RISC OS Licencing : Facts not Fiction

92 views
Skip to first unread message

Aaron

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 12:17:57 PM2/24/10
to
Since the thread about "rights holders" has become more about
rabid speculation, than facts I have opened a new thread.

I would ask that anyone posting here sticks to things that
they can prove and to provide evidence, or links to such
evidence, with their post.

I will kick things off:

I have already stated that RISCOS Ltd's head licence acted
like a Hire Purchase agreement and that after RISCOS Ltd
had completed it's obligations and after a 4 year period
gained ownership of all derivative works.

In addition I have said that code was *licenced* back to
Pace after the four years and hence could not be owned
by Pace. Since it couldn't be owned by Pace, this code
could not be sold to Castle.

As evidence this link:

http://www.filefactory.com/file/b050f2a/n/ROL_Leak.zip

is for the scanned copy of the major section of RISCOS
Ltd's head licence. This is the same set of files that
were leaked to the press last year. All I have done
is rename the files themselves. The contents of
each image (in TIFF format) is exactly as received
by several people, including myself, last year.

I suggest anyone wishing to post to this thread
reads this document carefully before doing so.

Finally please only make posts where what you are
saying *can be proved*.

Aaron

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 12:25:15 PM2/24/10
to
On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 09:17:57 -0800 (PST)
Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:

> I would ask that anyone posting here sticks to things that
> they can prove and to provide evidence, or links to such
> evidence, with their post.

<snip>

<snip>

> Finally please only make posts where what you are
> saying *can be proved*.

As has been repeatedly said by myself and others, and repeatedly
ignored by yourself, this document proves nothing, because it lacks the
context that would be provided by the rest of the documents.

What do you think ROL could be doing to move RISC OS forward?

B.

Simon Willcocks

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 11:35:23 AM2/24/10
to
In message <7f5217a1-6c33-4745...@z19g2000yqk.googlegroups.com>
Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:

> As evidence this link:
>
> http://www.filefactory.com/file/b050f2a/n/ROL_Leak.zip
>
> is for the scanned copy of the major section of RISCOS
> Ltd's head licence.

Just to save Rob the time: what's missing from that document?

--
ROLF - The RISC OS Look and Feel on Linux.
http://stoppers.drobe.co.uk
http://ro-lookandfeel.blogspot.com/

Ollie Clark

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 12:53:05 PM2/24/10
to
Aaron wrote:
> Since the thread about "rights holders" has become more about
> rabid speculation, than facts I have opened a new thread.
>
> I would ask that anyone posting here sticks to things that
> they can prove and to provide evidence, or links to such
> evidence, with their post.
>
> I will kick things off:
>
> I have already stated that RISCOS Ltd's head licence acted
> like a Hire Purchase agreement and that after RISCOS Ltd
> had completed it's obligations and after a 4 year period
> gained ownership of all derivative works.
>
> In addition I have said that code was *licenced* back to
> Pace after the four years and hence could not be owned
> by Pace. Since it couldn't be owned by Pace, this code
> could not be sold to Castle.
>
> As evidence this link:
>
> http://www.filefactory.com/file/b050f2a/n/ROL_Leak.zip

'kin 'ell. Could you have put it anywhere less accessible? Took
me five minutes to work out how to download it.

I thought there was an NDA on this anyway which is why you haven't
published it yourself to prove any of your claims? If that's no
longer the case, why not just publish all the relevant documentation
and have done with it?

> is for the scanned copy of the major section of RISCOS
> Ltd's head licence.

Ah. So it's still not a full set of relevent documentation so it's
still useless for actually unentangling this mess.

[snip Aaron making assertions which aren't demonstrably false but
also don't mean they own the entirety of RO, whatever that might
be defined as]

Hey ho. No further forward.

I think what has been gleaned from the "rights holders" thread is:

That ROL have no intention of getting RO to work on any new hardware
unless someone pays them to do it. Even then they probably don't have
the technical expertise.

That ROL believe the ROOL branch of RO is illegal and can not be
used in a commercial product.

Therefore unless something changes there will never be any new commercial
RO hardware.

Aaron, what do you think could be done about the above situation?
Alternatively, is the above situation acceptable to ROL?

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 2:30:35 PM2/24/10
to
On 24/02/2010 17:17, Aaron wrote:

> Since the thread about "rights holders" has become more about
> rabid speculation, than facts I have opened a new thread.

You have clearly not seen the last message I posted in the "rights
holders" thread. Therefore, I am going to repost it in full, with
apologies to those that have already seen it (complete with my typing
errors for authenticity - doh!).

On 23/02/2010 15:14, Peter Howkins wrote:

> I'm confused, why would E14 have signed an agreement that required
> their sub-licensee (ROL) to post back source changes, but then be
> beholden to their sub-licensee's copyright? That makes no sense.

It makes no sense because it is untrue. Aaron is in grave error.

I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL is
entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can find
available on the ROOL site. If ROL disagree then they need to take this
matter up witH CTL.

I wonder if the continuous implications that ROOL are knowingly acting
illegally is libellous. For example, "RISC OS Developement Team", taking
care to hide behind anonymity, accused me of this directly in a reply to
one of my posts.

On 22/02/2010 13:56, riscos-developer wrote:

> You cannot hide your legal responsibilities by claiming that you are
> only hosting the RISC OS Sources on behalf of a third party.
> You are the ones that are making them available, NOT Castle.

Bear in mind that then, on 23/02/2010 12:24, Aaron wrote:

> I will say it again. RISCOS Ltd owns all works derived from the
> original source code.

A few minutes later on 23/02/2010 12:50, Aaron wrote:

> Someone is going to want a licence to distribute
> RISC OS 5 with the machines (even if it is in very
> small numbers).
>
> Castle will not be able to grant such a licence.
> They don't have the rights to do so.

ROL should take up their complaint with CTL.

Furthermore, ROOL has been accused of deliberately stripping copyright
messages from ROOL source releases.

On 16/02/2010 22:06, riscos-developer wrote:

> It is even more interesting that all references to RISCOS Ltd
> copyright
> have been excised from the ROOL source releases as part of the
> "sanitising"
> of the sources for their public release!!!

On 17/02/2010 12:12, Aaron wrote:

> Many examples have had their copyright messages changed. However
> here is one example:
> http://www.riscosopen.org/viewer/view/castle/RiscOS/Sources/Video/Render/Draw/Docs/Clipping

You will note that the document to which Aaron provides a link contains
no copyright message at all. By just following the link he posts himself,
one can see that Aaron is mistaken. I have no idea why he made this claim
or linked to this particular document.

Such comments imply, allege or directly accuse members of ROOL of
intentional professional dishonesty and are being made in permanently
archived, world-readable forums. This is potentially damaging to my
career and the career of others involved in ROOL, even though I am
thoroughly convinced that these claims have *absolutely no basis in
reality whatsoever*. I cannot state that strongly enough.

One again: If ROL have a problem with CTL issuing licences to third
parties then they need to take this up with CTL, not ROOL.

