Jim Kartes, president of Maui X-Stream Inc., confirmed to eWeek.com that the company will release the product under an open-source license on May 1 after a "hiatus" that has seen the product unavailable for several weeks.
According to Kartes, the company "will be charging $14.95 to cover our cost of development and continuing development as well as other costs related to the marketing of the product. Whatever the buyer does with the code is their business as long as they dont embed it into another commercial product."
Although the companys Web site describes the release as "open source," Maui X-Stream is using its own license, rather than existing alternatives such as the BSD or Gnu licenses.
"Our attorneys are developing our own [license] and it will be up on our site May 1. I have instructed them to make it as simple as possible, yet strong enough to protect our copyright," Kartes said.
The move is a surprising twist in the long-running saga of CherryOS, which has been dogged by accusations from developers involved in the open-source PearPC project that the product utilizes its code.
According to Kartes, it is these accusations that have prompted the company to open up CherryOS code. "We are making this move because we want all the critics to see we are not lifting our source code from other sources," he claimed.
CherryOS ran into a hail of criticism on its release in March from PearPC developers, who accused Maui X-Stream of having lifted code from their project. Posters to PearPCs developer board claimed to have spotted similarities to hidden graphics used in CherryOS, as well as in configuration files and debugging output. Developers also claimed that the product used code from two other open-source projects, for networking and accessing Mac-formatted drives.
Maui X-Stream has consistently denied the accusations, although it acknowledged that a prerelease version obtained by some reviewers in October 2004 had contained some PearPC code. At the time, Maui X-Stream blamed a mistake on the part of one of the programmers on the project, who has since left the company. After the release of the final version of CherryOS, Kartes described the accusations leveled against his company as "a bunch of lies."