The leaked ROL licence is the dullest thing you will ever readPublished: 21st Dec 2008, 23:08:33 | Permalink | Printable
Having had the authenticity of an anonymously leaked partial copy of RISCOS Ltd's licence to develop and distribute RISC OS confirmed and having read through its contents, we wondered why we bothered.This article is a follow-up to the earlier article: RISCOS Ltd's head licence with E14 leaked
Yesterday afternoon eight scanned pages from RISCOS Ltd's licence to develop and distribute RISC OS were emailed to RISC OS magazine and website editors with no other details. The document is often referred to as the 'head licence', granted to ROL in 1999 by E14, and is the basis of the continuation of the development of RISC OS 4 and 6.
E14 was formed in 1999 during the break-up of Acorn and held onto what we know as RISC OS. That year it licensed the rights to develop the OS for the desktop arena to ROL and sold the ownership of RISC OS to Pace. The OS was later sold to Castle, a move ROL directors hold reservations over, leading to the current war of words over who owns what and the potential repercussions the dispute could have on future projects.
Sources close to ROL and Castle have this weekend questioned the usefulness of leaking a partial copy of a near decade-old licence - which is believed to have been superseded and updated over the years by additional agreements between ROL, Pace and Castle, nevermind the fact that the licence was transfered from E14 to Pace at one point. And magazine and website editors Drobe has spoken to have confirmed they will not be publishing their copies of the files to prevent further confusion of the issue. The paperwork was, up until this week, not publicly available and was closely guarded by ROL.
ROL director Aaron Timbrell said of the leaked document this weekend: "I can say that the text itself is identical [to my copy of the licence]."
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