Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Patrick O'Callaghan pocallaghan at gmail.com
Fri Jul 18 00:46:33 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-07-18 at 02:34 +0100, Timothy Murphy wrote:
> Les Mikesell wrote:
> > This doesn't make much sense until the completion of the standalone BSD
> > that I thought happened a lot later.  Originally you had to have an AT&T
> > license to run the BSD additions. And at these prices it's pretty easy
> > to see why everyone was running Windows a few years later - I still
> > blame AT&T for that.
> Actually, Unix edition 5 was free from Bell Labs, at least to universities.
> There was even a microUnix which was supposed to run
> on what were then called micro-computers.
> But I never heard of anyone actually getting it (microUnix) to run.

I saw it running on an LSI-11 (a minimal PDP-11 with no memory
manegment). It wasn't much use for anything except data capture as it
couldn't have more than 64k of memory.

> I recall getting Unix edition 5 on a tape from Bell labs,
> with a note attached that the tape was not guaranteed to contain anything.

Ditto. Note to the youngsters out there: this was not System V, but pre
6th Edition. Around 1975 I think.

> But I didn't think AT&T were allowed to charge anyone for Unix.
> I thought there was a legal agreement that AT&T must not sell software,
> and IBM must not enter telecommunications.

It goes back to the 1956 Consent Decree, under which AT&T was allowed to
have a monopoly on the US phone system under condition it never entered
any other kind of business.


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