Trouble in the GLXP paradise

The Mystical Moon team posted this letter this evening regarding their general “unhappiness” with the legal process with the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition.  As someone who is in contact with most of the teams I can tell you that this is not the only team who feels as strongly as this and I’m surprized that this is the only team to yet go public with it.

It’s time to buck up X PRIZE, you’ve got some fires burning.

April 27, 2011

Dear GLXP Teams:

Please take a few minutes to read this IMPORTANT truthful statement by Mystical Moon.

On February 8, 2011, our team, in good faith, completed registration into the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) competition by signing the “Legally Binding, Final Agreement and Rules” Version 3.0 Master Team Agreement (MTA) with the X PRIZE Foundation, Inc. (XPF). In emails since the mutual execution of the MTA, XPF has enforced the aforementioned MTA agreement, especially regarding the “blogging and video” requirements, thereby, acknowledging that the Version 3.0 MTA is in force.

On April 15, 2011, instead of meeting their MTA contractual commitments to the registered GLXP teams (Teams), XPF sends out an email (after COB Pacific) containing a substantially modified new version (3.2) of the so-called “Final and Legally Binding” MTA. In that email, XPF demands that the Teams sign the NEW MTA in an unreasonable time frame (2 weeks in the middle of holidays) without allowing any opportunity for recourse or rebuttal. Moreover, XPF attempts to exercise its willful demands with the threat to “disqualify” the Teams from the competition; as if the Teams had committed a wrongful act. Furthermore, XPF unilaterally attempts to simply change their contractual delivery dates in the new “unexecuted” version (3.2) of the MTA agreement on their very due date; as if the legally binding, mutually executed version 3.0 MTA no longer exists.

XPF then follows these actions, within days, with another threatening letter to Mystical Moon accusing the team of being “currently out of compliance with the blogging and video posting requirements of the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. . . as stated in the Master Team Agreement (Section 6.3.2: Blogging and Video).” However, the requirements stated in their letter do not reflect the language in the mutually executed version 3.0 MTA but rather the modified language in the “unexecuted” version 3.2 MTA. Mystical Moon finds XPF’s actions disconcerting, disingenuous and in violation of the terms of the executed version 3.0, legally binding, Master Team Agreement.

As a result of XPF’s actions, Mystical Moon has exercised its rights pursuant to Section 9 (DISPUTE RESOLUTION) of Exhibit A (Standard Terms and Conditions) of the “Legally Binding, Final Agreement and Rules” Master Team Agreement with X PRIZE Foundation, Inc. that was mutually executed in February 2011 (Version 3.0). Mystical Moon believes that the X PRIZE Foundation is in breach of this executed agreement as of April 15, 2011 when contractual deliverables were due to all the GLXP teams. Mystical Moon intends to hold the X PRIZE Foundation to the legally binding, version 3.0 MTA that was mutually executed in February. Furthermore, Mystical Moon objects to the substantial modifications to the GLXP Master Team Agreement.

Please be advised of the DEADLINE imposed by the “executed” MTA (page 54, §9.2, ¶2):

“Any request by Team to engage in mediation must be made within ten (10) days of the first incident giving rise to any claim or controversy arising out of or related to this Agreement or the making, performance, breach, or interpretation of this Agreement, including, without limitation, any dispute relating to the Judging Panel. The failure to request mediation within ten (10) days of the first incident giving rise to any claim or controversy arising out of or related to this Agreement or the making, performance, breach, or interpretation of this Agreement, including, without limitation, any dispute relating to the Judging Panel, means that any opportunity to raise any such claim or controversy shall be forfeited.”

Please feel free to contact us at magic@kelvin.net

Sincerely,
Mystical Moon

via IMPORTANT Blog Post for ALL GLXP Teams – READ ME! | X PRIZE Foundation.

13 thoughts on “Trouble in the GLXP paradise

  1. WOW. That’s a pretty crappy thing for the XPF to do… What is their response? Why so many changes to the MTA?

  2. NGL remains confident that legal issues associated with the Master Team Agreement will be sorted out. We’ve been working closely with the great folks of the GLXP for over 3 years and it is my belief that they wish to see this prize won as much as the teams do. The recently released amendment was expected, however it does not yet clarify all the issues we were told it would. NGL and others have expressed our concerns and yesterday the deadline for signing the amendment was extended to allow time for these issues to be addressed. NGL will continue to negotiate with the GLXP in good faith, confident that a fair and equitable agreement will be reached. Of course our primary focus remains on the technical and financial tasks at hand.

    1. What I find most curious about this is the open letter tactic. Is there a communication problem where a few teams feel like their concerns aren’t being heard?

      1. There’s been some issues on all sides. I only need to deal with the GLXP, but in fairness, the GLXP must deal with 29 teams. That’s a tough job, but it IS their responsibility. I think things are moving in the right direction now.

  3. What I find most curious about this is the open letter tactic. Is there a communication problem where a few teams feel like their concerns aren’t being heard?

    1. In my opinion the XPF had enough time to settle down the final MTA. The MTA drafts were discussed intensely and I remember the announcement of the final MTA was delayed several times. If I sign a contract I sign a contract and this is not an ordinary one. Every change can jeopardize the project, and we are talking here of millions of USD the teams have to invest. To change the MTA again and give teams only two weeks time to send the new MTA back, can not be the right way. What protects the teams, that the MTA will not be updated again, then with maybe not only minor changes? If there were any legal concerns from the sponsor Google after the final MTA was signed, the XPF has to bear the responsibility and not the teams.
      I have mentioned in my last blog on the GLXP site that I never got this updated MTA with the request to send it back within two weeks. I don’t blame the XPF for that, it can have many reasons (server problem etc.). I have checked all my email accounts yesterday night and I can definitely say, I never received this email. I have informed the XPF yesterday night immediately, but till now I got no feedback. Seems to be no urgent case…

  4. It is hard to say without knowing some of the details as to what is going on here. The teams appear to have been asked to sign a new agreement or be disqualified on the same day that the XPF was due to provide the teams something? did I get that right? Transparency seems to be missing from this contest

    I know everyone is working hard to make this happen but the lack of transparency and lack of publicity have this contest off in a corner. Unless you are into space, you don’t know about it. That is the biggest loss.

    Hopefully everyone comes to some agreement and starts playing nice.

      1. In a perfect world the MTA (the “rules”) would have been set in stone from day one, but that wasn’t the case. Getting the rules sorted out now is difficult, as every player has a potentially different agenda.
        But I don’t see how you can connect the MTA issues (transparent or not) with the contest’s public popularity? Things will heat up when “joe public” sees the rocket on the pad…

      2. “Things will heat up when “joe public” sees the rocket on the pad…”
        This is probably one of THE most wrong statements which led to this kind of problems in the first place. From the perspective of a fan I am very disappointed with most teams. I want to be part of this, i want to be their fan from day one!
        If you lock us out don’t be confused if nobody is there to cheer your rocket into the sky…

      3. Not sure what “this kind of problems” you are talking about? What do you find disappointing about most teams? Do you think it’s their job to entertain you? Sorry, but it is already a difficult enough challenge without that responsibility. You want to “be part of this”, well what’s stopping you? We’re not locking out anyone. So get out there and just do something constructive if that’s what you want. I’d be happy to listen to your ideas on how you want to contribute, if you are willing to use your real name.

Comments are closed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: