Why Caldera Released Unix: A Brief History by Ian F. Darwin — In January, Caldera, the latest owners of the “official” Unix source code, released some of the older versions of Unix under an open source license. Ian Darwin gives the history behind this.
I found this article referenced in the Register. I completely forgot that Caldera set free the old “Unix” and that Linux was created to get around the legal dispute between AT&T, UC, and BSD. If my mind serves me well, the conflict between UC and AT&T centered over each side deriving improved code and how much it looked like the original code. I think they eliminated the copied code as part of the original agreement. I believe that UC/BSD created most of the network communications code that we still use today and that you had to add it to your AT&T unix if you wanted networking. I am not sure what this says about the SCO lawsuits but in my mind it considerably narrows the scope. When you look at the EOLAS and SCO conflicts from a technical standpoint, you have to question whether software patents and copyrights serve the public good. Their technical contributions have been minor but their damage has been great. The issue of derived software code will continue to haunt us as an easy way for lawyers to make money.