[TUHS] Coherent running

Jose R. Valverde jrvalverde at cnb.csic.es
Wed Jul 16 20:00:30 AEST 2008

> Are there any legal issues with this or since the company closed down 
> its all well and good ?

I've been researching it for some time... At one point you could download
Coherent from ftp.mayn.de which contained a note saying it was OK and that the
sources had been released publicly. I firmly remember seeing that note 
long ago. Many others seem to have seen the note and to remember it. But of
course my memory might be deluding me.

The problem is that ftp.mayn.de went down on 2004 and the original archive
was lost. The only copies that survived were the ones at Demon and unixarchive
which contained additional materials but lacked the original release message.
The problem composited when some German? company bought the rights to the 
manual and started asking sites to take the mirrors down.

At the time, I remember I had lost my own copy (I'm still looking around on
old disks for it to see if I can recover that notice), but hadn't cared much
because of the existence of the main site. When that was wiped, the copies
at demon and tliquest begot prominence as the only remains. The notice lost
meant that some people started questioning it. Nowadays, some people is 
trying to get it released again as open source with a clear statement 
(see comp.os.coherent), Andrzej Popielewicz leading the initiative. It 
seems all rights to Coherent reverted to Robert Swartz after MWC disappeared:

> On Mar 31, 8:10 pm, Oliver White <sil... at callysto.com> wrote:
> > On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 22:26:55 +0200, Markus E Leypold wrote:
> > > A bit difficult to get written permission from an entity that doesn't
> > > exist and Bob Swartz who wasn't really reachable for some time (and
> > > still seems not to be able to make up his mind on the question of a
> > > hobbyist license).
> > I was talking to Randall Howard a few days ago and he said that the
> > copyright was sold to Ron Lachman for $30 000. Apparently MWC never
> > bankrupted, simply was shut down because it was loosing too much money.
> There been a few posting about the status of the copyrights of
> Coherent and what the status of the assets of Mark Williams Company,
> perhaps I can clarify things.
> Mark Williams Company ceased operations and its assets became the
> property of its bank.  These assets which included the copyrights to
> all Mark Williams Company's software were subsequently sold to
> Kinetech.   I was the person who managed these assets for Kinetech.
> Early this year Kinetech sold all assets of Mark Williams to Open
> Coherent LLC.  A company of which I am the manager.  The copyrights in
> Coherent remain and are the property of Open Coherent LLC. At this
> point in time we are working on how to making Coherent more generally
> available and there should be more news on this shortly. If there are
> any questions about Coherent or its copyrights I would be happy to
> respond to them.
> Thanks,
> Robert Swartz 

Problem is that I can find no trace of said company on Google or Yahoo.
Andrezj claims to have permission to distribute it for personal use, and
has an updated version, 4.2.10ap of the kernel.

He claims

> If You have purchased Coherent , You can of course still use it.
> Otherwise the only authorized(by the owner) versions of Coherent kernel
> can be legally downloaded(but not redistributed), but only for
> noncommercial use , from
> http://main2.amu.edu.pl/~apopiele/embed.html
> There You will find
> a)rescue floppy package for those , who have problems with installing
> their Coherent 4.2.10 on newer systems
> b) patched (by me) Coherent 4.2.10ap kernel, with support for 64/128MB
> RAM. Originally Coherent 4.2.x supports 16 MB only
> Of course You can download legally  GNU/GPL/Xfree stuff from
> http://www.tuhs.org , for example X-windows 1.2 or gcc 2.56 etc, which
> was once available for free download from MWC.
> As far as sources/binaries  of Coherent available at tuhs, well I do not
> know. The owner knows about it, but he did not comment.
> The last sold version of Coherent was 4.2.12. The version 4.2.14 was in
> development phase.
> OpenCoherent license is in preparation, but I cannot estimate how long
> will it take.
> Andrzej

The notice remaining on demon is dated 1995, and things had changed a lot
in one decade:

From Aaron Swartz site (http://www.aaaronsw.com/history/2001) I see

> Sites I Host
>     * ChicagoForce.org - Star Wars fans unite!
>     * OpenCoherent.com - YAOSOS (Yet Another Open-Source Operating System).
>     * SwartzFam.com - The Swartz Family Server.

Which supports my memories of Coherent having been released as Open Source.
The Internet Archive contains only two pages of opencoherent.com dated Apr
22, 2001 and May 18, 2001, but both of them contain only

> OpenCoherent
> Coming Soon!

Again, that would point that as early as 2001 the Swartzs were already 
intending to open source Coherent, and would justify my memories of an
actual open sourcing notice in ftp.mayn.de but until (if) I can find that
announcement I should suspect my memory.

So, you are on your own, free to guess as much as anyone else. Bob Swartz 
or Open Coherent LLC are certainly elusive. That much I could find. I'll
keep on digging if I have time. Personally, I don't quite see any of this
clear at all, but you know, having been a system manager for decades makes
one paranoid.


	These opinions are mine and only mine. Hey man, I saw them first!

			    José R. Valverde

	De nada sirve la Inteligencia Artificial cuando falta la Natural

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