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Shares and Source Code

Soon Strawberry Prolog will become a share holding company. The property of the company will be distributed between one million shares. Part of this shares already are property of the developers and of the investors (our investors mainly are our customers). Other part (more then 20%) is property to the company and we sell this part in order to increase the capital of Strawberry Prolog. At the moment we sell this shares at $1.25 each. This mean that we evaluate our company at the moment for $1,250,000 USD.

You can buy 200 share with a discount ($0.50 each) if you buy the subscription for the professional edition of Strawberry Prolog, i.e. you can buy professional edition and 200 shares for $349 USD. This mean that for $349 you will receive shares for $250 and Professional edition as well. In this case you will obtain the professional edition only for $99 USD.

What are the requirements in order to receive the source code of the compiler?
They are only two: Possession of a subscription for professional edition and 200 shares of Strawberry Prolog. You do not need to pay for the source, only for license and for shares. The source code of the compiler will be distributed gradually and in parts to the shareholders.

What can I do with the source code of the compiler?
You can use it for your personal needs. You can further develop it and then offer your innovation to us. (If we like it we will pay you for your work.) You can make a program which is based on this source but you can sell it (or give it) only to people who have licence for the professional version of the compiler with a number greater or equal to the version number of the source used to create your program. This means that you will have to include the price of our compiler in the price of your product if your user does not have Strawberry Prolog professional edition of the respective version.

Why are we making Strawberry Prolog a share holding company?
First because at the moment we are a loss-making company and we compensate the loss by capital increase. Second because we will pay a portion of the salaries of our employees in shares and users who have made serious contribution to Strawberry Prolog will also be paid in shares. The last and most important reason is that we want to make our users shareholders.

Why do we want to make you our shareholder?
This is because we want to develop Strawberry Prolog together with our users. When you test the compiler, when you find bugs, give ideas for new possibilities or promote the compiler to your friend then actually you work in favour of our company. In this case it is a good idea to own a part of it. The above-mentioned is especially true for those of you who want to work on the source code, to develop it and even to adapt it for other platforms and operational systems. Therefore if you want to get the source code then you have to be a shareholder with at least 200 shares (0.02% of the company).

Restrictions on selling and buying of shares.
If you want to buy shares from us then you can acquire them at the price placed in our web site ($1.25 USD for the time being). You can buy shares of Strawberry Prolog only if you have a licence for the professional edition of the compiler. Why is this restriction: Because we want to make Strawberry Prolog property of our users and developers, not to people who want to invest in risky companies looking for fat profit. Such people will not help for the development of our product.

Is there any risk to buy shares?
Yes, the risk is huge. The software business is the most risky business in the world. When shares of a software company go down usually this is not in percents but in times. The same is true about their increase but it is much more usual to see a software company going down than going up. We envisage the chance to become a profit-making company by about 10% but some financial experts give us less than 1%. Maybe the best way is to treat your shares as lottery tickets - you can gain a lot but most possible is to lose your money.

When the shareholders can to expect a dividend?
We do not plan to pay any dividend in the next one year but from the beginning of 2005 we will pay as dividend at least one quarter of the money incoming from license sales.

When will I receive a document proving that I am a shareholder of Strawberry Prolog?
Not immediately, first we have to make Strawberry Prolog a share holding company (at the moment it is still not registered as such). We hope that we will send these documents to people who will have  bought shares by the end of 2005. Share holding company Strawberry Prolog include only the compiler. Other activities of Strawberry Prolog team are not included.