Subject: Re: Adobe and copyright on PostScript
From: John Gilmore <>
Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 00:42:46 -0800

>       Simula 67 ... was also a major flop where actual use is concerned.
>    Many people at the time attributed this to the fact that the language
>    itself (not the compilers) was copyrighted.
> Whether a copyright can be claimed on a language has been debated.  I
> think Adobe would like people to believe that Ghostscript is illegal,
> since Adobe would like to claim that they own the copyright on the
> Postscript language...

Adobe at one point sent out threatening letters to people who had
cloned PostScript (notably Sun's NeWS licensees -- I was one).  But I
got a copy of their original prospectus when they first went public,
which said, almost exactly, "We have put the PostScript language into
the public domain to encourage its wide adoption."  When I sent them a
copy of this document, they went away and never came back.  I still
have it somewhere.