Back on the 3rd of July, while at the Nelson Composers Workshop, I followed the breaking news that Avid was closing the London Sibelius office. This meant the likes of the legendary Daniel Spreadbury, one of Sibelius' greatest assets, would lose their jobs. Initially, some jumped to the worst conclusions, but Avid was quick to confirm that "the Sibelius brand and product family remains with Avid" via their official statement. But the fact that the people that make Sibelius what it is are losing their jobs was terrible. These are the people that have developed Sibelius through the years, have heard all of our recommendations and frustrations and are a key part of the Sibelius community. So the feeling was for Avid to sell Sibelius back to the founders and the users, like it was before they purchased it in August 2006. The Sibelius founders, Ben and Jonathan Finn, posted on the Sibelius forum that they were:
“...very concerned to hear earlier this month that Avid is terminating the jobs of the Sibelius development team in London and handing the software over to other programmers, apparently to cut costs. As far as we know, Sibelius continues to be extremely successful, so this cost-cutting is a response to financial problems elsewhere in Avid, not with Sibelius itself.
Ever since then we have been quietly trying to do everything we can to change this situation, including twice offering to buy Sibelius back from Avid. However, Avid has declined. While they haven’t given a reason, we assume that Sibelius is a substantial source of profits to them, so they don’t want to sell it to anyone.
We naturally feel very sad about this treatment of our friends and colleagues who have been key to making Sibelius a success, and who have become the world experts in this specialized field. We are also very grateful to the many Sibelius users who have expressed their concern and support; though at this point, it seems unlikely that any protests will change Avid’s mind.”
So, Avid are not very popular. Even if they have good intentions to develop Sibelius further, it is hard to think that it is onwards and upwards with what will be a brand new group of developers. It, sadly, does seem likely they just want to keep hold of Sibelius, as it has proven to be a good money earner, but because of growing resentment towards them and poor development, it will probably die a slow death.
What can you do? Join the petition for Avid to sell Sibelius back to the Finn brothers. You also may like to: