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Illegal Distribution of Gobe

by @ 9:04 am on 4/15/2004. Filed under Gobe Software

According to a report at Zetajournal, YellowTab may be illegally distributing Gobe Productive 2.0 office suite. Though there is no official statement by either company at this point, some YellowTab customers have been contacted via e-mail by Gobe Productive CEO Kevin Gilbertson. In these e-mails Gilbertson supposedly demands payment from existing and future Zeta owners to use the bundled version of Gobe Productive. Both YellowTab and Gobe Software are expected to make a public statement as soon as possible. Update: In YellowTabs Defense, read on.

This message is now posted at

To our customers:

Many of you have received unsolicited email from a Mr. Kevin Gilbertson, the sole proprietor of Gobe Software Corporation.

Mr. Gilbertson is under the mistaken impression that we do not wish to honor the agreements which were made for Gobe Productive version 2.0.

The problem stems from the fact that he does not wish to send us an invoice for payment. We have made it clear to him that we need this to legally fulfill the terms of the contract.

We are not certain as to what Mr. Gilbertson wishes to accomplish by these tactics, but we can assure you that they will have no bearing on our customers.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.


Bernd T. Korz
Alan Westbrook
Thorsten Linde
and the rest of the team at yellowTAB

31 Responses to “Illegal Distribution of Gobe”

  1. Ryan Abrams says:

    They are both wrong.

    Gobe cant invoice yellowtab unless they know how many copies have been sold. If they know that, then the burden is on Gobe. And invoice is not exactly hard to create. I could create one in productive in like 20 minutes. tops. So I suspect Yellowtab isn’t exactly making it easy for them.

    That said, Gobe is completely off the mark emailing customers demanding payment. Whether they like it or not, YellowTab’s customers have already paid for productive. The issue isnt there. It’s with YellowTab passing the money on to Gobe. Gobe cannot demand that a customer pay for their product twice simply because they can’t manage their own business partner.

    And both of them are wrong for taking this public. Its unprofessional, and speaks volumes about both companies.

    *sigh* – this is simply poor management on both parts. Doesn’t instill much confidence that things are getting any better on the commercial front. I guess there is still OpenBeOS.

  2. Bernd says:

    No. We have a royal fee of $10k. It doesnt matter how many copies of Zeta we sell. 1, 10, 100 or 100,000.

  3. Ryan Abrams says:

    I stand corrected. As I said above: “If they know that, then the burden is on Gobe” – Apparently they don’t need to know how many copies you sold. They just need to send you a note saying “Pay us $10,000usd please”

    Interesting business decision on Gobes part, going with a flat rate, but that was the choice they made.

    The burden is entirely on Gobe here, and I apologize for anything negative I said about your group, Bernd. I still dont think it should be a public debate, but I realize you didn’t take it that direction.

    I wonder what’s going on at Gobe that would make their CEO go so crazy as to email individual customers with lies about having to pay them. I remember when they used to be classy.

  4. Bernd says:

    yes, this should be completly internal, but we got attacted really hard. And as less as i am in the background here we had to say what is going on to clearify the positions. The positive thing is that we have mails from Kevin to get the agreement which can never lie. Not today and not tomorrow.

    So i have really good feelings in that case. Thx for your apologize. I have a lot of respect about that

  5. Jon says:

    I think this situation along with the fact that Gobe is getting pretty out dated shows how badly YellowTab and the rest of the BeOS community need to think about an alternative office suite. Even if Gobe is continued to be distributed, how long can Zeta go before it needs an upgraded office suite? If not then something else but its going to have to happen sooner or later.

  6. Michael says:

    I find it strange for the head of Gobe to email everyone, could Gobe have money troubles?

  7. Paul Geros says:

    I couldn’t find on BeOS’s websites this infamous letter by Gobe. Has anyone published it online?

  8. you are both acting like little children. settle this outside of the public eye and stop embarrasing yourselves.

  9. Big Al says:

    Um, beos enthusiast, read Bernd’s second reply up above. I’ve seen him act pretty unprofessional on other things but here he’s behaved well.

    I think Gobe has become the exact opposite of what the founders of the company would want. It’s too bad because they used to be a cool group but I think the good ones have left. I’d be surprised if there was more than one guy there anymore.

  10. I have to agree with Big Al and the yT supporters at this point. The actions taken by Kevin Gilbertson moved this into the public domain. As a yT customer I would have been greatly annoyed not to hear from yT. As a matter of fact yT did not publish their public statement until the story had broken on a number of BeOS/Zeta news sites (including this one).

    Bernd, thank you for letting us know what’s going on.


  11. Joe says:

    Gobe deserves exactly what they get. They do not even currently honor customers who have purchased Productive for the BeOS. BeOS made them what they are today. They seem to forget that.

