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New Jersey, USA

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:36 am

Following on from a post by intric8 regarding the licensing of AmigaOS, it's safe to say that the current licensing deal is an absolute wreck.
A reenactment of the AmigaOS licensing deal, as it stands.

The rights are split off between four companies:
  • Cloanto (makers of Amiga Forever and license holders of AmigaOS up to 3.1)
The problem that comes from this is that there's no real central point from which AmigaOS can be easily developed or continued, and you essentially have three different sets of APIs and code bases to work from. Most modern and next-gen Amiga-like OSes, like AROS and MorphOS, have had to use Workbench 3.1 as a basis for their APIs. That's right: nearly 25 year old versions of Amiga Workbench had to be the starting point of two modern implementations of Amiga-like OSes. Rather than all of the fixes and upgrades of OS 3.5 or 3.9, which I'm sure Haage & Partner steadfastly refuse to share with the community, these two modern systems had to turn to ancient, creaking technology! And it's only very recently that the 3.1 codebase is getting upgrades done to it!

Hyperion Entertainment also had their own share of headaches as well during the development of AmigaOS 4.0, which took years to settle in court.

And because of this mess with licensing, Cloanto can not legally sell people copies of the later AmigaOS 3.5 or 3.9 with Amiga Forever. And AmigaOS 3.5 and 3.9 are both long out of print and hard to get copies of, AFAIK.
Wanna know how I had to get my copy of AmigaOS 3.9?

So what should be done with this gigantic wreck of a license? Simple.


Make the entire kit 'n kaboodle F/OSS. Put it all under a license like the BSD license and you can have it be permissive enough to study and still be commercially viable. Or hell, the MIT license works, too! Get Haage & Partner to stop sitting on their thumbs and do the same for Amiga OS 3.5 and 3.9! They can make money on support!

Merge the 3.x codebases. Allow MorphOS and AROS to use code from them to improve their OSes. Allow AmigaOS 4.x to use it! Have a company that would act as a Canonical or a Red Hat for AmigaOS: handling of licenses, financing coders to work on the OS, source code repository management, and support. Grab all the splinters and make it all a whole!

It's 2017, and the Amiga community is stronger than ever! But in order to continue to remain strong, the companies behind the Amiga need to also get on the ball and understand what it is the community asks! Opening the source code up for AmigaOS will allow the platform to grow and thrive; it would be a massive win-win to everyone involved! There's literally no real reason why this shouldn't happen!

The Amiga never deserved to be thrown to the ground and forgotten. And we should never allow that outcome.

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Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:50 pm

Don't forget that now Hyperion is releasing 3.1.x stuff too. Totally confusing whether you should get Cloanto 3.X or Hyperion 3.1.x.

What a cluster *uck :(

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Sutton, MA USA

Posted Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:44 am

Send in Elon Musk. He's just crazy and rich enough to buy out all these clowns and FOSS the whole thing. :)

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