--
TTFN, Andrew Hodgkinson
Find some electronic music at: Photos, wallpaper, software and more:
http://pond.org.uk/music.html http://pond.org.uk/

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 2:49:02 PM2/24/10
to
On 24/02/2010 17:17, Aaron wrote:

How quaint. That seems to be a fragment of the licence which was
terminated. This termination is why ROL signed, in front of independent
witnesses, a new licence with CTL in 2004.

http://www.drobe.co.uk/riscos/artifact1093.html
http://www.drobe.co.uk/riscos/artifact1192.html

You have acknowledged signing this document in public forums before,
albeit in the context of making very serious allegations of fraud; for
example, see:

http://www.drobe.co.uk/user.php?user=VirtualAcorn&listall=1#cid29940

You can argue about the validity of the document as much as you like. It
doesn't matter, because of one simple question: *Why exactly were ROL
signing a licence agreement written by CTL if their existing licence was
both valid, intact, and even gave them ownership of that to which CTL at
that moment laid claim?*

Since you give this old document "as evidence", it would appear that your
whole argument about "right and title" is based on a licence which was
terminated - a most embarrassing error on your part. Even worse, the
reasons for the termination cited by CTL were a failure to meet the
requirements of clause 3.6(a)(ii) in the document you "leaked", which
means 3.6(a)(i) applies and E14->Pace->CTL own everything. Thanks to your
"ROL_Leak.zip" file, we can all see that for ourselves. Talk about
hoisted own your own petard...!

I really do think this is all very silly. What on Earth do you hope to
achieve from all this? Why not just get on with making improvements to
Virtual Acorn and any other products you have and do some positive marketing?

Paul Stewart

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 3:38:22 PM2/24/10
to
In message <v7fhn.145692$UQ6....@newsfe04.ams2>
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> On 24/02/2010 17:17, Aaron wrote:

>> Since the thread about "rights holders" has become more about
>> rabid speculation, than facts I have opened a new thread.

> You have clearly not seen the last message I posted in the "rights
> holders" thread. Therefore, I am going to repost it in full, with
> apologies to those that have already seen it (complete with my typing
> errors for authenticity - doh!).

> On 23/02/2010 15:14, Peter Howkins wrote:

>> I'm confused, why would E14 have signed an agreement that required
>> their sub-licensee (ROL) to post back source changes, but then be
>> beholden to their sub-licensee's copyright? That makes no sense.

> It makes no sense because it is untrue. Aaron is in grave error.

According to the Final Draft Memorandum Of Understaning signed by E14
and ROL that Paul Middleton was handing out at the South West Show,
point 12, would appear to be the one he is Aaron is referring to which
states: -

RISCOS Ltd my at its own discretion choose to extend or
develop derivatives of RISC OS 4. Any such extension or
derivatives created by RISCOS Ltd during the four year
period following the date of the formal license agreement
shall be licensed back to Element 14 Ltd including
documented source of all RISCOS Ltd extensions and
derivatives. This will be licensed to Element 14 Ltd on a
royalty free, non-exclusive, world-wide basis for use by
Element 14 Ltd for any purpose, subject always to the
covenant set out in 3 above. Element 14 Ltd reserves the
right to audit the Master source tree for RISC OS which will
be maintained by RISCOS Ltd.

Regards
--
Paul Stewart - Winslow, Buckingham, England.
(msn:pauls...@phawfaux.co.uk)


Theo Markettos

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 3:34:45 PM2/24/10
to
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
> Furthermore, ROOL has been accused of deliberately stripping copyright
> messages from ROOL source releases.
>
> On 17/02/2010 12:12, Aaron wrote:
>
> > Many examples have had their copyright messages changed. However
> > here is one example:
> > http://www.riscosopen.org/viewer/view/castle/RiscOS/Sources/Video/Render/Draw/Docs/Clipping
>
> You will note that the document to which Aaron provides a link contains
> no copyright message at all. By just following the link he posts himself,
> one can see that Aaron is mistaken. I have no idea why he made this claim
> or linked to this particular document.

In addition, in news:DAy*xB...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk I demonstrated
that that code was, on the balance of probabilities, submitted by someone
who was an employee of Pace. I'll repeat the analysis below:

<quote>

FWIW there are some code commits by 'jfletche' in the Draw tree. For
example, rev 4.5 of:

http://www.riscosopen.org/viewer/view/castle/RiscOS/Sources/Video/Render/Draw/s/Draw

As you [Rob Kendrick] say there is nothing regarding IP attributions there,
in the code or the metadata. However, Justin [Fletcher] did work for Pace.
Those commits were on 16th Aug 2000.

According to his blog:
http://gerph.org/diary/2000/diary-aug.html

he left Pace for Picsel on 18th Aug 2000. In the entry of 11th Aug he also
mentions he's only a RISCOS Ltd shareholder and nothing more.

So it's fairly conclusive that the code was written while he was in the
employ of Pace and not of ROL.

But again that says nothing about any IPR assignment for that particular code.

</quote>

Theo

Peter Naulls

unread,
Feb 24, 2010, 3:41:38 PM2/24/10
to
Theo Markettos wrote:

> According to his blog:
> http://gerph.org/diary/2000/diary-aug.html
>
> he left Pace for Picsel on 18th Aug 2000. In the entry of 11th Aug he also
> mentions he's only a RISCOS Ltd shareholder and nothing more.
>
> So it's fairly conclusive that the code was written while he was in the
> employ of Pace and not of ROL.
>
> But again that says nothing about any IPR assignment for that particular code.
>

Right, and as I noted much earlier, but probably got lost, the code in
question is an optional build, so if it were really demonstrated that
it belonged to ROL, it could be readily disabled or removed without
any difficulty. Perhaps in such a theoretical scenario, something might
be due to ROL, but the feature is a little obscure, and hard to put
a value on. It's credible, if perhaps unlikely, that this code actually
belongs to JF. But he would have to answer that.

David Holden

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 2:27:27 AM2/25/10
to

On 24-Feb-2010, Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> You can argue about the validity of the document as much as you like. It
> doesn't matter, because of one simple question: *Why exactly were ROL
> signing a licence agreement written by CTL if their existing licence was
> both valid, intact, and even gave them ownership of that to which CTL at
> that moment laid claim?*

I would have thought the answer was fairly obvious. In order to try to put
an end to all this nonsense ROL were prepared to give up a lot of their
rights to try preserve what remained of the 'RISC OS market' as a whole.
They'd already done this once before.

Remember that this only happened after a massive concerted 'anti ROL' PR
campaign by CTL in which they issued threats against ROL's AMSs and accused
ROL of a whole series of things, none of which were true. As someone else
has already remarked, if CTL really owned RISC OS "lock, stock and barrel"
and ROL had really broken their agreements why did *they* need a new
licence? Why didn't they just terminate the old one and shut ROL down?

Unfortunately it was all in vain.

--
David Holden - APDL - <http://www.apdl.co.uk>

David Pitt

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 2:28:00 AM2/25/10
to
Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:

> Aaron wrote:
[snip]


> >
> > http://www.filefactory.com/file/b050f2a/n/ROL_Leak.zip
>
> 'kin 'ell. Could you have put it anywhere less accessible? Took me five
> minutes to work out how to download it.

I cracked it a bit quicker than that but some porn turned up just as the
download occurred, "Score Real Girls Now". Perhaps it is normal to sex
things up these days.

--
David Pitt

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 4:20:15 AM2/25/10
to
On 25/02/2010 07:27, David Holden wrote:

> I would have thought the answer was fairly obvious. In order to try to put
> an end to all this nonsense ROL were prepared to give up a lot of their
> rights to try preserve what remained of the 'RISC OS market' as a whole.

So ROL were prepared to quite literally sign away all "right and title",
as Aaron claims it, to what ROL claims is their only piece of IPR - out
of the good of their hearts?!