  12. XBe says:

    BeOS made them what they are today.

    Geee, some people seem to forget that yT isn’t Be Inc, nor is Zeta the BeOS.

    What exactly has yT done for GoBe? Not much aye?

    I’ve read quite a lot of things about other software that yT include in their package where developers had quite some opinions whether it’s right or wrong.

    I think yT has burned enough bridges now for not being a player at all once OBOS goes R1. They will either diminish into nothing or they will provide some software and charge for it to those few? who like them.

    I’m sorry to say this, but yT seems like a failure for what so many hoped to be a future..

  13. Joe says:

    What exactly has yT done for GoBe? Not much aye?

    I am not talking about what yT has done for Gobe. I am talking about Gobe not supporting its customers who have bought Productive for the BeOS. You will not find the update for version 2.0 on the Gobe web site or any mention of the BeOS anywhere.

  14. alphaseinor says:

    in march of 2002 Gobe wasn’t interested in licencing poductive 2.0

    They were desparate for any computer manufacturer to get on board with 3.0.1

    All of my reported bugs were ignored in testing of 2.0 and 3.0

    Gobe died in april 2002 when Dave and Bruce were gone (left, fired, fed up, or whatever).

    I don’t understand how anyone was able to get Gobe 2.0 after april… or why Kevin would even care… – Gobe 2.0 $21.95

  15. alphaseinor says:

    From Bernd (above):
    “Mr. Kevin Gilbertson, the sole proprietor of Gobe Software Corporation”

    Isn’t “Sole Proprietor” and “Corporation” an “Oxymoron”?

  16. obelix says:

    The invoice is for taxes. Gobe needs to send it, registered return recipt international.

    And they know this.

  17. rosenstern says:

    How sad for all. Wonder where Gobe got the email addresses from ?

    If end-users’ eAddresses were sent to Gobe, by yT, as part of a progress report from yT, of units-to-date actually Sold, then Gobe really is due to issue an invoice, leave the end users alone (and STFU about it). In this scenario they would legitimately contact the yT customer list with a warmfuzzy .. “hope your evaluation of Gobe is going well. Register for … (whatever benefits)” That gaff is blown, now, no matter the merits of the product suite.

    If, on the other hand, (& there’s always another hand) yT has NOT yet reported REAL sales-to-date, then where did Gobe get the email list from? More important, without any report from yT, Gobe can only issue an invoice from estimates agreed to in the marketing agreement. I doubt that foresight even arose to this shower of inepts.

    Sounds to me like coders have taken reins in the marketing department(s). Purely, clearly a recipe for mud slinging like this, and we bystanders, however well-wishing, are reminded: Shit splatters.

    I think both sides should STFU and focus on the horizon. The ship called BeOS has survived the Bermuda triangle (by way of Redmond) and sails on to the delight of many. It would be a shame if she were sunk by a petty wash of bilge like these punters.

    Right now, William H. Gates III is rocking in his chair, a little upbeat from his usual autistic pace, and smirking at this vindictive foundering; he knows his only worry will come from allies who know the stakes and can choke back such bile, once in a while, and just co-operate.

    And that will come. Not from yT or Gobe. How sad.
    _ _ _ _
    All hail Eris, the wages of sin and The Stark Fist of Removal.

  18. looncraz says:

    I am a little baffled…

    If Gobe was sending e-mails to those who purchased Zeta, as has already been mentiond.. how did they get the e-mail addresses ?

    And if from yT, why did yT turn over e-mail addresses of those who purchased? Privacy laws prevent this type of information exchange without restrictions in many countries (and almost all states in the U.S.).

    If it was a flat fee as Bernd claims (no reason not to believe him on this), then why would Gobe be going after purchasers of Zeta? Makes no sense to me.

    Something is wrong here. I am not sure exactly what it is, but something is way out of place.

    And for the first time I don’t think it is yT, but something trying to bring yT down in uncool fashion. Not even I would stoop to this level to rid myself of an enemy or competitor.. and I am a pretty shrewd dude in my business.. but I still have my ethics in place.

    I would not be at all surprised to discover that the e-mails from Gobe were really not from Gobe but from a disgruntled (ex-)yT employee (yes, I realize that would make me a prime suspect). I mean, after all, it is REALLY easy to forge where an e-mail originates.

    Someone post one of these e-mails online for us!! PLEASE!

    –The loon

  19. stupidKraut says:

    there were a couple of ppl. who couldn´t resist
    asking gobe for an update or even something like GP3.
    AFAIK these are the only personal data of Zeta mr. gilbertson has so far.

