Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

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paulv
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Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby paulv » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:40 pm

I just complied with a RISC OS Ltd take down request for the following unofficial mirrors of:

acorn.riscos.com/
foundation.riscos.com/
select.riscos.com/

These three mirrors were only of the public facing sites so contained nothing that wasn't available to a simple web crawler but still, in the interests of not being bothered to argue the toss with Aaron at 3QD Developments Limited who bought all the RISC OS Ltd rights (whatever's left of them) I've taken my mirrors down.

Sad really as they contained stuff that the new RISC OS site deems fit to no longer publish...

:(

Happily, most of this stuff is mirrored elsewhere... :lol:

For how long will be down to other Acorn enthusiasts' willingnes to comply with take down requests and the time it takes for Aaron to track them all down.

Paul

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flibble
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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby flibble » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:04 pm

Well, that escalated slowly.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby jgharston » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:21 pm

"Thank you for your request to remove the mirrors of your data. Please send me the URLs of your online versions of that data and I shall replace my mirrors with links to your data."

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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paulv
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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby paulv » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:30 pm

flibble wrote:Well, that escalated slowly.


Oh, I did comply once before but after a period of time and seeing that none of the other mirrors that I know of had been taken down, I re-instated mine :lol: :lol:

Yes, I'm a repeat offender! :shock: :twisted: [-X

Paul

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby flaxcottage » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:13 pm

Interesting that only one of those web addresses exists.

The one that does exist appears to be all style and no substance, which is a shame.
- John

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby danielj » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:18 pm

flibble wrote:Well, that escalated slowly.

:lol:

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby poink » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:24 pm

flaxcottage wrote:Interesting that only one of those web addresses exists.

The one that does exist appears to be all style and no substance, which is a shame.

I fear that 'all style' is rather kind. It's got neither the 'Web 2.0' glitz nor the usability of pre-2.0.

But I'd forgive that it they had the content.

A few months back, money in hand, I went looking for the Emulator ROM sets they used to sell a while back. I know there are unofficial copies out there, but I thought an official set of everything from Arthur to 3.71 would have been nice. Couldn't find it, left frustrated as the pages that purport to have it are 'under construction'.

Worst bit? Discovered a couple of weeks ago that they seem to be on sale at the third party webstore ROL used to use, just you can't get there from the current site. ](*,) So, I'm not sure where the money goes or if you get your goods if you do try buying!

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby steve3000 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:03 pm

poink wrote:A few months back, money in hand, I went looking for the Emulator ROM sets they used to sell a while back. I know there are unofficial copies out there, but I thought an official set of everything from Arthur to 3.71 would have been nice. Couldn't find it, left frustrated as the pages that purport to have it are 'under construction'.

Yes I did the same. I hadn't even realised the rom image sets had been avaliable until accidentally discovering this fairly recently. Probably they had already become unavailable before my interest returned to RISC OS, but would have been nice to have an official copy of all.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby poink » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:37 am

steve3000 wrote:Probably they had already become unavailable before my interest returned to RISC OS, but would have been nice to have an official copy of all.

From memory, at least RISC OS 3.19 is missing from the list. AFAIK, it's just 3.11 but in German, but given it's claimed to be a 'full set', it's sad that it's not /quite/.

Interestingly, because it also contained the 'associated disc images', it's presumably also a source of BBC Micro ROMs. Wonder how (or...if) they cleared that.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby steve3000 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:53 am

poink wrote:From memory, at least RISC OS 3.19 is missing from the list. AFAIK, it's just 3.11 but in German, but given it's claimed to be a 'full set', it's sad that it's not /quite/.

Ohh, I didn't realise that - I actually used to run 3.19 in my computer back in the day, partly because I was studying German at the time, but mainly because it had the later desktop which used fonts...I still have the RO3.19 official upgrade box and German manuals, but my ROMs went when the computer was disposed of :(

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby paulv » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:44 pm

Out of interest, had anyone else been contacted by Aaron regarding hosting copies of the old Acorn sites or the files they contained?

Aaron tells me he is "dealing with" other sites which are hosting "outdated, unofficial copies" of parts of riscos.com.

