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STD Temporary Closure

By Peter Naulls. Published: 5th Jul 2004, 17:05:04 | Permalink | Printable

"Review the changes" [Updated]

Stuart Tyrrell Developments today announced a temporary closure of trading in order to assess developments in the on going RISC OS dispute between Castle and RISCOS Ltd which affect STD's "A6" system based upon VirtualRiscPC. The full press release is below:


In order that we can minimise further losses and continue to review the changes which have taken place in the RISC OS market recently, Stuart Tyrrell Developments - the RISC OS retail arm of Advantage Six Ltd - today announce that they will close with immediate effect for a period of seven days.

We will make a further announcement on Tuesday 13th July.

Advantage Six Ltd, our service to OEM customers, all support and warranties remain unaffected.



Update at 19:29 6/7/2004
Yesterday, STD's Matt Edgar filled us in with a few more details, although explaining: "Unfortunately our legal advice [says] that there's a lot that I can't comment on. We have been told to make all reasonable steps needed to reduce our existing losses and minimise our exposure to new ones. Obviously it has been (and is continuing to be) a difficult time for us, it's very busy, but not the good kind of busy."

Apparently, using ARM Linux is not a preferred solution for STD and their customers, some of whom have, according to Matt, gone elsewhere.

Matt couldn't comment on Castle's statements, but did admit that STD's long term plans for RISC OS included the A75. As its distribution has been halted, Matt added, "This is really hurting the RISC OS side of the business. The quicker this is resolved, the better."

Links


Stuart Tyrrell Developments

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Discussion

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:-(

Castle and ROL had better get their fingers out. If they drive away STD, their desktop market (and ROL's only market) will be hugely harmed. Eliminate only a few more companies as a result of this bickering and there will be no commercial market at all, and nothing significant to fight over.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnpettigrew on 5/7/04 5:25PM
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Why do people keep mentioning Castle? If ROL have broken their licence obligations and consequently have lost their licence, it is not Castle's fault. You cannot expect Castle to turn a blind eye to the shipping of unauthorised products and non-payment of royalties. And yes, I do believe Castle, as the company has taken legal advice and Mr Lillingston is smart enough not to state things which aren't true.

ROL needs to wrap itself up quickly or move even faster to right the wrongs it has committed. Middleton is behaving, as always, in the most unprofessional fashion.

STD etc can always approach Castle for a RISC OS 3.7 or RISC OS 5 licence, and then there would be no problems and no splitting of the OS anymore.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 5/7/04 5:46PM
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johnpettigrew:

I agree. STD are a key player, and rightly respected. They are also a rival for Castle, both in the desktop and embedded market. And they the market the rival to Castle's USB solution. Hmmm... But as Castle have said that they want to support everyone (including rivals), insisting that choice and competition are a good thing, hopefully they'll resolve this with positive action.

It's such a pity that companies such as STD and Virtual Acorn are suffering as a result of this dispute. It's noticeable that even though Castle have issues with ROL, Select/Adjust are still shipping. And even though ROL have always claimed to have an exclusive licence for the desktop market, therefore insisting that Castle *cannot* ship the Iyonix, Castle are still selling their 'disputed' product.

Sadly, whatever the rights and wrongs, this was inevitable once Castle decided to put the thumbscrews on ROL by sending solicitor's letters to the AMSs. Good luck to STD!

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 5/7/04 5:50PM
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Again, you put the onus on Castle. Clearly, even ROL supporters recognise ROL's incompetence and lack of professionalism and consequently the very small odds on Paul Middleton actually resolving this.

I would say continuing to ship a product when your licence has been terminated is a very foolish thing to do. ROL is now open to further charges.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 5/7/04 6:00PM
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CTL are responsible for this, if this closure remains permanent, CTL will have some questions to answer.

 is a RISC OS Userspeccyverse on 5/7/04 6:15PM
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I agree with arenaman,

Castle have every right, and should take action, ROL should co-operate!

