Drobe :: The archives
About Drobe | Contact | RSS | Twitter | Tech docs | Downloads | BBC Micro

STD suspends A75, A6 range

By Chris Williams. Published: 14th Jun 2004, 18:30:02 | Permalink | Printable

"Legal dispute"

Earlier today, the following email was sent to all customers of Stuart Tyrrell Developments, and is reproduced below for your information.

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 16:31:37 +0100
From: Stuart Tyrrell info@stdevel.co.uk
Subject: Notice to customers from Stuart Tyrrell Developments

Notice to customers from Stuart Tyrrell Developments

Following notice of a legal dispute between two third parties, our current legal advice is to suspend the acceptance of new orders for our A75 and A6 ranges of RISC OS computers whilst this is investigated.

OEM customers will be contacted shortly regarding action for losses which might be taken on their behalf.

We hope to see this matter resolved within a timescale which allows us to continue to promote RISC OS in addition to our more stable market areas. In this event a further announcement will be made.

Stuart Tyrrell
Stuart Tyrrell Developments
A Trading Name of Advantage Six Ltd

The A6 is STD's VirtualRiscPC-Adjust 'hybrid' WindowsXP PC, while the A75 is STD's native RISC OS 4 computer, that's powered by the ARM7500FE. More details to follow, when available.


STD website

Previous: Fit a USB combo-media drive to your RiscPC
Next: ChoX11 and Porting


Viewing threaded comments | View comments unthreaded, listed by date | Skip to the end

Facinating. I too hope that the legal dispute they refer to may be resolved soon as the A75 and A6 must be important aspects of STD's work.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 14/6/04 6:36PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Yikes! The last thing we need in this fragile, but I feel slightly recovering market, is any legal mess. This sort of stuff can suck the life (and needless to say, cash) out of companies in a stroke. I can imagine continued disputes about the legality of the emulators, but I thought that was all sorted, and given that the A75's also been suspended, it must be something else. :-( Good luck in fighting your corner, Stuart.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 14/6/04 6:58PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

BBC BASIC licence problems?

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 14/6/04 7:05PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

So in what way are STD *different* from the other RISC OS emulator vendors ? (and as Ian quite sagely points out the A75 is being hit too - which is a bit baffling).

And then there's the 64000 Dollar question - who are the two third parties involved (I know speculation won't help so I'll leave that particular question hang).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 14/6/04 7:15PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

blahsnr >

But BBC BASIC comes as part of the RISC OS ROM doesn't it ? Has anyone ever seen RISC OS *without* BBC BASIC ?

STD *do* mention BBC BASIC in their litrature for the A75 but its supplied with VA and VARPC so why would it be different on the A6/A75 ?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 14/6/04 7:18PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Why would it be BASIC?

Can't be hardware, wouldn't have thought it was bundled software, can't be Windows/VRPC, so must be RISC OS I'd have thought.

Hmm, Castle vs. ROL again? What's unique about STD?

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 14/6/04 9:29PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

"I can imagine disputes about the legality of the emulators ... and given that the A75's also been suspended, it must be something else"

If there is a dispute over the terms of any part of a licence or product I'd expect the legal advice would be to keep clear completely.

Besides, from a more practical point of view, it is impractical to only sell one model: the A6 and A75 product lines are complimentary (the A75 web site states that one is a development platform for the other.)

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 14/6/04 9:34PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

"Hmmm, Castle vs ROL again? What's unique about STD?"

Better lawyers? ;)

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 14/6/04 9:35PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Coming so soon after a very successful Wakefield Show this is very disappointing. STD need to be up and running with current products and future developments as soon as possible. There are few enough who are really committed to making RISC OS work.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 14/6/04 9:54PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Hmmm.... I hope that this isn't the result of a "certain dispute" :| The only thing that is common between the two computers makes me think it is :|

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 14/6/04 10:17PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

This could very quickly get out of hand, and cause upset all over the place. For example, STD took out three full size colour page adverts in the last issue of Qercus. If Stuart has to put operations on hold that's one big headache for Q. As a second example, STD where one of the big four that powered Wakefield this year. No STD at shows will lessen quite considerably what is on offer. I fear the worst - how long before a similar announcement from other quarters ?