    >”yellowTab is not authorized to sell any Gobe products of any kind. They do
    not own any rights to any Gobe products. They do not have any contract of
    any kind from or with Gobe Software Corporation. yellowTab has been
    illegally selling our products since last year without Gobe Software
    Corporation permission. Gobe Software Corporation will not support any Gobe
    products sold through yellowTab. yellowTab is in violation of laws that
    protect software companies from Piracy, Theft, Fraud, Misrepresentation and
    Gobe Software Corporation is currently involved in collecting monies owed to
    us from yellowTab by a Law suit. We will aggressively prosecute anyone
    selling, marketing, distributing, or manufacturing our products illegally.
    If you are interested in Gobe products please contact us directly regarding
    any past Gobe BeOS products or any future Gobe BeOS products. Thank you.


    Kevin Gilbertson
    President & CEO
    Gobe Software Corporation”>

  20. looncraz says:

    Well, that note makes me believe what I always believed to begin with :-/

    I pretty much figured yT did not have any legal rights.. but only based on my own attempts to license GP2/3 for distrobution (they wanted a good deal of $$, which I don’t blame them).

    Oh well, Bernd.. stop spreading lies… And just dissolve yT, and release the code that has been completed to the community… primarily SVG Tracker.. the only thing y’all really have I am interested in…

    –The loon

  21. rain says:

    I have been wondering about this myself, if yT had the rights to distribute GoBe Productive like that.
    And since they haven’t paid for it yet, do they really have the rights? They could have easily removed it from their beta-versions and included it when the payments had been made.
    I don’t know which kind of deal they have (if any) though. This whole thing is very fishy. Now I don’t trust either company anymore.

    Let’s bring KOffice to BeOS!

  22. says:

    After reading that statement, its obvious that yt never had a contract. Or there was a contract but yt never signed it and sent the money to Gobe. This would explain why Gobe has taken the position it has. Gobe gave us gp and we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about them.
    The burden of proof is on yt. Gobe owns the rights to the code and the finished product. If yt never signed the contract, then they shouldn’t have been selling the product. Gobe is well within their rights to sue them. This is very bad for yt. If Bernd said that is was a flat fee of 10k why didn’t he pay that last year along with the signing of the contract before he started selling gp. I’ll tell you why, because yt needed to beef up their offering and by bundling other software apps it made us all think that they were getting somewhere. I’m pretty sure that with most contracts and rights to software you have to pay for that when you sign the contract and before you can legally start shipping the product. yt screwed up. Read Bernd’s letter and then read his feedback carefully. You can catch his lies. Also, if he signed the contract, when was the contract signed, where was it signed and does it have gobe and yt signatures. If it did then gobe would have already been paid and I wouldn’t be writing this. Gobe got the email addresses from people that were asked by Bernd to email gobe and let them know that they would buy gp 3 for zeta. This was perfectly legal for gobe to respond to us. And, in the email he is asking customers that purchased gp for the first time
    through yt that the copy they purchased from yt is not a legal copy. If they want to make it legal they will have to pay for it. yt should pay gobe for all of us. We bought it in good faith from yt that it was legal, they should pay for all 1,500 buyers. 49usd x 1500 is alot of money. Hope yt has the cash. Without a signed contract yt is in the legal trouble. Some guy at another site was inferring that this contract was created with a verbal or email. Is Bernd pumping up his little crew of believers. When you go to court and sit infront of a judge, you better have your contracts. This I know from prior history.

  23. alphaseinor says:

    I think it’s funny that BeOSJournal hasn’t picked up on this…

  24. Simon says:

    Chris is away for a bit I think 😀 That’s when it will really blow up.

    I’m inclined to side with yT on this one. The statement from Kevin, if a direct copy and paste, is absolutely littered with errors in spelling and grammar (“liable”? i assume he meant libel, “Law suit” with a capital L thrown in for no reason, etc) – it seems extremely unproffesional for Gobe to drag this out into the public, especially if the claim about an ongoing law suit is true, it could all be settled in private between the two companies.

  25. Dave Mann says:

    It is very difficult to speculate about the guilt of either party in this situation. We have so little information, and nothing has been presented here that could be called “evidence” in court. Both yT and Gobe are so secretive that they have created an atmosphere of mistrust around themselves, so it is is no surprise that many people are quick to jump to conclusions. I agree that the letter that was sent contains terrible errors, which do nothing for it’s credibility. If it was written by a lawyer I would be very surprised. Furthermore we have heard nothing from Gobe about this. It would be nice if Gobe would at least confirm or deny that it sent the letter. I sympathize with those who wish this could have remained private, but ultimately we should be able to learn something about both companies when this is settled.

    It is clear that yT has a credibility problem, and equally clear that Gobe may have existential problems. Is there even anyone at Gobe who can comment? I don’t know.

