Discussion:
Industrial Waste
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Tavis Ormandy
2020-04-29 22:14:56 UTC
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I saw this on twitter, possibly apocryphal, but it's a fun
story and new to me:

https://twitter.com/nuthaven/status/1254897999290892289
When AT&T donated the V6 source code to Berkeley, it was
classified as industrial waste for tax purposes.
As it was explained to me, the law at the time said
if your business produced byproducts that had
economically recoverable value, you could get a tax
break by donating them.
So, for example, if you were Kodak, and your film
factory produced effluent with silver dissolved in it,
you could get a tax break by donating it to someone
who'd recover the silver.
AT&T being the Phone Company, they were forbidden to
commercialize anything not directly related to
telephony. UNIX was a byproduct of their research work,
and they couldn't sell it. But they could give it away
as sludge!
When asked about the source of the story:

https://twitter.com/nuthaven/status/1255219229244219394
Just oral history. I heard the story from Bruce
Steinberg, who was VP of marketing at SCO when they were
negotiating Xenix and SysV licenses. He said he'd heard
it from AT&T people. (He's passed on now, though, I
can't fact-check it.)
Tavis.
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Quadibloc
2020-04-30 03:48:14 UTC
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And here it always makes me think of "the latest toothpaste".

John Savard
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-04-30 06:25:27 UTC
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On Wed, 29 Apr 2020 20:48:14 -0700 (PDT)
Post by Quadibloc
And here it always makes me think of "the latest toothpaste".
Wash your mouth out!
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Charlie Gibbs
2020-04-30 16:25:47 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
And here it always makes me think of "the latest toothpaste".
Ah, another Tom Lehrer fan!
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