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I imagine this will be on the front page very soon, but in the meantime I thought I would quote it here, as there seems to be a lot of interest. (Apologies if I mess up the formatting).

16th June 2004

CASTLE STATEMENT

Following recent press rumours of a legal dispute in the RISC OS community Castle Technology Ltd ("Castle") would like to make the following statement:

On 11th May 2004 Castle, as owner of the underlying intellectual property of RISC OS, terminated RISCOS Ltd's ("ROL") licence to sell RISC OS. This was due to the wilful and persistent failure of ROL to correct breaches in the terms of its licence.

For nearly 12 months Castle has been trying to resolve these issues, but has met with nothing but delaying tactics, intransigence and belligerence from the management of ROL. Castle has regrettably taken this action having had no other option after following due legal process, during which ROL's management were given every possible opportunity to negotiate a solution with Castle. They declined to do so and are entirely responsible for the current situation.

Other companies who are sub-licensees of ROL, have been notified of the licence termination. As an extremely unfortunate consequence of the termination of ROL'S licence these companies' products are now unlicensed. Castle has no desire or intention to harm these businesses, or act against the interests of the RISC OS community as a whole, and has been working very hard over the last few weeks to find a solution for them. However, ROL has refused to comply with the legal obligations placed on them by the licence termination and until it does so, Castle is unable to grant new licences to these sub-licensees.

Over the last year Castle has invested very significant amounts of money both in the purchase of RISC OS and in its ongoing development. This will become apparent to all users in the coming months as new solutions are brought to market. Moreover, Castle's recent announcement of the Merlin project shows a strong and continued dedication to bring to the desktop market the features it deserves and move the OS forward into the future with the many exciting new 32-bit ARM processors becoming available from various silicon manufacturers.

Castle has attempted to involve ROL in its plans, but has been thwarted by the lack of vision shown by ROL's management. Clearly, ROL cannot now continue its current business without a licence; Castle is in discussions with the shareholders of ROL to find a way to offer RISC OS 4 and Select to users. It is expected this will lead to a satisfactory conclusion in the very near future and offer a clear way forward for the whole RISC OS community.

Undesirable as the current situation maybe, Castle believes it will end with a clear definition of the future which is inclusive for all RISC OS users and software companies. Contrary to some commentators, Castle is committed to supporting 3rd party licensees of RISC OS, even when they are competitors. Anyone wishing to license RISC OS is most welcome to contact Castle to discuss terms.

Jack Lillingston Managing Director Castle Technology Ltd Ore Trading Estate Woodbridge Road Framlingham Suffolk IP13 9LL

Tel 01728 723200 Fax 01728 727427

web [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 16/06/04 10:42AM
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