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[2]: "Just the facts, ma'am..."
by haiqu on Mon 9th Apr 2007 05:14 UTC in reply to "RE: "Just the facts, ma'am...""
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LuYu stated:

So why all the stop other people from using the code? Obviously, you are not interested in distributing or maintaining or supporting the code yourselves. Why do you not let someone else do it? Just because it does not make any money for you does not mean it cannot benefit someone else.

I agree, although not necessarily with your total solution. At very least, Access could legitimize the use and distribution of the leaked BeOS 5.1d0 "Dano" edition, the Bone 7a package - available freely to developers prior to Be, Inc. going belly-up - and BeIA 2.5 packages. All were available on the internet for many years.

While I think you should free the software from legal and financial restrictions, you are obviously too money blinded to go down this path. However, there is a money based option you could pursue. You could authorize Magnussoft to distribute the code and take a piece of the pie. As you said, you are not interested in desktop systems at all, but you could let them handle it, and everybody could get richer.

This is no path to riches for anyone. Magnussoft are a mere distributor, not a software house. The function of extending BeOS was performed by Bernd and his team. And this has ethical issues, since it would bypass Bernd's efforts at establishing distribution through them.

The disgusting part of all this is that a technology as great as BeOS, which for multimedia is still unsurpassed by any current OS even after the massive hardware speed increases of the last decade, is being suppressed and left to rot while a bunch of lawyers defend their territory. BeOS is not competing with what Access sells, so why can it not be distributed?

Emotional, yet salient. Lefty has pointed out the problems of separating the licensed (i.e. non-distributable) code from the creations of Be, Inc. and lawyers will be lawyers. Effectively the only person who could be given access (no pun intended here) to the codebase at this point would be an employee of Access, covered by full NDA. Failing that - and as has been pointed out, all qualified employees have moved on - it would be a mighty stretch of trust for the company to deputize an outsider to sift through the detritus and extract gems worthy of distribution.

Bernd couldn't make enough money from it, so it would need to be a labour of love for someone. The bits that still have value are the unreleased portions, which formed part of the latest version. Even Haiku hasn't targeted that for release, instead aiming for BeOS 5.0.3 compatibility for the purpose of maintaining legitimacy. They would not want to be seen as having copies of Dano at this point, after all.

As to Bernd-Thorsen's announcements and the timing of the response from Access, it all looked too well synchronised to me. He did not propose to release any code which did not belong to his team's efforts, after all. To what purpose Access has decided to move within days to block him is anyone's guess. However, since Bernd did have the sources to 5.0.3 (at least) - a unique situation - one presumes that some agreement existed with Be, Inc and the fact that Palm did nothing about it for years indicates continued tacit consent for his operation. Regardless of the existence of documented agreements, Access will have to show that he obtained this code illegaly before much of a case will stick against him.

Very unlikely.


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