Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Apr 2007 21:29 UTC
Zeta A lot of things have happened in the past few days concerning Zeta, BeOS, and Haiku. In order to create some order in the chaos, Eugenia and I have created a rough timeline of what happened the past 6-7 years. Read on for the timeline and some more thoughts on the matter. Update: Magnusoft ceases distribution of Zeta. Update II: Access answered the questions posed in the article.
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RE[7]: Comment by ormandj
by Lefty on Sat 7th Apr 2007 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by ormandj"
Lefty
Member since:
2007-04-05

...though the legal issues were suppose to have been sorted out through Bernd and a lawyer and some quiet nods of approval from PalmSource...


As I've said elsewhere, executives of a publicly traded corporation simply can't give away assets of that corporation based on a nod and a wink. I'd put the odds of this at somewhere between vanishingly unlikely and preposterous. To suggest that someone actually thought they could set up a business on this basis seems tantamount to admitting that pretty much everything I've said is true.

Dano was an unauthorized and infringing leak, there seems to be wide agreement on that. From whence it originated is, as far as this situation is concerned, pretty immaterial. You'd appear to be in complete agreement with the position that Zeta is pirated.

...a breach of contract on Be's part...


I guess if that was your legal theory, your next step would be to file suit against Be, Inc. (I'd note that ACCESS is still the--infringed-upon and uncompensated--owner of the code in question.) Unfortunately for this scenario, there is no such thing as "Be, Inc." at this point. That corporation has been dissolved. Certainly you couldn't expect ACCESS to effectively grant a retroactive, royalty-free license to someone who didn't even bother to ask us about it in the first place, on the basis that he had, or almost had, or thought he had, or claimed he had, a contract with some entirely different corporation, no longer in existence...?

(I don't suppose you'd like to provide better contact information to me? I've got a number of questions I'd be very interested in asking. You can write to lefty@access-company.com...)

But Palm didn't buy Be, Inc.: it bought its intellectual property. There's still no license possible by which Zeta could be legitimate under this scenario.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by ormandj
by haiqu on Mon 9th Apr 2007 06:05 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by ormandj"
haiqu Member since:
2007-04-08

Lefty stated:

As I've said elsewhere, executives of a publicly traded corporation simply can't give away assets of that corporation based on a nod and a wink. I'd put the odds of this at somewhere between vanishingly unlikely and preposterous. To suggest that someone actually thought they could set up a business on this basis seems tantamount to admitting that pretty much everything I've said is true.


It's time you clarified a few things with the legal department. Save for a few exceptions (such as contracts for the sale of land), contracts do not have to be written. It does seem to be true that using written contracts adds some impression of professionalism to business dealings. Many business deals are concluded on the basis that the parties have known each other for many years and trust each other to carry out their responsibilities to each other fairly and honestly.

Bernd-Thorsen has shown to be trustworthy over a protracted period, in that the sources for BeOS have not, to my knowledge, been leaked by him or anyone on his team.

On the other hand, your lawyers seem to have failed at the discovery stage, which is rather remiss of them given that yellowTab was publicly advertising a derivative product for sale at that time.

Your company is in the unique position of holding the rights to a product which is wanted by enthusiasts, but which has little commercial value. This could become a PR debacle for you, or a triumph. Play your cards well.

haiqu

Edited 2007-04-09 06:07

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[9]: Comment by ormandj
by Vibe on Mon 9th Apr 2007 06:30 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by ormandj"
Vibe Member since:
2007-03-12

It does seem to be true that using written contracts adds some impression of professionalism to business dealings. Many business deals are concluded on the basis that the parties have known each other for many years and trust each other to carry out their responsibilities to each other fairly and honestly.

According to media reports, Bernd has a bad rep in the construction industry due to his "special" way of doing business, before we even get into the way he's conducted affairs during the YellowTab saga and beyond.

Your company is in the unique position of holding the rights to a product which is wanted by enthusiasts, but which has little commercial value. This could become a PR debacle for you, or a triumph. Play your cards well.

Access have given valuable software to the open source community, and have released valuable documentation for BeOS. And don't forget, it's all a moot point as Haiku is getting closer to release. Access have acted well. Whining just makes YOU look bad.

Edited 2007-04-09 06:32

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[9]: Comment by ormandj
by gfx1 on Wed 11th Apr 2007 02:25 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by ormandj"
gfx1 Member since:
2006-01-20

It's time you clarified a few things with the legal department. Save for a few exceptions (such as contracts for the sale of land), contracts do not have to be written. It does seem to be true that using written contracts adds some impression of professionalism to business dealings. Many business deals are concluded on the basis that the parties have known each other for many years and trust each other to carry out their responsibilities to each other fairly and honestly.


Mmm, in the software business every thing is done by paperwork. I was in BeOS developer program thingy and even that required a signed (on paper) and mailed NDA form.

When Be was sold to Palm ex-Be employes openly had their doubts about yellowtab...

Reply Parent Score: 1