    I hope that both parties will be quick to present real evidence, so that the community is not further fractured. I also hope that both parties learn the value of open communication about the state of their businesses.


  26. krobi says:

    okay thats a very difficult thing,
    so if you take a look at the gobe homepage you will see many strange thinks

    first, a software company without any developer?? so they have a execute team with 3 personen

    then take a look at the history, read the first sentence 😉 “Gobe Software Corporation is a privately held company founded in 2002 by Bruce Q. Hammond and Kevin Gilbertson.” and then read the history of the company

    do you see whats wrong with this story 😉 then you all know the press release where gobe told us they will not release gobe 3 for beos, so think about that sentence “If you are interested in Gobe products please contact us directly regarding
    any past Gobe BeOS products or any future Gobe BeOS products.”

    what future gobe beos products?? beos is death, there is no offiziel new beos version, there is zeta, openbeos and so on but no beos, only r5. very strange.

    i will give bernd right when he says thats a internal thing and so i think gobe did something wrong here, @gobe simple write bernd a mail where is the problem??

    its not our problem, if yT have the right to sell gobe software or not its yT and gobe’s problem.

  27. rosenstern says:

    after reading letter (above)
    _Posted by: stupidKraut,Apr.21,2004,09:55_
    (addressed to whom? we are not shown)…
    …ooooh … it’s a leak…..!!…

    if that transcription is faithful to the original, then:

    a) Gilbertson wrote that without benefit of legal counsel (e.g: and, laughably, without benefit of a knowing the difference between ‘liable’ and ‘libel’). If Gobe fails to enjoin yT, and continues to sully its position with maverick action, then, should one ever refer to Gilbertson as a ‘cheapshot shiftless twat’, they shan’t be liable for any libel.

    b) ‘Bernd’/and/or/yT has burned Gobe; possibly sensing Gobe’s aversion to litigation.

    c) there is at least one liar at work here (lying on paper ==libel). Get thee all to a Barristry and solicit an arbitration from some scrotum-faced git in a wig. Then STFU and leave BeOS alone.
    _ _ _ _ _
    Hail Eris. Witness & drooleth along with BobHead.

  28. rosenstern says:

    what a bunch of losers. gobe gil doesn’t know the difference between ‘liable’ and ‘libel’. no wonder this advantage is being taken of them, by yT.

    all concerned should STFU, and stop foisting your self-centred ideas and products onto the BeOS community. guys like you are in great demand in redmond, wa; so it’s not like you couldn’t go make some money elsewhere.

    _ _ _ _
    Hail Eris.
    Witnesseth & drooleth along with BobHead

  29. Adam McNutt says:


    Have you ever looked at any history of any company? Notice it’s Gobe Software Corporation, not Gobe Software. 2 Different companies. The Corporation WAS founded in 2002, the prior “company” was absorbed, and can therefore take their timeline. If you’ve been with the BeOS community from before then, you will remember Gobe going through this transition, preparing their Windows front to fund futher R&D and hopefully make SOME money to continue their BeOS version. There are no discontinuities.

    As for Gobe Pro version 3, that’s been held up for ages. It works, but to what extent we all don’t know. Maybe version 3 was on the horizon…the market is a funny place.

  30. Cale Lewis says:

    This is from It will stand as mute testimony to the credibility of some of the authoritative content in previous post above

    liable adj.

    1. Legally obligated; responsible: liable for military service. See Synonyms at responsible.
    2. At risk of or subject to experiencing or suffering something unpleasant. Used with to: liable to criminal charges; liable to diabetes.
    3. Likely. Often used with reference to an unfavorable outcome: In a depression banks are liable to fail.


    \Li”a*ble\ (l[imac]”[.a]*b’l), a. [From F. lier to bind, L. ligare. Cf. Ally, v. t., Ligature.] 1. Bound or obliged in law or equity; responsible; answerable; as, the surety is liable for the debt of his principal.

    a few email messages (which could be edited or omission ie: not all of them shown) mean very little. I know of few software companies of Gobe’s or yT’s (perported) size and reputation that do business on ‘verbal’ or email contracts. It would provide them little if any protection from piracy or debt default in court.

    I’ve had good dealings with Gobe in the last year getting my software replaced after our home burnt. I have my reservations about my dealing with yT so far, but will generously withhold judgement while awaiting the head of yT to come forward and address these issues in an honest and forthright manner.

    Any chance for profitability and recognition/reputation for Zeta could quickly disappear and irreparairible harm done to the remains of the *BeOS community if these sort of things continue popping up. Mistakes made on either side, while embarassing to some, are not too late to be corrected and overcome.

  31. Sandwich Boy says:

    “No, YOUR MOM IS FAT!!!!11”


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