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 14/6/04 10:25PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Qercus funds payment to authors out of advertising revenue and has already taken steps to find alternative sources of income. It would hold expansion of Qercus like it would hold expansion of RISC OS. We've been saying for 2 years (eg Kathy's article in Feb 03 "Together or nowhere" that we need all the current dealers and developers co-operating to market RISC OS. One developer down (even short-term) hits us all.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 14/6/04 11:08PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

martin> I fear the worst - how long before a similar announcement from other quarters ? Are people here implying that Castle have called in their ownership of RISC OS and, as such, licences via ROL are in trouble?


 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 14/6/04 11:45PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Adamr I think you've hit the nail on the head there, I doubt STD is the only person affected by this, if it is a RISC OS issue, maybe just the first to do something about it?

Very worrying, especially as STD seem to be one of the top 3 RISC OS companies these days.....

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 15/6/04 12:06AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

STD's message says the dispute is between two third parties. STD's words indicate to be confident towards the third parties resolving matter to a point to allow STD to continue trading, just 'when' is their point. But everyone's concerns are right, I too hope that it doesn't blow out for STD's sake. Fingers crossed! Cheers, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 15/6/04 3:07AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

adamr > Are people here implying that Castle have called in their ownership of RISC OS and, as such, licences via ROL are in trouble?

Information I received at Wakefield would suggest that this is fairly close to the truth! :(

 is a RISC OS Userpeterb on 15/6/04 7:36AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

"Between two third parties" = neither of those is STD, so there appears to be no question over the licence agreement between STD and RISCOS Ltd.

 is a RISC OS Userdavehigton on 15/6/04 7:39AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Simo: I suspect you're right: if this /is/ an RO4 licensing issue. logically all the hybrid makers plus VRPC are implicated too, which could be very serious. I found Stuart's reference to 'more stable market areas' alarming too; more than a whiff of 'if this doesn't get sorted soon I'm off' about it...


 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 15/6/04 7:41AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Well one thing is what the A75 waas being made for. Would this market also axcept linux or minix or some other small kernel with a BASIC interface.

As I haev said in the past, there are a lot of situations where stability and quick boot times are required.

Cheers Bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 15/6/04 8:17AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Some nice speculation for you: ROL are only able to sell RISC OS for desktop use and Castle don't want STD selling the A75 into markets that they want to go into/are in so are stopping that.

 is a RISC OS Userben on 15/6/04 9:24AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

But, provided that STD's computers provide a desktop (i.e. run RISC OS 4!) there should be no trouble with their licence from ROL. There's no specification of the market within which RO4 may be used - only that it should be desktop, not embedded or otherwise cut down. If someone other party is saying that ROL's licence doesn't stretch as far as they thought, that could be the two third parties mentioned.

It would be a Very Bad Thing for the RO market if Castle suppressed the marketing of ROL's products for any reason. Castle could well survive on specialist uses of their hardware and accompanying OS, but that doesn't do us lot any good :(


 is a RISC OS Userjohnpettigrew on 15/6/04 10:13AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

johnpettigrew: > not embedded or otherwise cut down

The A75 apparently runs 'Embedded RISC OS Adjust'.

 is a RISC OS Userben on 15/6/04 10:56AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

In reply to Ben:

I am not sure a 7500 and an Xscale system can be competing in the same market given the differences in price/performance.

I don't think we can start painting Castle as potential 'baddies' - we don't even know who is involved in the dispute or what it is about......

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 15/6/04 12:37PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I have to say too that I can't see what Castle would gain by pulling the plug in that way. Much more likely that they would upset a whole raft of RISC OS based companies and developers like STD, not to mention the users. Likely to be very counterproductive to Castle's attempts to promote the platofrm. No, I can't believe that Castle have done that. They just aren't that stupid!


 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 15/6/04 1:01PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]


How much are you prepared to bet ?

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 15/6/04 1:34PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

johnpettigrew > "There's no specification of the market within which RO4 may be used - only that it should be desktop, not embedded or otherwise cut down."