> if CTL really owned RISC OS "lock, stock and barrel"
> and ROL had really broken their agreements why did *they* need a new
> licence? Why didn't they just terminate the old one and shut ROL down?

I suspect CTL liked the idea of royalty payments restarting and liked the
idea of being able to merge the RO4 features into RO5 - something ROL
have singularly failed to do in any form - to produce a result which they
presumably hoped combined the best features of both to produce a product
with greater market potential than either.

Chris Hall

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 4:24:14 AM2/25/10
to
In message <7umn34...@mid.individual.net>
"David Holden" <Spa...@apdl.co.uk> wrote:

It's a tricky one this - does one believe that CTL were being rather
devious, sailing close to the wind on what was legal, making some
money and pushing their luck as far as they could? Or does one believe
that ROL, with the health of the Acorn/RISC OS platform at heart, made
the best agreement they could, at each stage, for the benefit of RISC
OS users as a whole?

Actually I believe both - the uncertainty probably prevented either
party from making large amounts of money on the back of the huge
number of ARM chips going into PDAs and suchlike.

Pity.


--
Chris Hall <ch...@svrsig.org>

Chris Hall

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 4:26:35 AM2/25/10
to
In message <mpro.kydzeo00...@pittdj.co.uk>
David Pitt <ne...@pittdj.co.uk> wrote:

> Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:

'The Acorn Story' or 'How not to Succeed in Business' - would make a
good book if someone who is dispassionate and disinterested (and knows
the truth) could be persuaded to write it.


--
Chris Hall <ch...@svrsig.org>

Jim Nagel

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 5:02:09 AM2/25/10
to
David Holden wrote on 25 Feb:
> ... against ROL's AMSs ...

please spell out? what's AMS?

(probably not American Meteorlogical Society or Association of Muslim
Schools or other Google results.)


--
Jim Nagel www.archivemag.co.uk

David Holden

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 5:24:44 AM2/25/10
to

On 25-Feb-2010, Jim Nagel <jimn...@abbeypress.co.uk> wrote:

> please spell out? what's AMS?

Authorised Manufacturing Sub-licencee

Ollie Clark

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 5:25:37 AM2/25/10
to
Jim Nagel wrote:
> David Holden wrote on 25 Feb:
>> ... against ROL's AMSs ...
>
> please spell out? what's AMS?

"Authorised Manufacturing Sub-licenseei - the name given by RISCOS Ltd
to those companies who manufacture RISC OS-based devices under licence"

Taken from, er, the Archive website... ;-)

Ian Hamilton

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 5:24:58 AM2/25/10
to
In article <f3900ee...@nails.ukonline.co.uk>,

Jim Nagel <jimn...@abbeypress.co.uk> wrote:
> David Holden wrote on 25 Feb:
> > ... against ROL's AMSs ...

> please spell out? what's AMS?

Authorised Manufacturing Sublicensee.

Chris Hughes

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 5:30:52 AM2/25/10
to
In message <f3900ee...@nails.ukonline.co.uk>
Jim Nagel <jimn...@abbeypress.co.uk> wrote:

> David Holden wrote on 25 Feb:
>> ... against ROL's AMSs ...

> please spell out? what's AMS?

Authorised Manufacturing Sub-licensees


--
Chris Hughes

Aaron

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 7:04:37 AM2/25/10
to
On Feb 24, 7:30�pm, Andrew Hodgkinson <ahodg...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
> On 24/02/2010 17:17, Aaron wrote:
>
> > Since the thread about "rights holders" has become more about
> > rabid speculation, than facts I have opened a new thread.
>
> You have clearly not seen the last message I posted in the "rights
> holders" thread. Therefore, I am going to repost it in full, with
> apologies to those that have already seen it (complete with my typing
> errors for authenticity - doh!).
>
> On 23/02/2010 15:14, Peter Howkins wrote:
>
> > I'm confused, why would E14 have signed an agreement that required
> > their sub-licensee (ROL) to post back source changes, but then be
> > beholden to their sub-licensee's copyright? That makes no sense.
>
> It makes no sense because it is untrue. Aaron is in grave error.

Sorry no. There is indeed a grave error, but it's most
certainly not mine.

> I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL is
> entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can find
> available on the ROOL site.

I am pleased to hear it. Now simply make this paperwork available
for all to inspect. Since you also must have an indemnity from Castle,
I suggest you alos make this public.

>If ROL disagree then they need to take this
> matter up witH CTL.

Possibly, produce the indemnity and this might be the case. Without
this any discussion would be with ROOL.

If you wish to disagree with me that's fine. At least quote the
documents on which you base your conclusions.

<snip comments not made by me>

> > Someone is going to want a licence to distribute
> > RISC OS 5 with the machines (even if it is in very
> > small numbers).
>
> > Castle will not be able to grant such a licence.
> > They don't have the rights to do so.
>
> ROL should take up their complaint with CTL.
>
> Furthermore, ROOL has been accused of deliberately stripping copyright
> messages from ROOL source releases.

Copyright messages have been changed. I for one have said
that I don't know when or where these have been changed.

I will repeat:

Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS.
The rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace.
The rights for anything else rest with RISCOS Ltd

If you can prove me wrong, wonderful. But to do so you will need
to provide *evidence*.

Aaron


Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 7:07:55 AM2/25/10
to
On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 04:04:37 -0800 (PST)
Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:

> Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS.
> The rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace.
> The rights for anything else rest with RISCOS Ltd

You're breaking your own rules; you've not provided any evidence for
these claims.

B.

Aaron

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 7:22:54 AM2/25/10
to

Because, you silly man, the whole aim of RISCOS Ltd is to keep RISC OS
alive. That's why it was set up. That's why it's owned by the dealers
and
developers of thew RISC OS community.

RISCOS Ltd was prepared to grant Castle Technology Ltd the rights that
CTL needed to continue trading.

The first party to find an error in the documents was Peter Wild. CTL
asked RISCOS Ltd if this error could be corrected. RISCOS Ltd
agreed on the basis that any error found by RISCOS Ltd would
also be corrected. This formed a side letter to the agreeement.

Very shortly afterward, and when comparing the agreed copy to
the signature copy a number of other "errors" came to light.
RISCOS Ltd asked for these to be corrected. CTL refused.

RISCOS Ltd requested binding arbitration (which has previosuly
been agreed in the meeting), CTL refused.

CTL were given chance after chance to correct the document.
CTL refused to do so.

At this stage the document went in the bin (although RISCOS Ltd
kept asking CTL to correct things on numerous occasions).

Now, here's the science bit...

Firstly the doucuement produced for signature was not a true
or accurate reflection of the agreement reached between the
two parties. Secondly, by failing to adhere to the terms of the
agreement (the binding arbitration clause) CTL rendered
the document beyond repair.

There is no signed document that reflects the agreement
that was reached.

RISCOS Ltd were still prepared to enter into an agreement,
by CTL repeatedly refused to stick to what had been agreed
in the room.

The directors of RISCOS Ltd repeatedly tried tro get CTL to
see sense. But CTL wanted all, or nothing. They went away
with nothing.

The result was CTL went away with nothing. With no rights
it was just a matter of time. As we have now seen CTL
themselves are no longer trading and the other related
companies have crumbled.

Tematic - wound up
Iyonix Ltd - no longer trading
Castle Technology Ltd - no longer trading

and worse still

Castle Technology Holdings Ltd (the company that was set
up to hold the IPR) was struck off by Companies House as
the Directors failed in their responsibilities.

