Licence Terms

I have thought long and hard about the precise means and licence terms of any source or subsequent release, and also discussed it with a number of other people. Some have been of the opinion that the current RiscOS community is too small to support any sort of collaborative development - the traditional open source development system, especially for Linux and related areas - and nothing useful would result. That is a possibility, but as far as I can see there is no alternative; I have had discussions with some software companies still involved in development for RiscOS, but unfortunately those have resulted in nothing definite. Releasing the sources to the community, under the will at least ensure that anyone who wishes to do any sort of porting or conversion work will be able to do so and release the results without any formalities. If the effort fails, or nobody is willing or able to take these applications any further, then at least the situation will be no worse than it is now.

Being able to do that, of course, presupposes that I have the ability to do so. Most of the application code is my own work, with a small amount contributed by other 4Mation programmers. Although Vector and GridPro were developed for 4Mation, and the finished applications are still in theory owned by them, the ownership and copyright of the source code was never specified. I hope that now, at this time when their Acorn applications no longer even appear on their catalogue or Web site, I should be entitled to release those sources. Their disc protection code is not included in this release.

However, all three applications also depend heavily on the RiscOS Library (not the Toolbox) originally supplied with Acorn C release 3. Although DrawPlus initially used this library as supplied, it soon became obvious that it was not the best solution and, in some areas, simply didn't work well enough to produce a high quality application. Later on I obtained the library sources via 4Mation, and gradually rewrote almost all of it - those parts of it used in these applications, anyway - until almost none of the original remains.

There may be some company or individual which still claims the ownership or copyright of some of the sources. Hopefully they have no objection to them being made available in this way at this time; any commercial or IP value that they may have originally had fifteen years ago (in computer terms, ancient history) must by now be zero. Keeping the code closed will not enrich anyone in any way, but will bring these three applications and their current users to a dead end. Let's face it, the RiscOS community needs every user and application it can get, for all our sakes.

Since the initial source release approximately a month ago (under a restrictive licence), nobody appears to have objected to that or notified me of any copyright claim. Therefore I conclude that nobody has any problems with the sources being released under the GPL, and the downloads on this page are now available under that licence. Anyone may redistribute or even sell the source files, patches or any products built from them - subject of course to the terms of that licence, including source code availability.

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Last modified: Sat Dec 13 14:50:12 GMT 2008