Tisk Tisk if they are shipping

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 5/7/04 6:19PM
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speccyverse: Why? RISC OS Ltd are the company who are in breach of their licence. RISC OS Ltd are the people who are blocking resolution to this whole sorry mess.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 5/7/04 6:22PM
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If STD/VA5000/Anyone else didn't believe that Castle were correct and ROL were wrong why would they stop selling their products?

Have Riscstation and Microdigital stopped? Would anyone notice?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 5/7/04 6:44PM
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Stewy: I may be missing something here, but as I understand, Castle own RISC OS and are able to do with it as they please. Therefore, how can the IYONIX be a "disputed" product? If they had violated the terms of their licensing agreement with Pace before they owned RISC OS, then surely that would have been a past issue with Pace and not RISCOS Ltd.

Much as everyone likes to argue about the situation, Castle are obliged to protect their property.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 5/7/04 6:45PM
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Has *anyone* bothered to read the transcript....

Stewy/Speccyverse/johnpettigrew> Castle have *already* stated that because they cannot get ROL to "co-operate" they are uncertain as to what parts of RO4 are "clear" (what parts are undisputably Castle's and what bits were added later by ROL), they apparently said that RO3.71 or 5 are options for licensing to 3rd parties or (possibly) even an *early* version of RO4 (pre-Select)) and Castle might make those available. This gist of that *is* in the transcript it *is* public record - so why shouldn't vendors like STD take advantage (sorry Stuart - bad pun) of it.

Yes things have changed, but there are still (apparently) options for 3rd parties like STD... so what's the problem ?

Regards

Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 5/7/04 7:25PM
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In reply to arenaman: I mention Castle because they are the ones who have taken the legal action. I mention ROL because they are the defendent in this action. It takes two to make a lawsuit. Also, to those who say that I "put the onus on Castle", I did no such thing. I named both parties equally and was partial to neither. Indeed, I cannot be partial to either - we cannot judge which side is at fault (and it could be either or both), because we do not know the details of the contracts that were signed, nor how the signers intended them to be understood (which matters in contract law). Both parties consider with some justification that they are in the right and the other party is in the wrong. Taking this through the courts is the only way to discover how this disagreement will be resolved, unless the parties can come to a more amicable arrangement first.

If this goes to court, it will kill RISC OS on the desktop. Castle might survive as a manufacturer of specialist machines but there will be no desktop market left for Castle, RISC OS or us users.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnpettigrew on 5/7/04 7:49PM
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In reply to ksattic:

"I may be missing something here, but as I understand, Castle own RISC OS and are able to do with it as they please. Therefore, how can the IYONIX be a "disputed" product?"

It's 'disputed' by ROL in their response to Castle actions:

[link]

As I understand matters, ROL feel that their contract with e14 gives them an *exclusive* right to license RISC OS-based computers sold into the desktop market. (Though, I believe, Castle had a separate licence for RO 3.71-based solutions.) Pace, although owners of RISC OS, had to abide by that, and did. From the ROL point of view, then, Castle needed to licence the Iyonix through them, as it was being sold into the desktop market (just as Castle had previously paid ROL for RO 4 licences). If ROL's interpretation of their contract is correct, then Castle buying RISC OS from Pace didn't change that; Castle would still be bound by the pre-existing agreement and can't "do with [RISC OS] as they please". I have no idea whether ROL have any way of substantiating their understanding of the contract; it's a real pity though that Castle's attempts to pressure ROL have caused predictable hardship to vital companies such as STD.

Much as everyone likes to argue about the situation, presumably ROL are entitled to fight their corner?

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 5/7/04 8:35PM
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In reply to AMS:

"Yes things have changed, but there are still (apparently) options for 3rd parties like STD... so what's the problem ?"

The problem seems to be that Castle are not in a position to offer a viable alternative which meets the needs of the existing licensees of ROL. Indeed, Castle admit in the transcript (which I have read!), that it's only RO 3.7x or perhaps an 'early' RO4, or RO 5, that they could offer. And the problem? Well, Stuart Tyrrell explained on comp.sys.acorn.misc that "Adjust is the only OS which is capable of running on the A75. Integrating the required adjust features [...] would theoretically be possible, but only with a further investment of time and money beyond that which has /already/ been invested into Adjust and would require the co-operation or working-around of third party copyright holders. [...] The total consequences of moving away from Adjust for the A75 are not insignificant, and would preclude re-qualified product for an estimated 3-4 months. Those timescales are sufficient for many OEM's to strongly consider a move to a different OS.