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/b82ca1422ce10a9278e3b00f7d8eefc9/wcprodorder?ft=1

what little rights CTIL did own might now actually belong to the
Crown!

Now back to your earlier point, which I have already answered
previously.

The whole point is the RISC OS 5 is handicapped, it cannot be
licenced. If
someone wants to come along and use RISC OS 5 with a product
*they will never get a licence* because *CTL cannot issue one*

As you think different, prove it.

Aaron

Mike Clark

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 7:51:09 AM2/25/10
to
In message <bee5f9fe-6ff0-4673...@d27g2000yqf.googlegroups.com>
Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:

[snip]


>
> The first party to find an error in the documents was Peter Wild. CTL
> asked RISCOS Ltd if this error could be corrected. RISCOS Ltd
> agreed on the basis that any error found by RISCOS Ltd would
> also be corrected. This formed a side letter to the agreeement.
>
> Very shortly afterward, and when comparing the agreed copy to
> the signature copy a number of other "errors" came to light.
> RISCOS Ltd asked for these to be corrected. CTL refused.
>
> RISCOS Ltd requested binding arbitration (which has previosuly
> been agreed in the meeting), CTL refused.
>
> CTL were given chance after chance to correct the document.
> CTL refused to do so.
>
> At this stage the document went in the bin (although RISCOS Ltd
> kept asking CTL to correct things on numerous occasions).
>
> Now, here's the science bit...
>
> Firstly the doucuement produced for signature was not a true
> or accurate reflection of the agreement reached between the
> two parties. Secondly, by failing to adhere to the terms of the
> agreement (the binding arbitration clause) CTL rendered
> the document beyond repair.
>
> There is no signed document that reflects the agreement
> that was reached.
>

That is an interesting set of statements. My understanding of english
contract law is that when reviewed by a third party it must be clear to
the third party that all the signatories to the agreement had a common
understanding of what the terms of the agreement were at the time they
entered into it. If any evidence can be produced that there wasn't a
common understanding then the agreement may be judged to have been
invalid.

Mike
--
o/ \\ // |\ ,_ o Mike Clark
<\__,\\ // __o | \ / /\, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing,
"> || _`\<,_ |__\ \> | immunology lecturer, antibody engineer and
` || (_)/ (_) | \corn computer user" http://www.antibody.me.uk/

Vince M Hudd

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 8:33:11 AM2/25/10
to
Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:


[...]

Yuck. What a horrible place to host it - not only because of the pop-under
picturing semi-naked women (I've no objection to semi-naked women - but I
object to them appearing unexpectedly on my screen when I'm not in the
privacy of my own home!), but also because it looks as though that download
will be inaccessible to many RISC OS users (those who don't use another
machine, or who aren't running the RISC OS port of Firefox, which I would
guess is the only RISC OS browser that would be capable).



> is for the scanned copy of the major section of RISCOS Ltd's head licence.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So it's incomplete, then.

I've only speed-read it so far, and therefore I'm not going to make any real
comments on it until I read it properly (it's a long document, and I'd
rather do so when I can read and digest it with no distractions).

However, I will say that the incomplete nature of the document could have a
significant impact on the interpretation of many parts - especially since
page 1 is missing, which would appear to include a number of initial
definitions of terms used within the document. Most notably, when I
initially speed-read it, the one thing which didn't jump out of me was a
definition of that which the licence is actually in respect of. (I accept
that it could be there, though, and that I just missed it - but that doesn't
change that other definitions are missing.)

As such, while the document will be interesting and give everyone who reads
(and is capable of understanding) it a /potentially/ better grasp on the
terms of RISCOS Ltd's original licence than one based on speculation and
interpretation of comments made in press releases, annual reports, etc.,
there is still going to be room for error.

--
Vince M Hudd ::: Soft Rock Software
http://misc.vinceh.com ::: http://www.softrock.co.uk

Is there any scope for a new Bristol RISC OS user group?
See: http://www.riscository.com

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 8:38:46 AM2/25/10
to
On 25/02/2010 12:04, Aaron wrote:

> I will repeat:
>
> Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS.
> The rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace.
> The rights for anything else rest with RISCOS Ltd

So you do confirm that are indeed accusing in public ROOL and its members
of knowingly acting illegally?

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 8:42:25 AM2/25/10
to
On 25/02/2010 12:22, Aaron wrote:

>> I really do think this is all very silly. What on Earth do you hope to
>> achieve from all this? Why not just get on with making improvements to
>> Virtual Acorn and any other products you have and do some positive marketing?
>

> Because, you silly man [ further abuse and speculation snipped ]

Oh dear. When in a hole, Aaron, it is wise to stop digging.

Simon Willcocks

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 8:51:39 AM2/25/10
to

> Tematic - wound up
> Iyonix Ltd - no longer trading
> Castle Technology Ltd - no longer trading
>
> and worse still
>
> Castle Technology Holdings Ltd (the company that was set
> up to hold the IPR) was struck off by Companies House as

[pause for emphasis]

> the Directors failed in their responsibilities.

Is that in the document you can order from companies house? I ask because a
quick check found: "A private company that is not trading may apply to
Companies House to be struck off the register. It can do this if the company
is no longer needed. For example, the active directors may wish to retire
and there is no-one to take over from them; or it is a subsidiary whose name
is no longer needed; or it was set up to exploit an idea that turned out not
to be feasible."

Simon

trevj

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 9:24:20 AM2/25/10
to
On Feb 25, 1:51 pm, Simon Willcocks <simon.willco...@t-online.de>
wrote:
> In message <bee5f9fe-6ff0-4673-88a9-58e22785f...@d27g2000yqf.googlegroups.com>

>           Aaron <atimbr...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> > the Directors failed in their responsibilities.
>
> Is that in the document you can order from companies house?  I ask because a
> quick check found: "A private company that is not trading may apply to
> Companies House to be struck off the register. It can do this if the company
> is no longer needed. For example, the active directors may wish to retire
> and there is no-one to take over from them; or it is a subsidiary whose name
> is no longer needed; or it was set up to exploit an idea that turned out not
> to be feasible."

The 1985 Act clause under which companies were struck off before 1 Oct
2009 has now been repealed by the 2006 Act.

And the deadline for applying to restore CTHL would be 1 Oct 2015...
so that gives the RISC OS community 5 1/2 years to sort it out!
http://www.tsol.gov.uk/Publications/companyrest.pdf#4

Ollie Clark

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 9:34:46 AM2/25/10
to
Aaron wrote:
>
> Because, you silly man, the whole aim of RISCOS Ltd is to keep RISC OS
> alive.

Alive, but not moving forward anymore. By your (ROL, not you personally)
own admission, you can only produce it for 20 year old hardware and an
emulator of that hardware.

Given that, how do you think ROL can help RO move forward onto new
hardware? Do they even want that or is their aim now just to sell
it on VA and ever decreasing numbers of RPCs?

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 9:50:33 AM2/25/10
to
On 25 Feb 2010 14:34:46 GMT
Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:

> Alive, but not moving forward anymore. By your (ROL, not you
> personally) own admission, you can only produce it for 20 year old
> hardware and an emulator of that hardware.
>
> Given that, how do you think ROL can help RO move forward onto new
> hardware? Do they even want that or is their aim now just to sell
> it on VA and ever decreasing numbers of RPCs?

Especially given having the OS stuck in the past on RPCs and RPC
emulator stifles software development, too.

B.

