As noted elsewhere, MicroProse has acquired the copyrights in the Falcon 4.0 Intellectual Property (IP) from former owners, Tommo. [For completeness, Tommo still owns the associated trademarks.]
The BMS team has been working with MicroProse to formalize a working relationship and understanding around use of the IP. The goal for this is to ensure that work on Falcon BMS releases and updates can continue with a minimum of friction.
I am happy to bring you all the good news: The BMS team has now concluded a formal Agreement with MicroProse.
I won’t bore you with the minutiae of the conversations that led up to the Agreement or its final form but I think it’s important to share the broad strokes of how this will work.
The Agreement codifies the following:
The BMS team has the rights to use MicroProse Falcon 4.0 IP to continue making Falcon BMS releases
These rights are essentially perpetual meaning the BMS team’s work can continue working on the code and data with no end in sight.
Falcon BMS will continue to be a free-of-charge binary release for non-commercial purposes as it is now. And also as it is now, a licensed copy of Falcon 4.0 will be required to install and run Falcon BMS.
The BMS team has the ability to become the source of licensed copies of Falcon 4.0 in the event that no other source supplies that on a substantially equivalent basis to that on which it is available now. We also have an avenue to explore more and different distribution paradigms for future Falcon BMS releases.
MicroProse may become a Contributor to Falcon BMS work. When and if that happens, the Contributions will be handled the same as any other contribution taken into the BMS body of work – the BMS team will have the non-exclusive right to incorporate such content and/or modify it as needed to meet the needs of future Falcon BMS releases.
I think you will agree that this is a very significant step for the Falcon community overall. Certainly it is a significant step forward as far as the BMS team is concerned.
We are very pleased to be working with MicroProse, an IP owner who both appreciates the value of and strongly supports continued work of the BMS team on making the best possible Falcon BMS.
And of course the BMS team wants to take a moment to appreciate all of you, the community. Without your enthusiasm, passion and engagement none of the above would even be possible. In that context, congratulations to us all: clear skies are ahead for Falcon BMS!