Frank Hayes opines on the SCO vs IBM litigation. His piece refers to a 1985 document that AT&T put out that explains the confusing topic of who own derivative works based off the original AT&T Unix code base.

It was a copy of "$ echo," a newsletter published by AT&T in 1985 for its Unix licensees. In it, AT&T clarified what that derivative-works clause in the Unix license meant. (Apparently, there was confusion about it even then.)

AT&T said it wanted "to assure licensees that AT&T will claim no ownership in the software that they developed -- only the portion of the software developed by AT&T."

In other words, AT&T never intended for Unix licensees to give up ownership of code they added to their versions of Unix. That was never part of the deal. And the deal AT&T cut is the one SCO has to live with -- even 19 years later. That's how contracts work.

That sounds promising.

-Chris