Ray Dawson

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 10:09:45 AM2/25/10
to
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> On 25/02/2010 12:04, Aaron wrote:
>
> > I will repeat:
> >
> > Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS. The
> > rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace. The rights for anything
> > else rest with RISCOS Ltd
>
> So you do confirm that are indeed accusing in public ROOL and its members
> of knowingly acting illegally?

I don't think that is what Aaron has said. ROOL presumably acted in good
faith but were given a 'licence' by someone who has no right to grant it.

However 'good faith' doesn't make the use of the software legal.

Cheers,

Ray D

trevj

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 10:43:46 AM2/25/10
to
On Feb 25, 2:34 pm, Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:

> Given that, how do you think ROL can help RO move forward onto new
> hardware? Do they even want that or is their aim now just to sell
> it on VA and ever decreasing numbers of RPCs?

For those who may have forgotten (or missed) the TIB discussion:
http://www.iconbar.com/forums/viewthread.php?threadid=11262

...some proposed options (from the first page of comments) were:

1. ROL have to do something drastic or radical, such as OSSing what
they have, or something even more serious
2. Continue as things are now
3. Convince ROL to work on the ROOL codebase
4. Convince ROOL to work on the ROL codebase
5. ROL finally goes into administration, taking users' cash with it.
The commercial source is lost, or forever locked away over endless
arguments over copyright
6. As above, but the developers (all, what, three of them?) take
matters into their own hands and merge the principal changes into the
ROOL branch [in which case code rights would belong to ROL, not the
developers]
7. ROL subscribers submit a petition to ROL [...] requesting a
(partial) refund [...], which could then be donated to ROOL to support
further development... on the condition that all ROL intellectual
property/code/etc. [...] then be sold to ROOL for the refund price
[...]
8. Let bygones be bygones and approach ROOL / Castle offering them a
deal whereby they get full ownership of the source of RISCOS Ltd's
branch of RISC OS [...] in exchange for an exclusive ten year royalty-
free licence to market, manufacture and sell RISC OS for the desktop
computer market
9. ROL need to go away and the money they get from subscribers needs
to be directed at Firefox, Netsurf and ROOL
10. ROL abandon [their branch of the OS, due to lack of manpower] and
work on bolting the Select features on top of RO 5 (and perhaps finish
off the IOMD port)

Simon Willcocks

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 3:11:59 PM2/25/10
to
In message <v7fhn.145692$UQ6....@newsfe04.ams2>
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL is
> entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can find
> available on the ROOL site.

You know, had I made a statement like that, don't you think you'd have
dismissed it as "opinion"? After all, Aaron appears to be "absolutely and
utterly satisfied" of the opposite.

I was hoping Rob or Vince would jump in, but since they seem to have missed
it, I'll ask instead: what are these numerous reasons, and what is the
evidence that they are based on?

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 3:19:44 PM2/25/10
to
On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 21:11:59 +0100
Simon Willcocks <simon.w...@t-online.de> wrote:

> In message <v7fhn.145692$UQ6....@newsfe04.ams2>
> Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL
> > is entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you
> > can find available on the ROOL site.
>
> You know, had I made a statement like that, don't you think you'd have
> dismissed it as "opinion"? After all, Aaron appears to be
> "absolutely and utterly satisfied" of the opposite.
>
> I was hoping Rob or Vince would jump in, but since they seem to have
> missed it, I'll ask instead: what are these numerous reasons, and
> what is the evidence that they are based on?

Because Andrew is not CTL. Because Andrew is not needlessly abusive
when making claims. Because Andrew doesn't claim to have documentation
that proves it and yet inconveniently can't show it. Because
Andrew's not claiming ownership of anything, nor making comment on
ownership.

Numerous reasons.

B.

Simon Willcocks

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 4:20:39 PM2/25/10
to
In message <20100225201...@trite.i.flarn.net.i.flarn.net>
Rob Kendrick <nn...@rjek.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 21:11:59 +0100
> Simon Willcocks <simon.w...@t-online.de> wrote:
>
> > In message <v7fhn.145692$UQ6....@newsfe04.ams2>
> > Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
> >
> > > I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL
> > > is entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you
> > > can find available on the ROOL site.
> >
> > You know, had I made a statement like that, don't you think you'd have
> > dismissed it as "opinion"? After all, Aaron appears to be
> > "absolutely and utterly satisfied" of the opposite.
> >
> > I was hoping Rob or Vince would jump in, but since they seem to have
> > missed it, I'll ask instead: what are these numerous reasons, and
> > what is the evidence that they are based on?
>
> Because Andrew is not CTL.

Alright. I'm not ROL.

> Because Andrew is not needlessly abusive when making claims.

That sounds more like a reason why you didn't ask, than a reason why Andrew
is satisfied about the licencing situation. He did make a claim, though.

> Because Andrew doesn't claim to have documentation that proves it and yet
> inconveniently can't show it.

He hasn't claimed to have any evidence yet, but if he does, I won't be
surprised if he's not entitled to show it. Perhaps we will be able to
discuss it, though, and come to a clearer understanding of the situation.

> Because Andrew's not claiming ownership of anything, nor making comment on
> ownership.

But surely he is making a comment on ownership when he says that "CTL is


entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can find

available on the ROOL site." If you don't think that's a comment on CTL's
rights, please explain why not.

Am I right in thinking that ROOL's licence excludes commercial exploitation
of the code, by the way?

> Numerous reasons.

And I hope he'll tell us what they are.

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 4:22:19 PM2/25/10
to
On 25/02/2010 20:11, Simon Willcocks wrote:

>> I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL is
>> entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can find
>> available on the ROOL site.
>
> You know, had I made a statement like that, don't you think you'd have
> dismissed it as "opinion"?

Quite possibly. And if you or any other reader wishes to take it as
uninformed opinion and nothing more then so be it. Nonetheless, that is
my position.

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 4:28:39 PM2/25/10
to
On 25/02/2010 21:20, Simon Willcocks wrote:

>> Because Andrew is not needlessly abusive when making claims.
>

>He did make a claim, though.

I claimed nothing. I stated that I was "satisfied that" CTL is (to
paraphrase myself, how bizarre) operating legally. That's a statement of
opinion, not a claim of fact.

> But surely he is making a comment on ownership when he says that "CTL is
> entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can find
> available on the ROOL site."

No, because of the very important preceding words "I am for numerous
reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that" which you snipped of the
section you quote.

I do understand that you're politely accusing me of hypocrisy after our
discussion about facts versus opinion in another thread, however I
thought my wording made it clear that I was stating opinion as opinion,
not opinion as fact. I can only apologise if that wasn't the case and
hope that this reply clarifies the issue.

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 4:47:45 PM2/25/10
to
On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 22:20:39 +0100
Simon Willcocks <simon.w...@t-online.de> wrote:

> > Because Andrew is not CTL.
>
> Alright. I'm not ROL.

Indeed not.

> > Because Andrew is not needlessly abusive when making claims.
>
> That sounds more like a reason why you didn't ask, than a reason why
> Andrew is satisfied about the licencing situation. He did make a
> claim, though.

Yes, it is a reason I didn't ask. Which is why I listed it in a list
of reasons I didn't ask.

> But surely he is making a comment on ownership when he says that "CTL
> is entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you
> can find available on the ROOL site." If you don't think that's a
> comment on CTL's rights, please explain why not.

You're reading a great deal into what Andrew has said than I think he
meant, or certainly what I read by it. And as for individual and
specific rights claims, I have no problem. I do have a problem with
people butting into otherwise unrelated discussions to claim they own
everything, make (provably) absurd claims about the ownership, and
claim that other parties are breaking the law. And then do nothing
about it, including proving it.