[link]

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 5/7/04 8:36PM
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Why do you assume that RISC OS users vill just vaporise? Truly there will most likely be less of them but there have been bad times before ;)

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 5/7/04 9:12PM
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Stewy> Thanks for that I somehow missed Stuart Tyrell comment on comp.sys.misc (I put it down to old age on my part ;)

My appologies for inferring you hadn't read the transcript !

I suggested the alternative licensing strategy only as a means of a stop gap. If (as you say) it is *not* a viable alternative then that's an assessment to be made by the relevant 3rd parties. Castle, however, at least *did* offer the option of using 3.7, 4 (early) or 5 (which would probably involve a wait). I'd be worried that people would simply characterise it as Castle being "awkward" when they weren't.

Stewy> ROL may well fight their corner - but the question is *at what cost* ? Will it be a resounding success if they bankrupt themselves, scare off investors in RISC OS technology from Castle and put a nail in the corporate coffin of STD/Advantage 6 and others ?

What's need is reason - not a fight, one waits in hope.....

Regards

Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 5/7/04 9:13PM
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Hmm, that was supposed to be a reply to johnpettigrew

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 5/7/04 9:18PM
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johnpettigrew: balderdash. How many times have Microsoft been in court, and have any of these instances resulted in the evaporation of the Windows market? No, they've made not the slightest bit of difference.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 5/7/04 10:07PM
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arenaman: But, as somebody else mentioned, Microsoft have the funding to draw out such suits so far, that by the time a decision's been made, the product that was involved was ancient. I don't think ROL and CTL can afford, nor want, to do something similar.

If STD's closure turns out to be permanent, then that'll be a massive and great shame, which will damage the market. CTL may say that they're happy to relicence to competitors, but from the looks of things, by the time they get around it, there won't be any to licence to! Which might well be a win for CTL in the short-term, and a big loss to the consumers. Certainly, there are people who'd never consider buying a machine from CTL, for the hundreds of reasons that vary from cost to compatibility. People like ROL and VA, along with the resellers, like STD, managed to fill a gap in the market that CTL may not have the resources, or will, to fill. If I were in CTL's shoes, that'd p*** me off big time, and I'd look for any way to stop it. And because we're talking businesses here, they'll do anything to grow their market share, and put a spin on things. (Although I'm not accusing CTL of anything of the sort, but if it turned out to be true, how many people would be surprised?)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 5/7/04 11:02PM
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Attempting to kill off other RISC OS companies at this point would be crazy

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 6/7/04 2:12AM
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Perhaps CTL could comment, on how STD can continue marketing hardware/software utilising VirtualRPC & RISC OS, if as Jack Lillingston, states in the published transcript that VirtualRPC is neither licensable nor authorisable. How can he then offer, STD the use of 3.71 or 5, if in his view RISC OS is not authorisable for use on VirtualRPC. This smacks of protectionism.

 is a RISC OS Userjcmcculloch on 6/7/04 3:36AM
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If ROL's licence was breeched, then why didn't ROL apply (or did ROL apply?) for a licence amendment/upgrade so that it does comply? :-o I can't see the reasons why CTL or ROL would be a competitive threat to each other, as they specialize in different market areas (to a point). Surely, wouldn't CTL have not issued ROL a licencing right in the first place if they were worried about competition? If ROL lose the argument they will just have to comply, request licence amendments (if possible), or shut the door to certain products. :ro4: When Acorn shut the door, :crybaby: we just carried on.... :acorn: Cheers, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 6/7/04 5:33AM
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in reply to Sawadee, youve missed my point, this was directed wholly at CTL, nothing to do with ROL, they had indicated their willingness to allow STD and others to trade in competition, but this comment was made by them, in defference to STD and AMSes, would see this as possible reason for temporary closure at STD. 73 de John

