[TUHS] SunOS 4.1.1?

M. Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Wed Sep 26 00:38:19 AEST 2007

In message: <20070925160647.65053bd4 at veda.cnb.uam.es>
            "Jose R. Valverde" <jrvalverde at cnb.uam.es> writes:
: On Mon, 24 Sep 2007 21:52:47 -0400
: John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:
: > Tim Bradshaw scripsit:
: > 
: > > I'm assuming that the source isn't available at all (I wonder if Sun  
: > > still have it?)
: > 
: > It is not *legally* available, but it is *actually* available.
: > Like, say, _The Lord of the Rings_ in HTML.

Chances are in this case copying just the lint libraries is completely
legal.  Why do I say this?

First, the lint libraries are unlikely to qualify for copyright
protection in the first place.  Their contents are dictated almost
entirely by external factors.  This is the same reason that you can't
effectively copyright header files or interfaces.  Standard copyright
infringement analysis requires removal of all portions that are
dictated by external factors.

Next, it is unlikely to qualify for copyright protection because
there's not enough creative content in these files.  While they may be
pedantically correct, their contents may not be creative enough to
qualify for copyright protection.  The phone book doesn't qualify,
even if it is correct, for example.  This would be especially true
after all those parts of the code which were dictated by external

Even if after these tests you discover that there could be copyright
protection on this work, copying just these files likely would be fair
use.  First, these files are useless without a lint program.  Second,
these files are a tiny portion of the entire SunOS system.  Third,
they aren't being put to commercial use (at least not directly).
Forth, they would be used for education purposes.  These tests are the
ones that educators are taught to apply when photocopying articles for
use in the classroom.

So I'm saying it would likely be completely legal for Larry to show
these files to his colleges as an example of extreme attention to
detail, and legal for him to copy them to do so.  For other purposes,
it is less clear.  I've also grossly simplified things, and I'm not a
lawyer, so if you are worried, competent legal advise should be


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