Scribe was first designed and developed by Brian Reid, when he was at Carnegie Mellon University.
In 1979, at the end of his graduate-student career, Reid sold Scribe to a Pittsburgh-area software company called Unilogic, founded by Michael I. Shamos, another Carnegie Mellon computer scientist, to market the program. Reid said he simply was looking for a way to unload the program on developers that would keep it from going into the public domain.
Michael Shamos was embroiled in a dispute with Carnegie Mellon administrators over the intellectual-property rights to Scribe. The dispute with the administration was settled out of court, and the university conceded it had no claim to Scribe .
Scribe sold to Unilogic
Reid agreed to insert a set of time-dependent functions (called "time bombs") that would deactivate freely copied versions of the program after a 90-day expiration date. To avoid deactivation, users paid the software company, which then issued a code that defused the internal time-bomb feature.
Richard Stallman saw this as a betrayal of the programmer ethos. Instead of honoring the notion of share-and-share alike, Reid had inserted a way for companies to compel programmers to pay for information access (see MIT's hacker culture declines) .
Using Scribe Word Processor