 is a RISC OS Userjcmcculloch on 6/7/04 8:26AM
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jcmcculloch: Sorry I didn't miss your point, I actually didn't read your comment. My comment were my views after reading what most of the top half were saying, not the bottom few of the list. But an interesting point (now I've read yours), it isn't really very clear from CTL (that I know of) how ROL can continue. I suppose we may know in time when the dispute issues begin to clear and become apparent to us. One's interpretation of a licence and authorisation of it's use seems to be as tricky as a Lawyer interpreting the law? Cheers, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 6/7/04 9:20AM
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Castle said VRPC isn't licensable under the current ROL licence, so either ROL need a new licence from Castle or VA go direct to Castle.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 6/7/04 11:32AM
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jcmcculloch:

When CTL say in the transcript that VirtualRPC is not lisensable, they mean that it is not lisensable by ROL under the terms of their *current* licence. This leaves they way open for CTL to license it to other third parties. Alternatrively, ROL could request an extension of their licence so that they can sell RO4 for VRPC.

This is my interpretation of what they say, and if correct, I don't think this would be protectionism.

The real difficulty is that many OEMs need RO 4, and clearly different parts of this are now owned by both Castle and RO Ltd. They are simply going to have to cooperate at some level before this gets sorted out.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 6/7/04 11:41AM
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If you were really cynical you could think that Castle saying third parties could come to them for licenses instead of ROL is not trying to offer a way through, but to get hold of ROL's customers.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 6/7/04 11:49AM
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In reply to anyone who cares to listen:

The transcript of the recent press conference is nothing more than Castle putting forward there particular viewpoint. ie explaining the situation as they see it. This isn't to say that they (Castle) are lying or indulging in spin but merely pointing out that you can't take whats in the transcript as hard evidence of anything.

This would also apply if ROL were to hold a press conference and say "VA is licensed cos I said so".

I repeat - press conferences (and press announcements for that matter) are nothing more than one particular company putting forward their particular viewpoint.

Unless anyone here has read the actual terms of agreement betwen ROL/PACE, PACE/CTL, CTL/ROL or anyone else then all these comments are pure speculation.

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 6/7/04 1:07PM
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Col1: "The transcript of the recent press conference is nothing more than Castle putting forward there particular viewpoint"

That's not correct - it also has viewpoints from a number of other people as well. For example, John Cartmell saying that Castle's termination of ROL's license was "obviously for good reasons".

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 6/7/04 1:22PM
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Does anyone else feel that a little too much posturing is going on?

What will 7 days save? Given that the press release states that support and warranties are unaffected, then all closing for 7 days is going to do is to prevent sales (and even in the current debacle I'm sure the Unipod, PS2Mousemini and so on are unaffected).

Maybe the idea is to attempt to force a resolution - but is throwing all your toys out of the pram and going off for a week to sulk really going to get you anyway?

Or does Stuart just like to announce his holidays in the most dramatic way possible?

 is a RISC OS UserWaldorf on 6/7/04 1:48PM
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"We interrupt this broadcast to go over live to a press conference where Paul Vigay [1] is about to announce his holiday plans."

[1] Randomly selected, moderately well-known RISC OS scene personality. May not be applicable in certain jurisdictions. Please consult a legal advisor before substituting.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 6/7/04 2:05PM
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In reply to DGS:

Yes, the transcript had a lot of peoples opinions but the *purpose* of the conference was for Castle to explain their position as *they* see it.

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 06/07/04 3:31PM
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Col1: Looks like mission accomplished, then. It will be interesting to find out what ROL's explanation is.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 06/07/04 3:45PM
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Waldorf: When this issue is threatening your livelihood, I wouldn't describe that as 'throwing your toys out of the pram'! I don't know whether Stuart /is/ forcing the issue here or not, and frankly it's not relevant. The fact of the matter is that a fair portion of Advantage Six's income is under threat, and he must preserve it in whatever way he can.