The specification would be the license granted to ROL (with respect to the use and sale of RISC OS) by Element 13 (Acorn RIP). If my memory (hopefully unclouded by Hamburgers from the past) is correct the public comments at the time was that ROL was licensed to sell and develope DESKTOP OS products, but that they were prohibited from selling products that would directly compete against Pace (who had bought the rights to the OS in full from E13). Bearing in mind that Castle later acquired the whole shebang from Pace (the then OS owner) then Castle would be interchangable with Pace in the license that ROL had.

ROL would (If the above is true) be obliged *not* to directly compete against Castle (formerly Pace). But ROL would still be allowed produce a desktop product under the license.

As I am not a lawyer I won't charge my usual fee and you may need to take a lot of the above with a pinch of salt.



Comment of the day: Puzzlement comes with age.....

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 15/6/04 1:52PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

All idle speculation. Why not save your fingers until we know what the problem is ?

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 15/6/04 2:12PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

What was the term on this contract?

-- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 15/6/04 2:17PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

In reply to mripley:

What fun is in that, if we would stop speculating the entire RISC OS scene would become silent as the grave

 is a RISC OS Usergraphrisc on 15/6/04 2:26PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

For AMS: I understood that the limitation of the ROL licence was to keep them out of the set-top box market. I doubt very much if castle would want to complain about ROL's licencing of embedded products: [link]

"PRESS RELEASE 8th February 2002 Embedded RISC OS announced. RISCOS Ltd today announces the development of Embedded RISC OS.

Work is now progressing on developing a new version of RISC OS which will primarily aimed at the embedded products market. Target devices will include ARM 7500, SA110 and eventually the SA1100/SA1110. The first product to use Embedded RISC OS is being developed by Castle Technology using their Neuron system."

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 15/6/04 2:43PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Does anybody actually know what the A75 is like to use? Is embedded RISC OS any different to normal RISC OS? I realise this probably doesn't get them out of their "direct competition" dispute. If this is the problem, the can't ROL be prosecuted for competing with Castle in the desktop market as well? Seeing as the lisence has been re-written with Castle instead of Pace. Hopefully, this is not the case!

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 15/6/04 2:58PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

AMS: "Bearing in mind that Castle later acquired the whole shebang from Pace (the then OS owner) then Castle would be interchangable with Pace in the license that ROL had."

Yes, and I bet various SCO people were thinking the very same kind of thing up until very recently, too.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 15/06/04 3:14PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Guest X:

SCO didn't get the whole shebang, or at least that is what novell says. The question is if Castle did though and if there is some kind of exception in the license ROL has. Anyway it does taste like the SCO fight indeed and that is a very foul taste :(

 is a RISC OS Usergraphrisc on 15/06/04 3:41PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

To Smiler: The A75 is available in a variety of styles - these are for industrial batch orders of course - and can have a disc or be entirely without moving parts. The desktop in the versions I've seen is a standard RISC OS 4/Adjust desktop...

...and very nice too! ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 15/06/04 4:21PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

The SCO case revolves around intellectual property. SCO says that there is a large amount of SCO code that has been inserted into the Linux kernel without their knowledge/permission, and are therefore seeking to charge a license fee for Linux because of this. However, they refuse to prove which bits are illegal.

This dispute seems to be more about competition and contracts. However, I don't know what the exact dispute is and who the parties are, other than the speculation in the article and comments.

 is a RISC OS Userj5m1th on 15/06/04 5:04PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

The SCO cases (SCO vs. IBM, Novell, Red Hat, etc.) revolve around just about anything SCO believe they can make a buck out of. However, it is a matter of dispute whether SCO have the right to terminate licences to the disputed "intellectual property" - I believe it goes back to the time when Novell acquired it from AT&T, and whether the rights (or a number of them) were subsequently transferable. Anyway, the details with regard to Castle and RISC OS Ltd. will presumably emerge to enlighten us soon enough.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 15/06/04 5:55PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Re Q's comments below the article, it seems possible that Castle's opinions may have changed since 1992. After all, in 1992, they were (as ROS ltd) a licensee from Pace. Now, they own RISC OS themselves.

Still, it would seem foolish for CTL to stomp on ROL (which many people seem to be assuming despite the lack of evidence) without a good reason - although given past 'disagreements' between the two, it certainly doesn't seem impossible that ROL have overstepped the bounds....

