Bill Moran wrote:
> I don't think so. Some of the things the BSD lawsuit established are a) in
> circumstances where code has been stolen, you can't stop the entire project,
> you just remove the offending code


Actually, this is not true. You can ask Jordan, Nate, Chris D.
and other who got the "Cease and Desist" letter. Originally,
only BSDI has the ability to continue to distribute binaries
(but not sources) until they could base their code on the
4.4Lite release.

The reason that FreeBSD and NetBSD got the same deal on shipping
code until 4.4Lite came out from CSRG was that I and a couple
other of the senior engineers at Novell USG camped out in Mike
DeFazio's office (then V.P. of Novell USG, and a guy who came to
Novell with the USL acquisition) and squawked like chickens for
all we were worth. We also got Art Sabsovitch and Dennis Ritchie
involved; Art was Novell USG (USL)'s Chief Scientist at the time,
and Dennis Ritchie was... Dennis Ritchie. Not a USL employee, he
was still on good terms with the USL folks. 8-). We even had
some die-hard Linux people involved ("You're next!") who were
then Novell employees, people like Jim Freeman.

We pointed out that FreeBSD had moved copies of the archives off
shore into non-Berne signatory countries (which they had, and
which a number of us had been very insistent on recommending as
soon as the BSDI suit became public -- well before UCB was dragged
into the fray, and a while before the Novell acquisition of USL --
and with it the suit). With no Copyright treaties with the U.S.,
and being prepared to distribute from there, these people, at least,
could act with impunity (this is the main reason why I think that
Linux doesn't need to worry, too). The code had been saved.

This was the same strategy later used to get around U.S. ITAR
restrictions, though in that case, all the code came from outside
the U.S. at the time. I think that Mark Murray, as much as we
sometimes piss each other off (Hi, Mark!) deserves much of the
unsung credit for getting the U.S. to relax it's crypto export
restrictions, whose only effect was to depress creation of U.S.
cryptographers and encourage their creation in non-treaty
countries -- a "double whammy".

Those of us who had been long time Novell employees also personally
lobbied Ray Noorda, using such arguments as "It will be annoying to
the competitor from Redmond", and "It's a public relations coup,
waiting to be grasped". 8-). I think that was a factor in Ray
later ordering the suit dropped, and in Novell's current coming out
against it: it's part of their culture and history now.

In any case, there wasn't any such legal precedent established
Novell permitting the distribution of FreeBSD and NetBSD.

-- Terry
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