If that involves withdrawing his contribution to the RISC OS industry until it gets its house in order, so be it. The user base isn't /meant/ to like the decision - it's a sound one based upon a 'wait and see'.

Stuart needs an OS to run his hardware projects upon, without threat of legal action, as do others. He needs to be able to convince his clients that he can supply product reliably.

If that OS can't be supplied to him, he has no option but to withdraw his product. And if that's the most profitable or best-suited section of his work (which I'm sure complete solutions are), then he is entitled to withdraw all the other products as well.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 06/07/04 3:52PM
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md0u80c9: "a fair portion of Advantage Six's income is under threat, and he must preserve it in whatever way he can"

But surely withdrawing sale of products that *aren't* subject to any license disagreements (i.e. add-ons for older RISC OS computers) is further reducing his income, not preserving it.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 06/07/04 4:04PM
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Andrew Hill: Whether or not this issue is affecting his livelyhood I would have to disagree with you and say that closing down the business for such a limited period is a fruitless gesture to show frustration as the only person who it hurts is himself (and potentially consumers of his products who are unable to influence the legal arguments that are ongoing). Now if we look at the analogy of throwing toys out of a pram....

For an example, if I wanted a unipod now, I am unable to buy one, and STD have therefore lost money. In these lean times, would you want to be doing that?

STD require an OS to run on the A75 and the (I've forgotten the name) V-RPC PCs they sell. They cannot currently do so due to the potential for legal action. Now there are other parts to the business which I assume he does sell some of in the average week.

Yes, of course he is entitled to decide to withdraw all or any products at any time (subject to contractual support agreements), but as a consumer a company that takes such an action is hardly enamouring itself to me.

 is a RISC OS UserWaldorf on 06/07/04 4:04PM
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Has anyone thought of the possibility that Stuart might be taking a more active role in solving the issue, like talking to both CTL and ROL, maybe even get them to attend a meeting under his moderation?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 06/07/04 5:09PM
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Julian: This could be possible, although unlikely. In which case he is demonstrating once again the supreme ability that RISC OS companies seem to have of managing their external communications professionally and unambiguously.

 is a RISC OS UserWaldorf on 06/07/04 5:23PM
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I don't think to to be so unlikely. After all, STD is a major customer of ROL, and CTL stated that they would like the AMSs to become customers of CTL.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 06/07/04 5:59PM
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Waldorf: do you REALLY think that the enthusiast RISC OS desktop business is really that profitable?

Stuart's core business will rely upon large clients. Those will want total systems - which is why the A6/A75 business is important for him. As an offshoot, Stuart will be selling solutions designed initially for those clients to the general userbase. He will no doubt be one of several firms (Simtec being an obvious other,) where the money earnt from the enthusiast market is small compared to his others, but plays an important role in product development. More importantly, a lot of his work won't involve RISC OS at all - general engineering and electronics and suchlike.

By withdrawing his services, he's pointing out to the OS manufacturers and to the userbase that he needs them to get things sorted out and to provide him with a reliable source of Adjust licenses before he can continue what he's doing. And that's worked extremely well. Without speedy resolution, he won't be in a position to offer such products for general sale as he won't have the corporate userbase to fund development, so the enthusiast userbase loses out too.

You don't like it? You know where to look (see any of previous 1000s of posts as to who blames who for what).

And before the cries of 'so he'll earn even less money' - possibly short-term, yes. But long-term he's got a lot more to lose. And of course his core business doesn't always involve RISC OS, so he does /have/ an income for the company, which I'm very confident he could expand very successfully. For him, no RISC OS license, no RISC OS development. Really is that simple - and I wouldn't be surprised if a few others follow suit if this issue gets prolonged.

And with that hardware development loss will be a good handful of software developers. I'm already aware of projects put on hold by these issues.

