[rescue] OS X is certified UNIX

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Wed Jun 13 16:21:57 CDT 2007

On Wed, Jun 13, 2007 at 03:57:36PM -0500, Lionel Peterson wrote:
> Uhm, that doesn't seem right (based on memory) - I thought the BSD
> softwarewas "tainted" to some small degree with AT&T code (remember, BSD
> started as an add-on pack for AT&T Unix on Vax & other architectures),
> so the co-mingling was (in a way) OK, because the BSD software wasn't
> usable without AT&T licensed software anyway... For way more info on
> BSD/AT&T history, see:

Nope, it was in the early 1990's (possibly 93 or 94), I attended a meeting at
a customer with one of the AT&T guys in late '95, long after he did it.

> >I think that does not follow.  For a system to have the right to be
> >labeled with the trademark "UNIX", as I understand it, it needs to pass
> >a certification suite, nothing more - it does not need to have any Bell
> >Labs code in it.

That's now. In the 1980's  you had to buy a source code license and a license for the name.
It was very expensive. By 1990, you could buy a cheap source code license for $100k, but
it did not entitle you to call your product UNIX and you had to pay a per system
binary license fee to AT&T ($60 for 1 or 2 users, $250 for unlimited).

That BTW, is where Solaris as we know it came from. Interactive bought a source license and 
sold a '386 product. Kodak had a digital printing system using Suns. They migrated to
UNIX 386's using Interactive's product and later bought the company. Sun bought it
from Kodak.

> If it has Bell Labs code in it, then a license fee needs to be paid
> (or have been paid), but the inclusion of Bell Labs code does not make
> it "Unix" - passing certain tests to the satisfaction of the Open Group
> [ 0] does allow a vendor to call their product "Single UNIX Specification
> Complaint"...

Again that's how you get the name now. If you bought a license for the name a long
time ago, you could do it.

Keep in mind that BSD code started out as an add-on to AT&T UNIX. What came from
AT&T was replaced. The BSD code is owned by the people of California, in a long
and twisted way. 

The BSD code is owned by UCB. UCB is owned by the State of Californina. State property
in California is owned by the people (or the taxpayers, depending upon the exact law).


Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM
IL Voice: (07)-7424-1667 U.S. Voice: 1-215-821-1838 
Visit my 'blog at http://geoffstechno.livejournal.com/

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