Andrew's done none of that.

B.

Message has been deleted

druck

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 5:11:53 PM2/25/10
to
Aaron wrote:
> I will repeat:
>
> Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS.
> The rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace.
> The rights for anything else rest with RISCOS Ltd
>
> If you can prove me wrong, wonderful. But to do so you will need
> to provide *evidence*.

No one but you is making claims to own RISC OS in whole or part. It is
not up to them to disprove your unsubstantiated claims. You've yet to
put forward any compelling argument, just patently absurd
interpretations of long voided licence conditions.

And hiding documents of unknown providence on dodgy download sites, with
missing pages, and as far as anyone knows, sections written in crayon
just isn't good enough.

---druck

Vince M Hudd

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 5:14:35 PM2/25/10
to
Simon Willcocks <simon.w...@t-online.de> wrote:
> In message <v7fhn.145692$UQ6....@newsfe04.ams2>
> Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> > I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL is
> > entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can
> > find available on the ROOL site.

[...]



> I was hoping Rob or Vince would jump in, but since they seem to have
> missed it, I'll ask instead: what are these numerous reasons, and what is
> the evidence that they are based on?

There are a number of reasons, amongst which are: The fact that Andrew is
speaking as a member of the ROOL team, and *not* as a representative of CTL.
The fact that he's expressing his own satisfaction with ROOL's licence from
CTL. The fact that IIRC in the same post Andrew said something several times
that I've said myself time and time again.

Ben Avison

unread,
Feb 25, 2010, 10:40:26 PM2/25/10
to
On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 17:17:57 -0000, Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:
> As evidence this link:
>
> http://www.filefactory.com/file/b050f2a/n/ROL_Leak.zip

Thanks for making that public, Aaron. Now everyone can see the holes in
your
arguments.

We can argue until we're blue in the face about which agreements are valid.
A definitive decision on that would probably only come from a legal ruling
which we're probably never going to get. But there are only so many
possible
combinations:

1) If the 1998 licence is in effect, then Castle has all right, title and
interest in the underlying software (being RISC OS 3.8) and RISCOS Ltd has
right, title and interest in its own modifications to that software, but
Castle has the right to use and sublicence the first four years' worth of
RISCOS Ltd's modifications. This would be everything up to 2003, which
would
be about Select 3, I believe.

2) If the 1998 licence was terminated but the 2004 licence is not valid,
then all right, title and interest, including that of all RISCOS Ltd's
modifications to date, revert to Castle.

3) If the 2004 licence is valid then Castle also have all right title and
interest in everything.

In none of those scenarios could RISCOS Ltd be said to "own" "RISC OS". In
fact Castle is entitled to at least a copy of all RISCOS Ltd's sources up
to
Select 3, and as everyone can see from the ROOL CVS repository, RISCOS Ltd
never returned any sources beyond those for RISC OS 4.02.

Ben

Simon Willcocks

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 3:46:08 AM2/26/10
to
In message <bYBhn.261368$8K4....@newsfe15.ams2>
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> On 25/02/2010 21:20, Simon Willcocks wrote:
>
> > But surely he is making a comment on ownership when he says that "CTL is
> > entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can find
> > available on the ROOL site."
>
> No, because of the very important preceding words "I am for numerous
> reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that" which you snipped of the
> section you quote.

In my defence, the whole section was quoted further up in the e-mail you
replied to. I wasn't trying to hide the context.

> I do understand that you're politely accusing me of hypocrisy after our
> discussion about facts versus opinion in another thread, however I
> thought my wording made it clear that I was stating opinion as opinion,
> not opinion as fact. I can only apologise if that wasn't the case and
> hope that this reply clarifies the issue.

Alright, but presumably you don't think of your opinion as worthless,
otherwise you wouldn't have bothered making it. I'm just trying to find out
what it's based on. Is that unreasonable?

It's not like I've ever supported Aaron's claim to RISC OS, either; I'm just
trying to get a fair hearing for the arguments on both sides.

Simon Willcocks

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 3:36:33 AM2/26/10
to
In message <gemini.kyf4gb0...@softrock.co.uk>

Vince M Hudd <sp...@softrock.co.uk> wrote:

> Simon Willcocks <simon.w...@t-online.de> wrote:
> > In message <v7fhn.145692$UQ6....@newsfe04.ams2>
> > Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > > I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL is
> > > entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you can
> > > find available on the ROOL site.
>
> [...]
>
> > I was hoping Rob or Vince would jump in, but since they seem to have
> > missed it, I'll ask instead: what are these numerous reasons, and what is
> > the evidence that they are based on?
>
> There are a number of reasons, amongst which are: The fact that Andrew is
> speaking as a member of the ROOL team, and *not* as a representative of CTL.
> The fact that he's expressing his own satisfaction with ROOL's licence from
> CTL. The fact that IIRC in the same post Andrew said something several times
> that I've said myself time and time again.

I'm sorry, I guess I must have phrased my question badly, since you and Rob
seem to have taken it as a request for reasons why you didn't ask Andrew
about his comment. (I admit, I couldn't resist a little dig, though.)

I was trying to ask what Andrew's "numerous reasons" for his opinion were,
so that we could have an idea of how much weight to give to that opinion.

I'm not interested in dismissing anyone's opinion outright, because I think
that we're going to have to talk about those things if we ever want to get
beyond them. Ben Avison's posting <op.u8ptt...@amoe.local> is more
the sort of thing that has a chance to bring things to a conclusion.

Vince M Hudd

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 4:08:15 AM2/26/10
to
Simon Willcocks <simon.w...@t-online.de> wrote:
> In message <gemini.kyf4gb0...@softrock.co.uk>
> Vince M Hudd <sp...@softrock.co.uk> wrote:

[...]



> I'm sorry, I guess I must have phrased my question badly, since you and
> Rob seem to have taken it as a request for reasons why you didn't ask
> Andrew about his comment. (I admit, I couldn't resist a little dig,
> though.)

> I was trying to ask what Andrew's "numerous reasons" for his opinion were,
> so that we could have an idea of how much weight to give to that opinion.

Sorry, yes, reading it back now I can see that. All I can say it was the end
of a long day!



> I'm not interested in dismissing anyone's opinion outright, because I
> think that we're going to have to talk about those things if we ever want
> to get beyond them. Ben Avison's posting <op.u8ptt...@amoe.local>
> is more the sort of thing that has a chance to bring things to a
> conclusion.

I've just read that post. I've yet to read the incomplete licence agreement
properly, though. (Well, as "properly" as is possible given what's missing,
which could fundementally affect the meaning of some parts).

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 6:12:38 AM2/26/10
to
On 26/02/2010 08:36, Simon Willcocks wrote:

> I'm not interested in dismissing anyone's opinion outright, because I think
> that we're going to have to talk about those things if we ever want to get
> beyond them. Ben Avison's posting<op.u8ptt...@amoe.local> is more
> the sort of thing that has a chance to bring things to a conclusion.

I already said many similar things on 24/02/2010 19:49 and the leaked
fragment of the old document has been around for days. I expected bar
room lawyers to misinterpret it and lots of arguments spring up from
that, but instead, it seems to have been ignored.

Perhaps that's wise, given the superseding 2004 licence exists.

We will reach no conclusion here. Never have before, never will this
time. The only conclusion we could find would be in court, although in
this whole childish playground nonsense, quite what one "side" "winning"
over the other would ultimately achieve is unclear.