Expect things to get worse before they get any better.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 06/07/04 6:40PM
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Andrew Hill: very dramatic of you. STD seem to be selling Windows machines and developing solutions for the RiscPC, so it's hardly going to effect the future of the market if he shut up shop and left altogether, as the future is certainly not based on Windows and superceded legacy hardware. However, he does offer many useful products for RiscPC users and indeed some that are useful for IyonixPC owners too, and it's baffling as to why he has ceased to ship all RISC OS products, as only the Windows computers include a copy of RISC OS itself. It won't harm Castle, it won't harm consumers, it will only harm STD.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 06/07/04 7:01PM
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Michael> Almost all, the A75 does rely on a variant of Select

That having been said it's funny (by that I mean curious rather than humerous) that all the current "drama" started with STD announcing they were withdrawing the A75 and A6 - on this very site. Now a transcript of the Castle news conference is released and *suddently* STD close shop for 7 days (and that gets announced too).

People around here are playing hardball (to use an Americanism), things should not *all* be taken on face values. Castle *have* offered a legit solution that addresses the concerns of licensees such as Stuart Tyrell - because of the history and problems currently going on this may not be the most convenient solution - but at least it is an option that should not be dismissed by anyone out of hand.

Kind Regards

Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 06/07/04 7:13PM
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To McShane (calling you AMS wuld be far too confusing!):

The current (drama) started when Castle sent a letter to all the AMSs saying, in effect, stop selling RISC OS products or we will sue. This was on the 26th May - very soon after Wakefield. You may remember Wakefield as the time when the AMSs went out of their way to announce (mainly for immediate sale) a range of new hardware. That cost. Development, good prices - even good prizes - at Wakefield. All that had to be paid for. Ten days later and all those RISC OS products that the AMSs had in stock (with licences and hardware paid for) were suddenly worth nothing.

In the case of Advantage Six this was worse. Not only had they given the best deals - and prizes - at Wakefield they were also in the middle of final negotiations with OEM suppliers re the A75. (A75: a new machine for a new market bringing thousands of copies of RISC OS and BBC Basic to the attention of people who might remember BBC Basic from school but hadn't realised that it was still around).

Add to that the other new releases from STD - A6+, UNIpod, MassFS, &c and there is a lot of development work and a lot of people ringing up and ordering those A6+ machines - that STD can't now supply (even though there are A6+ machines with RO4/Adjust licences sat on the shelves). There are even OEM manufacturers wanting confirmation that Advantage Six can supply x machines for testing by customers, y machines for delivery by ..., &c.

And Castle promised a deal that would sort everything out - and failed to deliver.

That's when the first, short 'holding' statement went out without naming who was responsible.

BTW If someone sends a legal letter threatening you if you sell certain items - you don't describe that as 'withdrawing those items from sale'.

And then Castle seemed to be willing to sort something out again - but failed to deliver.

<speculation> And now Advantage Six are? My guess is doing their sums about trying to persuade their OEM customers to change to Linux. Or talking things over with their lawyers. Or something.

My guess was that Castle had until 24th June to sort everything out. The AMSs have (presumably for the sake of the RISC OS market) accepted far more than anyone could reasonabley expect.

</speculation>

What really astounds me is the Castle 'offer' that McShane mentions. I've seen the offers. None can be described as legit - unless they've finally (this morning?) signed the one that they've been quivering over for a week or more.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 07/07/04 10:25AM
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No-one seems to have picked up the naive comment from page 1. Even if castle own the whole of RISC OS that doesn't mean they can do what they like with it. ROL paid over 100K for rights to RISC OS. That's money spent by the dealers by purchasing shares in ROL. I understand that some bought something like 5000 shares (ie costing them 5000 pounds). I believe Castle bought 500.

Those shares, that money, went into producing a future for RISC OS. RISC OS 4, Select, Adjust and work specific for specific hardware was the result. The work continues.

No matter who owns RISC OS they have to abide by the terms of the agreement/licence that RISC OS own as do ROL themselves and anyone producing RISC OS products for sale in the market defined in the agreement.

Castle say that ROL has breached the terms of that licence. ROL deny that. ROL say that Castle had previously breached the terms of that licence. Castle deny at least one of those breaches.

