No one would have expected that Unix and all its derivates would come under a copyright infringement case ever. But it has happened. A company which is registered in Cook Islands, and has a subsidiary in Delaware, lawyers in East Texas, and offices in Sydney, Australia, has asserted intellectual property rights on Unix and all the derivatives it has due to all the customization from the many companies which have used it. The company plans on sueing all such companies which have used Unix or its derivatives ever. The Register UK writes:
The company, FourOne IP, is a non-practising entity whose registered address is a Sydney accountant, a not unusual arrangement for companies seeking to take advantage of the Cook Islands’ tax laws. Despite its humble appearance, it nonetheless appears to have sufficient backing to engage high-powered attorneys to launch their World+Dog lawsuit.
An attorney who has identified himself as Ernest K Malley has indeed spoken to The Register and has asked to keep him anonymous, has told the publication that almost three decades have passed since the forensic analysis of Unix derivatives had started. And after all that time and effort, the company is sure enough that its code has been used, or copied, in all these different distributions of the Unix operating system.
The attorney has also said that hundreds of lines of code the company owns has been copied to these Unix systems and have made the way to most distributions these days. And because of the widespread use of the services such as YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr and GrovelR these days, this code as come into more use everywhere, including on many servers. The piece of code from the company is called the ‘nsfw daemon’ and is now present on eveyr *nix based systems. And it is being said that this will be mostly used for adult entertainment web sites.
Source: The Register UK