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 15/06/04 6:49PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Well, it seems pretty clear that ROL are not allowed to embed RISC OS (unless the licence expired?), so I would have thought the most surprising thing to come out of all this is: How come no eyebrows were raised (or were they?) back in 2002 when ROL announced their intention to embed RO?


 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 15/06/04 7:01PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

With VA also now citing third party issues preventing them selling, it can't be anything to do with being embedded - VRPC is quite clearly and simply a desktop system which is fully within ROL's remit to sell.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 15/06/04 7:33PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Ian> But at one stage ROL (now this is from memory so feel free to correct me if I am wrong) stated that RISC OS 4 could only be used with ARM hardware (the inference being that it was a condition put down by Pace). Now if that *were* the case then it would have continued to be the case when Castle bought the rights to RISC OS off Pace.

In that instance it would be the use of RISC OS on non-ARM hardware that would constitute the problem (not ROL's selling of RISC OS which would be perfectly valid on ARM based hardware). Mind you the real puzzle is the A75 (which you pointed to yourself), maybe I am getting old but I don't see how that violates it. Unless (perhaps) if one part of the license is broken then perhaps the license has been revoked (and ROL would then lose the right to sell diddly squat). But I am proud to say I am not a lawyer (and no I don't do psychic healing or tarot cards either) so don't take any of my mumblings as having any legal weight - I sure don't ;)



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 15/06/04 8:01PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

AMS I had a similar feeling, re ARM hardware and RISC OS but have been unable to find a reference to it as yet on the net. Maybe it was reported comments at a show or something.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 16/06/04 07:01AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

blahsnr: You probably won't find any authoritive reference because, like so amay things stated here prefixed with "we knoW that" or "I heard that" or "so and so said that" etc. it just aint so.

 is a RISC OS Userapdl on 16/06/04 09:19AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

If ROL weren't allowed to sell RISC OS onto non-ARM hardware, then surely they broke this agreement when they sold it to StrongARM owners? (StrongARM and XScale are not ARMs - they just look a lot like them from the outside.)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 16/06/04 09:49AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]


No. They are ARM, ARM don't manufacture *any* chips (as you know), Cirrus Logic, Plessey, DEC/Intel all make ARM some are called ARM710, others StrongARM - they are STILL ARM processors because they're licensed from ARM (StrongARM is ARM Architecture V4 for example).

XScale is also licensed by ARM to intel (as ARM Architecture Version 5TE), so would also fall under such a license



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 16/06/04 10:08AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

AMS: It is so obvious that your argument here is wrong - spend 5 minutes investigating and you would see that nunfetishist is absolutely correct about ARM/StrongARM. You'd have been much better attacking the stupid disticntion in hardware for licencing purposes!

nunfetishist: don't be so silly!

 is a RISC OS Useranon/ on 16/06/04 10:42AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

For Castle's statement, see the forum comments on the VARPC article.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 16/06/04 10:44AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Please login before posting a comment. Use the form on the right to do so or create a free account.

Search the archives

Today's featured article

  • How to get your favourite old games running on your newer hardware
    Alex Macfarlane Smith guides us through the patchwork
     Discuss this. Published: 22 Jan 2003

  • Random article

  • Roots branches out: Historical family mapper lives to version 1.10

     Discuss this. Published: 1 Dec 2000

  • Useful links

    News and media:

    Top developers:
    RISCOS LtdRISC OS OpenMW SoftwareR-CompAdvantage SixVirtualAcorn

    CJE MicrosAPDLCastlea4X-AmpleLiquid SiliconWebmonster


    RISCOS.org.ukRISCOS.orgRISCOS.infoFilebaseChris Why's Acorn/RISC OS collectionNetSurf

    Non-RISC OS:
    The RegisterThe InquirerApple InsiderBBC NewsSky NewsGoogle Newsxkcddiodesign

    © 1999-2009 The Drobe Team. Some rights reserved, click here for more information
    Powered by MiniDrobeCMS, based on J4U | Statistics
    "I used RISC OS and all I got was this lousy emulator"
    Page generated in 0.2475 seconds.