Whatever is the case it is *not* true that Castle can do whatever they want with the bits of RISC OS that they own.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 07/07/04 10:45AM
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To Michael Stubbs: Please get up to date before making very silly statements. Check on the A75 and the potential for immediate sale of thousands of RISC OS-on-ARM machines into a new market. Of all the RISC OS developers, Advantage Six (STD) is the one we can least afford to lose if we want a future.

The RISC OS market could cope with the loss of Castle more easily - though some might find it difficult to accept the Omega as the only top RISC OS machine. ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 07/07/04 10:53AM
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Q:

Whilst the essence of your post above (@ 10:45) about RISC OS ownership makes obvious sense, could you clarify one point:

According to the transcript Castle now own 25% of RISC OS Ltd, in which case they would now have to own many more shares than the 500 you quote. Is this because they've subsequently bought more shares from other people?

It might also be worth considering that if Castle buy a controlling stake in RO Ltd, or if RO Ltd /have/ breached (and thereby terminated) their licence, then I guess Castle pretty much /can/ do whatever they want with RISC OS (at least in the desktop market).

I hope you'll correct me of this is wrong.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/150.204.48.189 on 07/07/04 11:23AM
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Sorry, should have logged in to post that comment above.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 07/07/04 11:25AM
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In reply to John Cartmell: (10:45) : If Castle have legitimately terminated ROLs license (e.g. if there is a clause that once notified of a breach, there are certain actions that should have been taken that weren't, or an invoice was raised and the undisputed parts weren't paid (you can pay the undisputed parts on an invoice, without tacitly accepting the other charges as long as this is clearly pointed out), then the license can be terminated), then actually Castle CAN do whatever they like with the bits of RISC OS that they own.

(10:25) : Your last paragraph epitomises the appalling nature of communication in the RISC OS market. The number of people who hint that they have seen offers, contracts etc and then say that they can't legally talk about them feeds the FUD. If you are under NDA (implied or otherwise), it is common practice to not even acknowledge the mere existence of something rather than "I know this, but can't tell you - na-na-nanana".

 is a RISC OS UserWaldorf on 07/07/04 11:33AM
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RISCOS Ltd were to issue a further 50,000 shares in January 2004: [link]

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 07/07/04 11:34AM
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A lot of people are shouting that "this is all RISC OS Ltd's fault" - we only have castle's word for this at present, unless I've missed something - but some people seem to believe anything that is said by castle, almost without thought.

 is a RISC OS Usercmj on 07/07/04 11:40AM
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monkeyson:

So this is where Castle got their extra shares from. Thanks for the info :)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 07/07/04 11:45AM
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CMI: If ROL came out with a coherent explanation for some of the very legitimate points that have been raised (e.g. have they, and if so why did they, refuse to meet Castle to discuss things?) then they may be more believable.

As it stands, all we have from ROL is "we refute everything - and they breached the license first". Not the sort of response you would expect from a professional organisation (even if it is an organisation of 1 these days). It's more the stuff of primary school playgrounds.

Surely it would be better for everyone to either put up or shut up. If they want to conduct their fights in public, show us the license and point out the breaches. If not, shut up and deal with it privately.

 is a RISC OS UserWaldorf on 07/07/04 11:49AM
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In reply to David Llewlyn-Jones: Castle bought 500 shares in RISC OS Ltd when the company was formed. They've inherited the rest from Pace.

 is a RISC OS Userriscdomain on 07/07/04 11:49AM
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Re contracts.

It is not true that breaching a contract terminates that contract. What happens on a breach is that penalties are applied to the breaching party, as laid out in the contract or as awarded by a court. The controlling party may choose to terminate the contract either before or after penalties are applied.

It is not true that we know which (if either) party to this disagreement has breached any contract - it could be Castle, ROL, both or neither. If ROL has breached the contract then the termination notice by Castle is legitimate and enforceable. However, if ROL show that they have not breached their licence then the termination notice is invalid and they can continue to sell their products unhindered. If Castle has breached the contract then ROL will be due damages and Castle's rights to distribute the products concerned will be affected.

