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September 17, 2013

OpenMPE.org domain remains redacted

A milestone recently passed for the web domain name openmpe.org. For more than eight years this was the address for the volunteer group that made HP think through migration details, as well as extend homesteading prospects. The .org seemed to fit a rotating collective of 3000 community members, all giving their time and effort to try to make the 3000's future clearer and brighter.

But in 2010, amid the rancor and countersuits filed between two then-boardmembers, openmpe.org went dark, was taken hostage. Matt Perdue, the consultant and board member who was by then in charge of checkbook, source code license, web servers as well as domain, found himself fingered as the man who'd take a website offline to prove ownership. To resolve the problem, Allegro Consultants gave openmpe.com to the group. It wasn't much longer afterward that Perdue and his combating director Keith Wadsworth both left the organization.

It's been more than two years, and the openmpe.org domain was up for renewal. Brian Edminster, who's got his own .org website (www.mpe-opensource.org) that serves the community with open source software, was watching to see if OpenMPE's domain would be released. Edminster checked in to report Perdue's ownership of the domain remains in force, for another several years.

It's not as if the domain is worth anything, like some addresses are. There's a market to bid on such things that are already owned, even estimates of what a domain might be worth. The renewal of the openmpe.org ownership represents a point that's still being made, apparently. Edminster reports

I had a reminder on my calendar to check today:

Do WHOIS lookup on OPENMPE.ORG to see if Matt's renewed the domain registration

        if not - get it to turn back over to OpenMPE.

Looks like on Sept. 8 Matt renewed it for another year. I know it's cheap to do — but is he that petty, or do you think he has more grandiose plans? I've been around long enough to know better, but I guess there's just no understanding some people.

I've written before about the stasis that has set in surrounding OpenMPE, a group that was very important during the years HP was willing to discuss its own end-game for exiting that marketplace. Grandiose plans don't seem to be in line with a volunteer organization no longer having meetings, or elections, or regular contact with HP. Everything has its time and place, and great service was done on behalf of the customers.

Near the end, a conflict arose over the scope of change MPE source code licenses could trigger. Nothing could be done to impede the plans of the seven corporations that bought a license. But a dust-up arose over the OpenMPE ownership, as well as legal conflicts between Perdue and Wadsworth. The standoff helped bring the group to a standstill. And renewing a domain looks like it's not time for an end to the hard feelings about the future of software: MPE.

10:38 PM in Homesteading, Newsmakers | Permalink

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Ron, your reporting and characterization of the legal issues is far from accurate and your prejudices shine in your article. I invited you to attend the initial legal hearing which was not far from you in San Antonio, Texas. Had you done so, or the subsequent one, you would have understood that Mr. Perdue brought legal action against the full OpenMPE board. Being a Texas resident and board member I was the logical one to represent the Board and defeat Mr. Perdue's claim, which we did.

Posted by: Keith Wadsworth | Sep 18, 2013 4:18:27 PM

Here's my shining prejudice: It's unfortunate that the entire asset collection of OpenMPE ended up in the hands of one director, who then sued a group where he was still a member. Responding with legal action was one action to take.

Way back in 2010, a lawsuit was filed that named Keith and one other board member as individuals, as well as the OpenMPE board as a whole. A Dec. 20 email from Keith to the board outlines the situation: "It seems we all are being sued by Perdue. Myself and Jack as individuals, and the Board as a whole."

I don't know how far my reporting is from being accurate, based on that statement. I've got thousands of words of correspondence about the rancor, plus the claims for damages and expenses from both parties. Matt was a defendant in a counterclaim for monies taken, plus legal costs. No criminal charges were filed.

Type "OpenMPE suit" into our search engine and you'll find no fewer than 15 stories written between the fall of 2010 and the summer of 2011. We wrapped up the facts in a May 14 report that mentioned a still-pending counterclaim from Keith and the board against Perdue. The board said "it does not feel it is prudent to comment further than provide what is available as a matter of public record."

Posted by: Ron Seybold | Sep 18, 2013 6:07:25 PM

No Keith, you didn't defeat my claim. Indeed, you turned over everything lock, stock & barrel to me, much to my surprise. I have the signed settlement agreement and can (and just might) post it as proof that you're not telling the truth (again).

Posted by: Matt Perdue | Oct 1, 2013 12:58:15 AM

When I filed a motion for new trial Ron, quite to my surprise, all those remaining in OpenMPE decided to settle, turn over all disputed items to me but would not agree to a non-disclosure as part of the agreement. They dropped their counter claim, possibly because they knew their attorney had made an overly broad order that would not stand in the appeals court where it was headed, and I was preparing to broaden the suit under considerations of a federal statute. One thing an attorney friend of mine said was "I've got to hand it to you, you always warn them..." (before taking action such as a lawsuit). The same holds here - I warned all the members of the board that if they took a certain action at that time that I would file suit; they did and I followed through with my statement and filed suit. Details upon request, of course. I also note with interest that not one person yet has asked for some disposition of openmpe.org - none. Why is that Ron? I don't have an answer, perhaps you do. Some see fit to speculate instead. I also note that Mr. Edminster has never asked me anything about the domain name, yet sees fit to speculate as well. Why not do such a simple thing as ask? Is it all that difficult? It appears so.