Aaron recently said: "the whole aim of RISCOS Ltd is to keep RISC OS alive."

Allow me to be the first to congratulate the members of ROL on the
wonderful job they've done. Last one out, please switch off the lights.

David Holden

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 6:26:25 AM2/26/10
to

On 26-Feb-2010, Vince M Hudd <sp...@softrock.co.uk> wrote:

> I've just read that post. I've yet to read the incomplete licence
> agreement properly, though. (Well, as "properly" as is possible
> given what's missing, which could fundementally affect the meaning
> of some parts).

FYI the missing 1st page is the start of the definitions of the terms used
in the agreement, eg, the names of the parties, AMS, Acorn Clan, AIS, Bug
Document, etc.

The missing few pages at the end deal with the time scale and amounts that
ROL are to pay to E14 for the licence, accounting for royalty payments,
acknowledgement that E14 has paid for their shares in ROL, when these shares
shall be delivered, dispute procedures, limited warranty by E14, limited
liability by E14, etc. and space for the signatures

My guess is that whoever copied this document scanned only the bits that he
felt were relevant. No doubt the conspiracy theorists will wish to try to
say that something significant has been left out but I can't see anything.

--
David Holden - APDL - <http://www.apdl.co.uk>

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 6:48:32 AM2/26/10
to
On Fri, 26 Feb 2010 11:26:25 GMT
"David Holden" <Spa...@apdl.co.uk> wrote:

> > I've just read that post. I've yet to read the incomplete licence
> > agreement properly, though. (Well, as "properly" as is possible
> > given what's missing, which could fundementally affect the meaning
> > of some parts).

<snip>

> My guess is that whoever copied this document scanned only the bits
> that he felt were relevant. No doubt the conspiracy theorists will
> wish to try to say that something significant has been left out but I
> can't see anything.

Unfortunately, neither can anybody else.

B.

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 7:58:37 AM2/26/10
to
On 26/02/2010 03:40, Ben Avison wrote:

> 2) If the 1998 licence was terminated but the 2004 licence is not valid,
> then all right, title and interest, including that of all RISCOS Ltd's
> modifications to date, revert to Castle.

...leaving ROL, I guess, with no rights. Not good for anyone.

> 3) If the 2004 licence is valid then Castle also have all right title and
> interest in everything.

...and ROL would have a whole bunch of rights defined therein. Could've
been a happy ending were it not for the sabre rattling (yes, there are
allegations of this on *both* sides; this is clearly a messy business).

On Select 3, I think you may be incorrect:

http://select.riscos.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/20030606161626/http://select.riscos.com/

"19th May 2003: Select 3 Issue 1 available for Download". That puts it
just outside the 4 year span assuming the date on the Select web page is
correct. OTOH Select 2 Issue 3 is easily inside, at November 2002 and as
you point out, apparently no code beyond 4.02 was fed back. It seems to
me that this might put ROL in breach of the licence conditions, but I
state this only as an opinion based on observations of the dates and
material available (I can't emphasise that enough).

AFAIAA Select releases are softload ROM components provided as part of a
hard disc image with a softload tool which runs when the machine powers
up, boots from its internal ROM and starts running the hard disc based
boot sequence.

http://www.riscos.info/index.php/RISC_OS_FAQ

In the document Aaron supplied, you will note section 3.1(b)(v) on page 5
where it states clearly that ROM components may not be distributed as
part of a disc image.

That seems quite harsh because it means in practice the only way for ROL
to release updates to existing machines is via ROM chips, some kind of
dedicated Flash ROM and programmer tool (c.f. Iyonix) on e.g. a CD, or on
physical media to AMSs who in turn supply ROMs/Flash. That's quite
cumbersome and expensive. Nonetheless, those appear to be the terms.

It would seem to me, given the way Select was released and given the
leaked document from Aaron, that ROL may have breached this licence
condition. Again this is only an opinion based on observations of the
material available. I'm not a lawyer and I may have misinterpreted some
of the terms and definitions, or there may have been later
agreements/amendments which Aaron has not shown us. I would certainly
welcome it if a ROL representative could help shed some light on this.

Aaron

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 7:59:09 AM2/26/10
to
On Feb 25, 1:33�pm, Vince M Hudd <s...@softrock.co.uk> wrote:

<snip>

> As such, while the document will be interesting and give everyone who reads
> (and is capable of understanding) it a /potentially/ better grasp on the
> terms of RISCOS Ltd's original licence than one based on speculation and
> interpretation of comments made in press releases, annual reports, etc.,
> there is still going to be room for error.

Indeed and I agree. However the really important stuff is present and
allows people to get a better handle on things.

The important clauses are all present. I draw your attention to the
following:

3.1 c i - target markets. This is the clause that prevents both
parties
operating in the same market area.

3.6 a ii - ownership. This is the clause that grants RISCOS Ltd
ownership
of derivative works (which is defined). The key point is the 4 year
period.

As with most legal documents a notepad and pen plus a couple of read
throughs help.

Aaron

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 8:02:14 AM2/26/10
to
On Fri, 26 Feb 2010 04:59:09 -0800 (PST)
Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:

> As with most legal documents a notepad and pen plus a couple of read
> throughs help.

As does having the whole document, and any past or future agreements it
may refer to, build upon, or be dissolved by.

B.

Aaron

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 8:10:30 AM2/26/10
to
On Feb 25, 1:38�pm, Andrew Hodgkinson <ahodg...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> On 25/02/2010 12:04, Aaron wrote:
>
> > I will repeat:
>
> > Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS.
> > The rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace.
> > The rights for anything else rest with RISCOS Ltd
>
> So you do confirm that are indeed accusing in public ROOL and its members
> of knowingly acting illegally?

Are you saying that ROOL *did* know that Castle did not have any
rights to
grant licences?

ROOL obviously have a "comfort letter" from Castle Technology Ltd
stating
that Castle have the right to grant licences and also providing ROOL
with
full indemnity against any third party licence breaches. You would
have
to be nuts to release source code you don't own without these.

However you do seem to have missed the point by a country mile. This
is about
fixing problems so they don't come back and mess things up.

As it stands RISC OS 5 is severely hampered. Firstly by the
restrictive
"Shared Source Licence". Secondly by the fact that there will never be
any commercial licences granted by Castle.

If you think about it, it's not actual in my business interest to fix
these.
So why am I trying to? Answer, it would be good for RISC OS as a
whole.

Aaron

Aaron

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 8:12:45 AM2/26/10
to
On Feb 25, 3:09�pm, Ray Dawson <r...@magray.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

> Andrew Hodgkinson <ahodg...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
> > On 25/02/2010 12:04, Aaron wrote:
>
> > > I will repeat:
>
> > > Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS. The
> > > rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace. The rights for anything
> > > else rest with RISCOS Ltd
>
> > So you do confirm that are indeed accusing in public ROOL and its members
> > of knowingly acting illegally?
>
> I don't think that is what Aaron has said. ROOL presumably acted in good
> faith but were given a 'licence' by someone who has no right to grant it.

Thank you Ray, perfectly put.

> However 'good faith' doesn't make the use of the software legal.

Nor, does it make it "illegal". Licences are a civil matter, not a
criminal one.

Aaron

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 8:19:02 AM2/26/10
to
On Fri, 26 Feb 2010 05:10:30 -0800 (PST)
Aaron <atim...@aol.com> wrote:

(I have reflowed Aaron's broken wrapping.)