We simply do not have enough information to tell at the moment. All we have is Castle's letters and statements setting out their point of view, and a brief denial from ROL. Any debate is simply speculation at this point.

I still also maintain that if we lose STD/A6, then it will scarcely matter whether Castle or ROL are correct - this could well do irreparable damage to the RO market. Indeed, serious damage has obviously already been done. We will have to see whether the market can recover from this whole mess. I hope that it does, but I honestly don't know whether it will. Drawn-out legal problems can easily be lethal.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnpettigrew on 07/07/04 12:20AM
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John Pettigrew: To be pedantic, I was implying that there was a termination clause that was based on proveable breaches (two of which I gave an example of). The key word was "If". IANAL, but have enough experience of contracts to be fairly sure that there is normally some form of termination clause if one or other side commits the sort of breach I'd outlined.

The main reason for my de-lurking was the amount of, frankly, rubbish flying around. People standing for one side or the other, and then so-called respected journalists finger pointing and implying that they know things others don't.

None of us, bar Castle, ROL and possibly the Pace contracts lawyer, really know what is contained in the contracts and licenses. But they were the ones who decided to conduct this in public...

I'm off to buy a Mac.

 is a RISC OS UserWaldorf on 07/07/04 12:28AM
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In reply to Waldorf:

The Mac has its own games of politics as well. You won't escape...

I base my computer usage on whether the machine does what I require ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 07/07/04 12:53AM
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Why do we care if STD sell some 7500FE machines? Castle selling XScales seems more a) important, b) likely.

After STD sell 50,000 7500FE machines will ROL then have enough money to repeat what Castle have done/bought and 32bit ROS4?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 07/07/04 1:44PM
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In reply to mavhc:

Your reply seems incredibly short sighted. Have you ever thought that STD could use any money they make selling the A6/A75 to develope new, native, Risc OS hardware ? (please note this is speculation on my part - I do not know STD's plans either but it seems to me that a lot of people are adopting a 'if its not an iyonix we don't care' attitude which is both wrong and very silly. Surely its better for the entire market if we have a number of companies developing a number of different computers ?

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 07/07/04 4:36PM
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In reply to Colin:

"Surely its better for the entire market if we have a number of companies developing a number of different computers ? "

So long as they remain broadly compatible. We don't want more and more fragmentation.

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 07/07/04 5:13PM
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riscdomain: If Castle inherited the A shares from Pace can't they not just dismiss Paul Middleton or appoint a second director next to him? Or even a third together with Andrew Rawnsley? I think there is no need for Castle to own more of ROL to control it.

Who is Andrew Rawnsley?

From the RISCOS Ltd Annual Report 2002

A and B Shareholders -------------------- Pace Micro Technology plc are beneficial holders of a 19.9% non-dilutable interest in RISCOS Ltd. That shareholding is classified as the A Shares and entitles them to appoint a Director to the Board. They are currently waiving that right.

The B Shareholders own a 10% non-dilutable interest in RISCOS Ltd and also have the right to appoint one Director to the Board. They are currently waiving that right. (Paul Middleton 25; Andrew Rawnsley 25; Castle Technology Ltd 50)

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 07/07/04 5:43PM
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"Who is Andrew Rawnsley?"

He's the R in R-Comp.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 07/07/04 5:50PM
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One wonders whether STD and friends couldn't just keep selling their RISC OS 4-based stuff. In the SCO vs. the world business, it was said that even if SCO went after everyone using Linux, those users could just tell SCO that they'd licensed Linux in good faith from whoever they'd bought/downloaded it from. Unless STD and RISC OS Ltd. were nodding and winking conspicuously to each other whilst signing their agreements, STD could probably claim (in my non-legal opinion) that they were distributing RISC OS 4 in good faith, and that it is RISC OS Ltd. who is liable.

Perhaps Castle need that 8m to roll the lawyers out on top of a company they partly own.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 07/07/04 5:50PM
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I'm anxious to know if there really will be an announcement today. I suppose there's a few hours left.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 13/07/04 6:08PM
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