Personally, I'd argue that they're not outdated, but valuable in their original form and therefore of use to the retro community as they were.

Quite how you update content that is approaching 20 years old like the RISCiX files (which are no longer available on riscos.com) and render the original files out of date is beyond me...

Paul

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby danielj » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:38 pm

Alas, it would seem that there there are a number under the misapprehension that 26bit RiscOS is more than a retro-curiosity to the majority...

(32bit is something of a niche curiosity, but at least it runs on modern hardware!)

*puts on bullet proof vest*

d.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby flibble » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:40 pm

it would seem that there there are a number under the misapprehension that 32bit RiscOS is more than a retro-curiosity to the majority...

:lol:

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby danielj » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:41 pm

Och, I was being nice :D (I thought someone might actually punch me if I called the ROOL effort a retro curiosity).

d.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby davidb » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:51 pm

Given that many of the ARM-based microcontrollers available these days have such limited RAM, one wonders what the benefit is of 32-bit mode over 26-bit mode.

But when I start thinking about writing a game for the platform, it probably means it's moving into retro-curiosity territory. :lol: Not seriously thinking about it just yet, however. :shock:

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby poink » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:25 am

davidb wrote:Given that many of the ARM-based microcontrollers available these days have such limited RAM, one wonders what the benefit is of 32-bit mode over 26-bit mode.

So, 99% of Thumb-2 code written for a Cortex-M0/1/3/4 will run on any of the ARM processors that support Thumb-2.

One calling convention etc., is important for pre-compiled library blobs, and minimising the necessary number of versions of any inline assembly.

(32 bit ARM uses the bottom bit with the BX instruction to select an instruction set when returning from a function, so you're pretty much forced to use 32 bit ARM if you want to interwork ARM and Thumb code as they were actually out of available bits in R15 on 26 bit ARM...)

26 bit ARM would probably make a really nice microcontroller in principle, but the cost of implementing 32 bit ARM is *really* minor, especially as the Cortex-M3 uses the stack rather than having SPSRs (which puts the differences on the OS level interrupt handlers).

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby danielj » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:37 am

paulv wrote:Out of interest, had anyone else been contacted by Aaron regarding hosting copies of the old Acorn sites or the files they contained?

Aaron tells me he is "dealing with" other sites which are hosting "outdated, unofficial copies" of parts of riscos.com.

Personally, I'd argue that they're not outdated, but valuable in their original form and therefore of use to the retro community as they were.

Quite how you update content that is approaching 20 years old like the RISCiX files (which are no longer available on riscos.com) and render the original files out of date is beyond me...

Paul


Paul, just out of interest, is it possible to host w/o mirroring? Are they grumpy about you having copies of uniboot or things that were no doubt distributed on the cover of Acorn User in its later days?

d.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby davidb » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:58 am

poink wrote:So, 99% of Thumb-2 code written for a Cortex-M0/1/3/4 will run on any of the ARM processors that support Thumb-2.

I was going to suggest that the code density of Thumb code might be a reason, though it seems like cheating to use "16-bit" mode as a selling point for 32-bit mode itself. ;) I wonder what the cost of supporting full width instructions is for those MCUs. Are there ones in use that only support Thumb-2 instructions? I have a feeling that I've seen something like that somewhere...

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby paulv » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:33 pm

danielj wrote:Paul, just out of interest, is it possible to host w/o mirroring? Are they grumpy about you having copies of uniboot or things that were no doubt distributed on the cover of Acorn User in its later days?


Well, I've had a response from Aaron that sheds light on the reasons for the take down request so I'll try to pick out some sections of the e-mail that will answer that question for you....

One of the long term problems that RISC OS has faced is
dealing with the preservation of rotten old tat. Just because
something is old doesn't mean it's worth keeping.


>For instance, are you planning on publishing any RISCiX resources
>that were on the old site? I don't see any area of the new site that
>could accommodate RISCiX files...

Those, as they are legacy items, would end up in the archives
once they are finished.



Regardless the mirrors were not sanctioned by the copyright
holder. But that's not the reason I'm going around and
getting the old stuff removed (see my reply below).


