Just when you thought the Amiga world was finally getting its act together, finally making things a little less obtuse for outsiders, this happens. So, we have the AmigaOne X1000 coming up, a brand-new PowerPC computer, running the real deal – AmigaOS 4. In the meantime, Commodore USA – the one with the sketchy website – has apparently secured rights to the Amiga hardware brand, and is planning to release Amiga-branded computers running AROS. In the meantime, Hyperion, the Belgium company behind AmigaOS, who is working with A-eon on the AmigaOne X1000, claims this is a clear violation of the settlement between them and Amiga Inc., and has notified its US lawyers.Commodore USA sent out a press release yesterday in which they state they’ve reached an agreement with Bill McEwen of Amiga, Inc. (one of the two companies named Amiga) in which Commodore USA may use the Amiga hardware brand on computers running AROS, the open source Amiga-inspired operating system.“We are ecstatic to be partnering with Amiga Inc. in this new, exciting product launch,“ states Barry Altman, President and CEO of Commodore USA, „The legacy of the Commodore and Amiga trademark brand, reunited once again after so many years, and our reintroduction of the legendary All-In-One computer keyboard form factor, combined with the twenty-five year anniversary of the introduction of the first Amiga computer by Commodore International, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.“My first thought was – wait, doesn’t this violate the settlement agreement between Amiga Inc. and Hyperion, which finally settled all the legal mumbo-jumbo in the Amiga world? It appears Hyperion believes that this is indeed a violation, and as such, they have asked their lawyers in the US to investigate the matter.
„Our American lawyers will take action against this,“ Hyperion states, „This is blatant violation of the rights Hyperion Entertainment secured in the settlement agreement with Amiga Inc., Itec and Amino.“
The facts here are that if there’s two companies I would blindly trust in the Amiga world, it’s Hyperion and ACube. These are the only two companies that have kept their promises and delivered actual working products we can buy today. Everyone else – including A-eon (until they ship the X1000) – are fair game.
The only conclusion I can draw from this is that my initial distrust of this Commodore USA thing was more than justified. Their website (shoddy doesn’t even begin to describe it), their rebranded products, their unilateral press releases which can’t be confirmed anywhere else but on their site… It all reeks of a massive con. Are their products even shipping, after months of promises?
Unless proven otherwise, I’m assuming for now that Commodore USA is, at best, a hoax, and at worst, a very inept con. They are properly registered as an LLC, though.
Well, this was rather unexpected. As it turns out, Commodore USA’s CEO Barry Altman isn’t particularly pleased about the article I wrote earlier today in which I placed a considerable amount of scepticism with regards to Commodore USA and its business (and website). He (not his lawyer) sent us a threatening email demanding we take down the article, post a new correction article, the whole shebang. The entire email – as an image, you’ll want the original formatting – after the break. Our reply? We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.
A little over two months ago, OSNews had a bit of a run-in with Commodore USA’s CEO, about how I felt about the company and its rather dubious business practices. This led to alegal threat we laughed away here at OSNews, but laughable or not, a legal threat is a legal threat, and it never sat well with me that it was never retracted or apologised for. Well, that changed today.I received this statement today from Barry Altman, Commodore USA’s CEO.
Like many forum members, tech writers, and people in general, who sometimes react to statements in an inappropriate manner, I would like to:
retract the idiotic legal threat
apologize for the legal threat
Certainly a phone call would be considered appropriate before you print something, so you can have all the facts before determining your position.
The three points above came from me – before I would even be open towards changing my position on Commodore USA, the idiotic [my words] legal threat had to be retracted and an apology had to be made. The last point, about shipping something, refers to the fact that I believe Commodore USA should actually ship something as well.
My original opinion of Commodore USA, the opinion that started all this nonsense, still stands, and nothing has happened between then and now to soften that position (in fact, the threat only made it worse). We’ll have to see what the future brings, but in all honesty, I don’t have high hopes at this point.
Still, that silly threat has been retracted and apologised for, and that’s something I’m very happy with. No matter how silly it was, having a legal threat hover above your head simply isn’t something I particularly like.