Something positive to take from the OS 5 ROM licensing sagaPublished: 14th Dec 2008, 16:57:41 | Permalink | Printable
Public show of affection among ROL and ROOL staffEditorial - Amid the controversial opposition of ROL to an 'unlicensed' RISC OS 5 ROM image for RiscPC-class computers, there are some positives that should not be overlooked. Soon after publication, some within the ROL and ROOL camps were quick to reassure everyone that the relationship between RISCOS Ltd and RISC OS Open Ltd is pleasantly civil - and we can all expect cooperation between the two teams.
Aaron Timbrell, a ROL director and boss of emulation software publisher VirtualAcorn, said: "A lot of people have invested their time, their money and their hopes in ROOL. It is imperative that this investment gets its due return, for the good of everyone. In order to ensure this RISCOS Ltd has already written to the ROOL directors.
"This letter quite specifically states that RISCOS Ltd support what ROOL is doing, in particular RISCOS Ltd supports (quoting from the letter): The release of the source code by RISC OS Open Ltd either via the website or sold on a CD; RISC OS Open Ltd (releasing) RISC OS ROMs without having to pay a licence fee to RISCOS Ltd and RISC OS Open Ltd (offering) a commercial licence to potential RISC OS 5 users and to profit from such a licence."
Steve Revill, of RISC OS Open, added: "RISC OS Open and RISCOS Ltd are not waving their fists at each other. We've enjoyed open and clear communications from the outset and are continuing to talk. Finding the best way for all parties to co-operate for the good of RISC OS has always been one of our aims."
And if that wasn't enough, another ROL director, Dave Holden, said: "There is no problem, disagreement or conflict between RISCOS Ltd and ROOL. RISCOS Ltd are happy with what ROOL are doing and have made offers to them to ensure that their work can continue."
All good stuff. To add some balance to the proceedings, following Pete Wild's claims, ROL's Paul Middleton commented: "We want to continue to work with everyone still involved in the RISC OS market, and contrary to various claims we have done nothing belligerent to anyone in the RISC OS world.
"We are only maintaining our rights that were clearly set out in our licence [to develop and distribute RISC OS]."
The big question for some reason is why did Drobe run the earlier news story? Was the article sensationalist or irresponsible, as some have cried? Not at all.
It is amazing how fast problems are cured when they are illuminated by the public spotlight. Against a backdrop of fresh public assertions of OS ownership by ROL directors and other dirty linen being washed from the sidelines, there is a groundswell of interest in emulating RISC OS-compatible hardware. People are particularly looking forward to running RISC OS 5 for free using the free emulator RPCEmu on an entirely free platform, GNU/Linux - which would broadside the ROL-backed and Windows and Mac OS X-only VirtualRiscPC. If ROOL's project was in danger of being put at risk, surely it is in the public's interest to know the full reasons why?
Plus with everyone's cards now out on the table, this tedious long-running dispute should be in its final stages, thankfully. There should be no more threats, no more quiet grumblings and whispered briefings. Just cooperation, please.
• Finally, some other positive news: an effort to produce an Iyonix emulator capable of testing and running RISC OS Open ROM images has reached the point where the OS can boot and reach the start-up banner. This work is still on-going.
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