The risos.com site was always terrible, that's why I've spent 100's
of hours re-building it. Now having got most of the way there
I want to remove the outdated, incorrect, broken rubbish that
gives RISC OS a bad name.

If someone goes searching for RISC OS I would like them to find
risos.com. It's up to date (well almost) has a lot of free content
and it works. I don't want them to find the broken old crap. If they
want to ask something I'd like them to be able to send an e-mail
to an address that works. I'd like them to be able to pick up a
phone and dial a number with someone on the other end.

If they have a copy of RISC OS but aren't sure how to use I'd
like them to be able to click on a support link and be able to
read a user guide (with corrected links and proper file extensions).
If they are interested in developing for RISC OS I'd like them
to be able to find the PRMs. books on BASIC.

I'd like them to look at the site and see that it's being updated,
that someone actually cares about it. I don't want a potential
RISC OS user to be turned away because there's a mirror of
a site that hasn't been touched in a decade and the e-mail
and phone go unanswered.

Keeping this old tat alive does RISC OS no service, it's actually
a major problem. That's why I want to remove the old mirrors
of risos.com.


So there you have it. It's not about the copyright, it's about wanting to become the source and "go to" site for all things RISC OS online.

I'm struggling to come to terms with this argument though as the only actively developed version of RISC OS that's available now is RISC OS 5 which is developed and supported by the community effort that is ROOL. RISC OS Ltd is currently supporting RO 3.x, RO4 and RO6, all of which (apart from the possibility of someone working on RO6) would be classed as old versions of RISC OS that are in their "retirement" phase or "obsolete" stages of the software life cycle and unless someone is working with Aaron on RO6, then I'd argue that RO6 is fast approaching "retirement" pretty quickly now.

I don't know whether I'm reading things into the wording of the conversations I've had, but the impression I get from them in addition to some information from PM conversations I've had with members of *. is that I'm not confident that RISC OS Ltd and therefore Aaron actually owns or manages the copyright to some of the older RISC OS properties and that it's quite possible that those rights still reside with PACE and or a couple of other businesses that the Acorn IP has passed through over the years.

Paul

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby flibble » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:46 pm

From the acorn.riscos.com before Aaron took over

"The majority of the IPR assets of Acorn are now owned by Pace Micro Technology plc. However all enquiries regarding the usage of the contents of this site should in the first instance be addressed to RISCOS Ltd."

http://web.archive.org/web/201303280835 ... ornftp.htm

So it's not about claiming copyright (of anything of the Acorn era, ROL stuff e.g. Select etc are their (c)), so from a 4corn point of view I'll ignore anything from him should he bother to contact me.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby davidb » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:57 pm

paulv wrote:So there you have it. It's not about the copyright, it's about wanting to become the source and "go to" site for all things RISC OS online.

That, along with the arguments about getting rid of the "tat", doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in his stewardship of the RISC OS brand or its history/heritage. It's ironic given that 1) the ROL version of the OS is the "old" one, and 2) its main selling point is running legacy applications and games.

Plus, the whole RISC OS Ltd vs. Pace thing reminds me of SCO vs. Novell, except that it would never get as far as a courtroom to decide who gets to call the shots over the copyrights and trademarks.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby paulv » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:30 pm

Well, I've asked for proof of copyright and said that if none is provided within 28 days, then I see no reason to comply with the take down request for the reasons given and I'll re-instate the RO3 related mirrors after that period has elapsed.

Hopefully, the RISC OS community will at least get some clarity on who owns what and if RISC OS Ltd does now own the copyright for the RO3 materials then the archive will stay down in compliance with the request regardless of the reason for that take down request.

Paul

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:41 pm

Oooh!
I think I would have worded it somewhat differently...
Unless and until I can access copies of the information and data on your web site or another official web site, I will restore the copies on my website.
Then talk about copyright etc...

Mark
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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby paulv » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:57 pm

1024MAK wrote:Oooh!
I think I would have worded it somewhat differently...
Unless and until I can access copies of the information and data on your web site or another official web site, I will restore the copies on my website.
Then talk about copyright etc...

Mark


Well, Aaron raised copyright in the first place but he's never actually asserted copyright, instead stating that that the mirrors "contain copyrighted material".

