At this time [Mon, 20 Dec 1999], hobbyist licenses are not available for the PDP-11 operating systems and other software available from Mentec and sold by Compaq. Ownership of IAS, POS, Ultrix-11 and MUMPS does not rest with Mentec and therefore the status of hobbyist licences may differ for these products.
Permission to run old PDP-11 software versions on the Supnik emulator does exist, but this does not apply to other platforms or emulators. Check the restrictions with the emulator.
All PDP-11 software is still subject to requiring a valid licence, whether you want to run version 1 or the latest.
Be careful when copying or selling software that you do not accidentally violate the licence.
I should add that Mentec *are* listening and work has been and is continuing to be done on this score. Alas, it is not as simple as Mentec saying "We are going to issue Hobbyist licenses" ... were that the case, then it would have been done long ago.
> have no experience dealing with DEC software or software licenses, and
> frankly, all this licensing gobbledy-gook makes my head spin....
Believe me that even those of us who have been involved with Digital licensing for more than 20 years can still go into headspins with its complexities!
When you buy licensed software, there are two parts ... the first is the license itself ... the license gives you permission to use the software on media that you purchase according to the terms of the license, which usually includes terms like don't copy, don't use on unlicensed machines and so on. The second thing you purchase is the media with the software on it ... and this usually includes the cost of the media itself and development and production costs.
In the case of Digital PDP-11 software, you can sell licensed software if you also transfer the license, which is where your wanting to sell the software may come unglued. Or if the purchaser is willing to purchase a new license. I know it seems kind of crazy to have to purchase a new license for old versions of software, but that's the way it is, since the license and media are sold separately.
Upgrading versions also throws licensing issues into a headspin, in part because of inconsistencies in earlier Digital policies in this area. Basically for a license to be transferrable to new versions, you must have been on a maintenance contract, otherwise you must purchase a new license or an upgrade license. Upgrade licenses are available under limited circumstances.
Provided by Stuart Brook of Mentec