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||Trevor Dickinson accusing Ben Hermans of criminal behaviour (Update)|
In April 2009, a company called A-EON Technology was established in Belgium, to develop PPC hardware for AmigaOS 4. Trevor Dickinson, Anthony Moorley and Ben Hermans were named directors for the new entity. This incarnation of A-EON didn't last long though - a new company called A-EON Technology Ltd. located in Wales took over in Spring 2012 and has been responsible for the "AmigaOne X1000" and other A-EON products ever since. This change was never communicated or explained to the public.
Behind the scenes, rumours started circulating years ago that the Belgium based A-EON was dismantled because one of the partners stole large parts of the company's funds and tried to hide that fact from the other directors by sending them faked bank statements.
An audio recording that has now been released on Youtube, allegedly featuring Trevor Dickinson, seems to confirm at least parts of this rumour: In what sounds like a private conversation, the narrator - his voice is the only one recorded - relates the following:
"[…] Money dissappearing to Hyperion and to Ben Hermans […] I mean, at the very least, you could put him out of business – I mean, with his law firm – cause I got the copies of the stuff he sent… faxed to me […] He was denying, denying, denying – and then it turned on a meeting where we were saying: 'This is it – you either sign this. Or we‘re going to the police'. So, I mean… and so we went through a whole bunch of things: free license, free this, free that, access to this, use of that, no royalties... so we got all out of it."
Parts of the recording have been obviously cut out, these cuts are marked with "[…]" in the above transscript. People who want to verify if the recorded voice really is that of Trevor Dicksinson can find quite some Youtube videos featuring the A-EON investor - like this 2017 speech.
The recording was released to the public by Generation Amiga, a site that has a tendency to publish badly researched, exaggerated or plain wrong news items. But amiga-news.de can confirm that this is not the original source, apparently the site's administrator was less concerned about keeping this under wraps than other parties we know about that also had access to the file.
Notes from the staff:
Assuming the person making these statements is indeed Trevor Dickinson, he's clearly accusing Ben Hermans of criminal behaviour. While the actual details of Hermans' actions are not explained in the part of the recording that has now been made public, Dickinson's wording about "calling the police" or the notion that Hermans could lose his job or his licence for practicing law make this quite clear.
But at the same time, Dickinson is incriminating himself: The statement that Ben Hermans was forced to sign a contract that gives Dickinson and his partners free access to a lot of Hyperion's property and licenses basically equals an admission of blackmailing Mr. Hermans. Not to mention that this contract presumably would mostly hurt the company Hyperion - by obliterating most of their sources of income, for example - while Dickinson's description suggests that only the person Ben Hermans seems to be responsible for A-EON's problems.
Update: (11.08.2018, 14:00, cg)
Amiga Future has approached both Trevor Dickinson und Ben Hermans for statements. Both parties stress that A-EON is paying the full price for each copy of AmigaOS 4 it ships:
Trevor Dickinson: "A-EON Technology does have a worldwide sub-license granted by Hyperion Entertainment to use the AmigaOne name, AmigaOS name and Boing Ball on products it develops for AmigaOS4. However, A-EON Technology has to make significant payments to Hyperion Entertainment to port AmigaOS4 to the AmigaOne hardware it produces.
This includes payments for porting the kernel, writing any necessary drivers and/or other special utilities that may be required to make OS4 run on A-EON's AmigaOne hardware. As Matthew Leaman wrote on AmigaWorld net, A-EON Technology also pre-pays (in batches) the significant cost of full software licence to Hyperion Entertainment for its AmigaOne machines (X1000, X5000 and the A1222 beta).
Every AmigaOne machine A-EON ships has an AmigaOS4 software license pre-paid to Hyperion Entertainment at the full license price, not the special reduced sales price which Hyperion charged customers for the AmigaOS4 Final Edition release. A-EON is prevented from disclosing the full license price by the terms of its Agreements with Hyperion Entertainment but suffice to say it is far greater that the special one-off AmigaOS4 Final Edition sales price."
Ben Hermans: "That is true, A-EON does pay for licenses which we negotiated." (cg) (Translation: cg)
[News message: 06. Aug. 2018, 12:34] [Comments: 5 - 11. Apr. 2021, 07:35]
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