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February 19, 1989

IBM ROYALTIES ON AIX UNIX FROM THE OPEN SOFTWARE FOUNDATION “ARE CAPPED AT $75m”

By CBR Staff Writer

The Open Software Foundation alternative Unix club is expecting to have access to saleable AIX code from IBM around June, according to development director John Paul, who joined the group from Nixdorf. Foundation sales of AIX will mark the beginning of IBM’s royalty stream from the Foundation, at rates agreed under the original contract between IBM and the Foundation, which was signed on May 16 last year. According to one Foundation board member, the contract guarantees IBM a minimum of $25m within three years of delivering the software, or by the fourth anniversary of the contract, whichever comes later. The maximum that IBM can make from the contract is said to be $75m: if and when the royalty stream hits that cap, the software will belong to the Foundation. By comparison, AT&T takes about $50m a year in Unix licensing fees – an amount that is believed to fall far short of what AT&T is actually spending on Unix.

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