"And there was me thinking I remembered that there was a big issue about ROL, and some other companies, having to stop trading to the public for quite a while."
I can't speak for other companies, but RISCOS Ltd received numerous letters from Castle concerning lots of allegations. We NEVER stopped trading, though Castle clearly wished we had. Lots of people on this discussion continue to bring up so called "facts" that are nothing more than hearsay.
The simple truth is that the British legal system is very much split into two strands. Criminal Cases and Civil Cases. In a Criminal Case the law is usually quite clear, and someone who is guilty will usually be convicted. In a Civil Case there is no clear cut distinction between Right and Wrong. It is down to whoever has the deepest pockets to pay for lawyers! i.e you have to be able to pay for your legal costs plus any damages you might become liable for if you were to lose. e.g it makes it very hard for a local computer shop to take on PC World, as the losses that PC World might claim would be huge. However if a new business starts up, then it is a lot simpler and cheaper to take action against them if they are doing something wrong e.g if they start selling something without a licence that is your copyright.
Ten years ago RISCOS Ltd and Element14 entered into an agreement between the two parties. At various stages two further parties have become involved. The original parties are the ones who count in this situation, as the spirit of the agreement will have been determined by them. Castle made certain allegations against RISCOS Ltd based solely on their interpretation of the Agreement. They were not parties to the original Agreement, and hence were on very dodgy legal ground to try and stop our contract, to which they themselves were not an original party.
So the situation at present is that we are still operating under the terms of the original Head Licence, and that gave us very clear rights. The Head Licence Agreement is obviously written in legaleese, but was written following a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties, which gave the conditions in very plain English.
The Head Licence Agreement is however subject to confidentiality and Drobe is not the forum for discussing commercial contracts.
I am however looking to make the Memorandum of Understanding available on the web site, along with supporting documents.
We obvioulsy want to see innovation in RISC OS development, but if anyone starts to encroach on areas where we have exclusivity, or starts using software that is our copyright, then we will have to take action to protect our rights.
There is obviously scope for ROOL and RISCOS Ltd to co-exist and I hope that we can come to an agreement for co-operation, and with safeguards to protect the investment that has been made in RISC OS development over the past ten years.