Posted by: Matt Perdue | Oct 1, 2013 1:07:19 AM

Okay Matt. What about disposition of openmpe.org? Why did you renew your ownership of a domain name for a group that removed you from its board?

Posted by: Ron Seybold | Oct 1, 2013 11:19:01 AM

For the same reason Ron that I renewed ten other domains at the same time that were expiring that month or the next, pending use, disposition or other status. Also Ron, to be precise, it's not "ownership" it's registration. I'm the registrant for many more domains, some of which I own and some I do not. You make interesting and false assumptions, which in this matter has been your history (I suspect other matters as well) most of which are too minor to bother with correcting individually, yet taken as a whole should stand corrected. Your penchant for writing off the cuff prior to making inquiries to ascertain facts is well documented. Same with Edminster and Wadsworth. I note Wadsworth's blatherings are personal opinion and speculation, as are Edminster's, again without making inquiries to obtain facts.

Posted by: Matt Perdue | Oct 1, 2013 12:23:40 PM

Matt, just so I understand, your answer to my question sounds like "I renewed 11 of these at once. Openmpe.org just happened to be in there. I didn't even consider if it might be a candidate for non-renewal." It looks like "pending use" could be a poor reason for renewing a registration of a domain that's been associated with OpenMPE. That's why Brian and I are assuming so much. We can't figure out how you'd make any use of openmpe.org during 2013-15.

I know you were operating an alternative Invent3K server during 2010-11. I don't know why -- not any more than I know why retaining registration of openmpe.org is important this year.

To recap, I've asked you why you renewed openmpe.org. You said you renewed for the same reason as 10 other domains.That's not an answer to the question.

And so we all get to work from genuine information, you could scan that settlement agreement you've referred to, and post it to refute any claims on Keith's part. You know, you could post it at the openmpe.org. domain that you control.

And yes Matt, you get to make judgements like "Your penchant for writing off the cuff prior to making inquiries to ascertain facts is well documented." Everybody gets to shoot this messenger. Some reporting has been sketchy in here because nobody wants to go on the record. But you can see how assumptions can encourage people to go public with their set of the facts.

Posted by: Ron Seybold | Oct 1, 2013 2:59:19 PM

Ron, please read my comment again as it says "... pending use, disposition or other status." For some reason, you pick out "pending use" and ignore "disposition or other status." Interesting focus... speaks volumes. You state "That's not an answer to the question." --it is an answer to your question, you just don't like the answer.

So post the signed and notarized settlement agreement on openmpe.org - then you'll be criticizing me for "misuse" of the domain name. I could also turn into pdf files and post dozens, perhaps hundreds, of emails detailing Keith's intent to shut down (some might say destroy) OpenMPE from the moment he joined the board and the details of his proposal to release the full source code of MPE received from Hewlett-Packard onto the Internet for any and all to access, in complete violation of the agreement with Hewlett-Packard regarding the care and custody of HP's property.

There's also the issue of audio recordings a certain secretary made of the board's conference calls, simply because his employer's phone system had that feature, without being asked to do so by the board who found out after the fact. I wonder if that was even legal in his state or the various states and foreign countries where the call participants were located during calls. Those call recordings from May 2009 through October 2010 could be posted as well.

You also know very well Ron there are other emails I could release, detailing the history of two privately owned servers loaned for use as a successor to HP's invent3k. Should that set of facts be published to openmpe.org for all to decide for themselves as well?

Posted by: Matt Perdue | Oct 1, 2013 4:45:24 PM

Matt, I don't like the answer because after I hear "pending use, disposition or other status," I don't know anything more than when I first asked. So okay, I'll ask now. What does "disposition or other status," mean, as they relate to renewing your registration in 2013 for the organization's original domain? Please explain it to me in small words. And yes, I think that posting all those documents you've mentioned to any webpage which can be a redirect from openmpe.org is a great idea. Not a misuse of the domain.

See, I'm all for complete transparency. I've already been accused of having an agenda while I attempt to tell the story of OpenMPE. My only agenda is to present the facts that are relevant. Why care, now? Perhaps it's because VMS is going to need advocacy, and the track record of OpenMPE and its relationship with HP could be instructive to the next set of customers to be sidetracked by the vendor. If the lessons involve leadership, motives, or resource management, they'd be especially useful.

Posted by: Ron Seybold | Oct 1, 2013 8:41:01 PM

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