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Current Owner of BeOS Code Claims Zeta is Illegal 140

Hank Powers writes "The legal status of the Zeta operating system that was derived from the source code Be Inc. left shortly before going bankrupt has been unclear for several years. Now, the current owner of the source code, ACCESS, claims "if Herr Korz feels that he holds a legitimate license to the BeOS code he's been using, we're completely unaware of it, and I'd be fascinated to see him produce any substantiation for that claim". The sales of Zeta have been suspended and so has the development been halted as well. OSNews has an article about the recent developments."
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Current Owner of BeOS Code Claims Zeta is Illegal

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  • Re:Access Microsoft (Score:1, Informative)

    by hacker ( 14635 ) <> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:03AM (#18645837)

    Access, the company now stifling innovation with the dormant BeOS code, is also the Japanese mobile phone corporate giant that bought out PalmOS, lying about offering a smartphone running Linux with a PalmOS GUI/compatibility layer.

    Obviously you are very mistaken [].

  • Re:Access Microsoft (Score:4, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:12AM (#18645909) Homepage Journal

    lying about offering a smartphone running Linux with a PalmOS GUI/compatibility layer.

    Obviously you didn't read the article to which you linked:

    Access says ALP 1.0's task-oriented user interface builds on the "legendary" usability of the original Palm OS user interface.
    Also planned for later release is a "Garnet VM Compatibility Kit" which appears to represent the final frontier for Palm OS. Together, the SDK and Garnet VM will provide an upgrade path for hundreds of thousands of Palm OS application developers, Access says.

    In other words, no PalmOS on their Linux phone. They've been "planning" it for years. They announced they'd be releasing it in 2006. 2007 will be at least half over, and they'll still be "planning" it. Liars.

    Wishing doesn't make it so, for you either.
  • Re:Access Microsoft (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcbridematt ( 544099 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @10:18AM (#18645953) Homepage Journal
    PalmSource (who ACCESS bought) wasn't really involved directly with the BeOS purchase, it was purchased before Handspring was acquired and the company was split IIRC.

    And when PalmSource did release their new Palm OS (Cobalt), despite a subsequent revision, supposedly at the request of Palm OS licensees, it died because PalmOne (current day "Palm Inc.") weren't interested in the OS they paid for in the first place. No one else wanted to launch an OS clearly superior to PalmOS 5, WinCE and probably the Linux mobile offerings of the day and Cobalt died a silent death.
    All the licenses bar Palm Inc, and GSPDA didn't launch any further devices, only one has joined (Jaina) and launched since, leading to M$ dominating, not by monopoly, but because they actually have a clue how to co-operate with licensees - not to mention a programming environment which doesn't niche market industry programmers running.
    PalmSource, realizing this, bought China MobileSoft to concentrate on Linux phones, then was bought by ACCESS, *after Palm lost the bidding race for the IP it use to own*, who, presumably, believes the future is high-end mass-market phones.

    Now we have a situation where Palm Inc is selling Windows Mobile based devices as a sheer result on stupidity by Ed Colligan and Co after Handspring and Palm merged.

    For those who didn't read: ACCESS doesn't have that much to do with the lack of a legal, original BeOS based environment. Palm Inc. paid for it, split, killed it by proxy, ACCESS doesn't want anything to do with it other than any concrete IP.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:33AM (#18646483)
    ...and it only appears now....

    Gotta love slashdot. I also seem to have recalled explaining a few more things in my summary that would have prevented the fringe element from heading off into conspiracy land as well....

    First off, the reason why ACCESS is only *now* responding on this issue is because Korz was making overtures towards open sourcing the code--something that ACCESS could not keep silent about. As Lefty says in his comments both at bitsofnews and, they'd been sending cease and desist letters for some time already and Korz was ignoring them. To try and take legal action would be only to invite lawsuits over code that ACCESS saw no income from; so why should they stick out their necks for a libel suit with the possibility of generating only negative income? It is only because ACCESS wanted to prevent any possibility of Korz giving away their property they chose to risk the possible libel suit now.

    Secondly, 'Zeta' was a dead parrot. It was NOT truly being developed, because obviously Korz did NOT have access (pun unintended) to the source code or he would have done more with it. The only true successor to BeOS is Haiku, which as I stated in my summary is nearing its 1.0 release with all originally developed closed-room re-engineered code that is BeOS R5 compatible.

    Third, BeOS Max PE which is developed by a Greek coder to be the best and most updated (using bits of third party hacks and including newer drivers for more hardware as well as bits of Haiku that work better than the old BeOS parts) may be forced to discontinue development. This is something that would be a tragedy, since it is thanks to Vaspar's work on this (free) project many of us are able to run BeOS on new hardware. And I say that as someone who bought BeOS in the store almost a month or two before the announcement they were going bankrupt.

  • by malsdavis ( 542216 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @12:36PM (#18647169)
    For info: the Haiku website is []
  • by despisethesun ( 880261 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @01:00PM (#18647409)
    Legally, there is a difference because Haiku does not use any BeOS code. It is a binary-compatible reimplementation, not a derivative work. The relationship between Haiku and BeOS is similar to the relationship between Linux and Unix. On the surface they look similar and work similar, but under the hood they are very different animals.
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @02:54PM (#18648521)
    He didn't say open source projects are immune to IP litigation. He said that they are immune to what happened to BeOS (and tons of other cool software) --- having a company sit on perfectly good code without any intention of either continuing it as a product or freeing it so the community can continue development.
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @07:52PM (#18651183) Homepage
    There's a huge difference between a developer walking away with the source code of a semi-popular piece of software so no one else can use it (the scenario we're talking about), and a saboteur sneaking proprietary source code into an open-source project and getting it shut down (the scenario you're imagining). If you want to talk about the latter, go ahead and find a discussion where it's relevant.

The absent ones are always at fault.