> On Feb 25, 1:38�pm, Andrew Hodgkinson <ahodg...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
> > On 25/02/2010 12:04, Aaron wrote:
> >
> > > I will repeat:
> >
> > > Castle *do not* have any rights to grant licences for RISC OS.
> > > The rights for thin clients/STBs rest with Pace.
> > > The rights for anything else rest with RISCOS Ltd
> >
> > So you do confirm that are indeed accusing in public ROOL and its
> > members of knowingly acting illegally?
>
> Are you saying that ROOL *did* know that Castle did not have any
> rights to grant licences?

It doesn't look like it to me. It looks like Andrew's asking
confirmation of what you said.

<snip>

> As it stands RISC OS 5 is severely hampered. Firstly by the restrictive
> "Shared Source Licence".

And ROL's OS is hampered by its even more restrictive closed approach.

> Secondly by the fact that there will never be any commercial
> licences granted by Castle.

It's impossible for us to know that.

> If you think about it, it's not actual in my business interest to fix
> these. So why am I trying to? Answer, it would be good for RISC OS
> as a whole.

Beyond trying to "fix" this by accusing ROOL and CTL of having no
rights, what do you think could be done to move RISC OS forward?

B.

Mike Clark

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 8:27:47 AM2/26/10
to
In message <e66546ef50.s...@home.invalid>
Simon Willcocks <simon.w...@t-online.de> wrote:

> In message <v7fhn.145692$UQ6....@newsfe04.ams2>
> Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > I am for numerous reasons absolutely and utterly satisfied that CTL
> > is entirely legally entitled to licence to ROOL the source code you
> > can find available on the ROOL site.
>
> You know, had I made a statement like that, don't you think you'd have
> dismissed it as "opinion"? After all, Aaron appears to be
> absolutely and utterly satisfied" of the opposite.
>
> I was hoping Rob or Vince would jump in, but since they seem to have
> missed it, I'll ask instead: what are these numerous reasons, and what
> is the evidence that they are based on?
>
> Simon
>

The above statement by Andrew Hodgkinson is very precisely worded and
doesn't really take the matter any further or resolve anything. As I've
pointed out the Castle Licence that accompanies the source code on the
ROOL site has a very big disclaimer about any third party rights. So in
essence it's quite possible that ROOL have a legitimate right from
Castle to put the source code on the website but that still doesn't mean
that anyone else can use it for a practical application without
infringing third party rights.

Essentially Castle in that public licence aren't offering licensees any
warranties against claims made by third parties. If somebody uses the
code and then finds they are liable to pay a third party a licence fee
they are on their own.

What the licence clearly does do is say that Castle will happily grab
back for their own use any development work done on the sources and in
demanding the waiver of "moral rights" over the work they don't even
need to acknowledge (let alone offer payment to) anyone who contributed
any improvements.

So far I've seen nothing put into the public domain that counts as a
knockout blow for one side over the other.

Mike
--
o/ \\ // |\ ,_ o Mike Clark
<\__,\\ // __o | \ / /\, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing,
"> || _`\<,_ |__\ \> | reader in immunology, antibody engineer and
` || (_)/ (_) | \corn computer user" http://www.antibody.me.uk/

charles

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 8:49:48 AM2/26/10
to
In article
<12f4c7de-bea4-47b2...@d27g2000yqf.googlegroups.com>, Aaron
<atim...@aol.com> wrote:

You have a very narrow interpretation of the word "legal". Most lawyers
would consider that a breach of civil law is an illegal act - you can't go
to prison for it, though.

--
From KT24

Using a RISC OS computer running v5.16

Ray Dawson

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 8:56:22 AM2/26/10
to
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> Aaron recently said: "the whole aim of RISCOS Ltd is to keep RISC OS
> alive."
>
> Allow me to be the first to congratulate the members of ROL on the
> wonderful job they've done. Last one out, please switch off the lights.

Well, ROL HAVE kept RISC OS alive so far. Without them there would have been
a lot less users of Risc PCs still around and, probably, Virtual Acorn
wouldn't have progressed to the extent it has.

Castle made a quick buck from the Iyonix and they seem to have fled the
market now that there aren't any more pickings.

ROOL is the natural way forward now, once the status of their licence is
established, and I would have thought cooperation with ROL would be more
productive than the current situation.

But what do I know.

Cheers,

Ray D

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 9:45:01 AM2/26/10
to
On 26/02/2010 13:56, Ray Dawson wrote:

> Castle made a quick buck from the Iyonix and they seem to have fled the
> market now that there aren't any more pickings.

CTL have their faults but your claim is quite strange given the history.

CTL sold the Iyonix for almost six years (Dec '02 - Sep '08). The Risc PC
was around for only about four years and would have ceased in 1998 had
CTL not picked it up, continuing to spend time and money developing
things like the Kinetic card in 2000. CTL production of the Risc PC ended
in 2003. The Iyonix was killed by the introduction of the RoHS Directive.
Changes to the Iyonix for RoHS compliance and considerations of an Iyonix
2 were made - I worked for the Tematic part of CTL and was involved in
these discussions - but it was simply not financially viable. The market
was far too small to come even *close* to a profit. We all wanted to do
it but couldn't afford to. It was very depressing.

Take a look at the Iyonix mailing list. Clearly the machine is still well
supported by CTL. ROOL's "official" RISC OS releases are tested by CTL,
not ROOL. And how much money do CTL get for that effort? Not one penny.
If CTL had "fled the market", you would have no CTL posts to the Iyonix
mailing list - indeed, no mailing list at all unless a third party set
one up - and no official, tested RISC OS ROM after 5.13.

Ste (news)

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 10:03:06 AM2/26/10
to
In article <903aa5ef50....@mrc7acorn1.path.cam.ac.uk>,

Mike Clark <mrc7-...@cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> Essentially Castle in that public licence aren't offering licensees any
> warranties against claims made by third parties. If somebody uses the
> code and then finds they are liable to pay a third party a licence fee
> they are on their own.

A perfectly reasonable measure to take, given the long and spotty 20 year
plus history of the RISC OS sources. We at ROOL have been spending years
just working through it trying to ensure we're 100% happy with everything we
do publish - but you can't blame Castle for covering their back.

> What the licence clearly does do is say that Castle will happily grab
> back for their own use any development work done on the sources and in
> demanding the waiver of "moral rights" over the work they don't even
> need to acknowledge (let alone offer payment to) anyone who contributed
> any improvements.

Right, which is pretty much what the GPL would also do; if you use GPL code,
all your derivative work then also has to be published under the GPL and the
person who published it in the first place can take your work and use it
themself. OK - that's a gross simplification but covers the main points.

Another thing Castle were trying to avoid was pollution of the RISC OS
source code base with other people's IPR that those people then start
charging everyone royalties upon. They also want to shift the liability for
people who submit other people's IPR without permission onto the people who
submitted it.

All fairly sensible.

> So far I've seen nothing put into the public domain that counts as a
> knockout blow for one side over the other.

Agreed. Because that is the one thing which is NOT POSSIBLE TO DO HERE.

If somebody wants to settle the dispute, either they have to stop kicking
over dustbins and start holding constructive dialogue between the main
parties (Castle and ROL) or they need to settle it in court.

Or they could continue sparking eternal, unresolvable flamewars in the tiny,
irrelevant backwaters of the Internet.

Steve

--
Steve Revill @ Home
Note: All opinions expressed herein are my own.

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 26, 2010, 10:13:42 AM2/26/10