.

	Ummm - not freely redistributable but distributable to those who can
	at least make some sort of case that they do own a PDP-11 capable of
	running UNIX.  Granted, "proving" this over the net might be difficult
	but the effort should at least, I think, be made in an attempt to
	reciprocate SCO's spirit.

	Steven Schultz
	sms at, sms at

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