Given that I actually altered the mirrors I was hosting to state in a large red type face that it was an unofficial mirror and that the copyright remained with the original owner when I first began hosting the archive.

I wasn't hosting it for any reason other than historical interest and as a resource for the retro RISC OS community seeing as it had disappeared from the web in its original form. I wasn't passing off any work as my own and I certainly wasn't attempting to make any money from hosting the archive, quite the opposite, it costs me to host the sites so I'm out of pocket by doing so.

Paul

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby steve3000 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:20 pm

Disappointing to see this behaviour from RISC OS ltd. especially as the retro scene is (generally) supportive of modern RISC OS development. Really they should be treating you as an ally in championing RISC OS!

Your website was clear that it is an unofficial mirror - it's not as if your mirror was pretending to be something else, or coming top of the google search ratings...

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby flibble » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:38 pm

Aaron isn't RISCOS Ltd, when RISCOS Ltd was wound up last year, Aaron (3QD) bought (acquired) some or all rights to RISCOS Ltd stuff, including the domain name.

However some of the things on the riscos.com website have never been freely published before, including the Programmers Reference Manuals, so it's not all bad :)

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby poink » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:44 pm

paulv wrote:it's quite possible that those rights still reside with PACE and or a couple of other businesses that the Acorn IP has passed through over the years.

Judging by the Castle press release Pace have on their website, Castle Technology owns RISC OS and Pace's only remaining interest is that that they retained use of the technology, primarily for their existing products, via a license from Castle.

Aaron's statements reported on The IconBar, would seem to support the suggestion that all 3QD owns is RISC OS Ltd's version of RISC OS.

Of course, between the sad news about David Holden and the riscos.com site until yesterday, there was actually no realistic way to buy any of those products for over a year.

steve3000 wrote:Probably they had already become unavailable before my interest returned to RISC OS, but would have been nice to have an official copy of all.

They're available again, as of yesterday.

davidb wrote:Are there ones in use that only support Thumb-2 instructions? I have a feeling that I've seen something like that somewhere...

Yes, almost all the Cortex Microcontrollers - Cortex M0/M0+/M1/M3/M4 are all Thumb-2 only.

flibble wrote:never been freely published before, including the Programmers Reference Manuals

The PRMs (at least RISC OS 3 versions there of) have been part of the ROOL Raspberry Pi image for a while now.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby danielj » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:54 am

Obviously it's impossible to say 100%,without seeing the original license, but just from my trawl through history on the web it looks like ROLtd only had a license to develop and sell desktop RiscOS 4 (based on 3.8 ). All the IP remained with Pace which they subsequently sold to Castle... Now, artwork and the like from the ROLtd website might be copyright, but I'd be incredibly dubious as to whether 3QD have any rights over anything pre-Riscos 3.8... Which makes the selling of the old versions somewhat, well, hmm...


d.

Edit: Further reading leaves me non-the wiser, perhaps the license allowed them to market existing versions... Or just existing versions post 3.5... Goodness knows.

d.
Last edited by danielj on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby BigEd » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:51 am

Maybe everyone would be happy if the various mirrors and archives carried a header pointing the interested visitor to the "current" site?

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Re: Acorn RISC OS mirrors take down

Postby Wookie » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:20 am

paulv wrote:Well, I've had a response from Aaron that sheds light on the reasons for the take down request so I'll try to pick out some sections of the e-mail that will answer that question for you....

I love the fact that 3 times in the quoted bits from Aaron he refers to the site as "risos.com" , I'm not sure he's the man for the job if he can't even remember the address of the website he runs :lol:

paulv wrote:So there you have it. It's not about the copyright, it's about wanting to become the source and "go to" site for all things RISC OS online.

In that case Aaron should have a large print opening paragraph at the top of his website saying "All versions of Risc OS on this site are obsolete and here for preservation/retro interest, If you would like to see the only version that is still in active development and runs on modern hardware please go to ROOL"

And Aaron while your at it please rename Risc OS SIX to Risc OS 4.39plus so it is clearly obvious that ROOL's Risc OS 5 is the latest & greatest version.

If and it's a big IF Aaron is really about being the "go to site" he needs to acknowledge the existence of Risc OS 5.

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