Apple and Open Source

Ben Collins bcollins at
Wed Mar 17 12:58:26 UTC 1999

On Wed, Mar 17, 1999 at 09:09:51AM +0000, Jules Bean wrote:
> For the record:  2.2 (c) of the APSL fails point (3) of the OSD, since it
> restricts distribution of modified versions (you may not do so unless you
> notify Apple).  9.1, and 12.1 (c) whilst not obviously failing any point
> of the OSD, are undesirable.

I got a few underlying things form the license. One is that if you
distribute modified source, you grant Apple a non-retractable full
license (equivilent to theirs) to your work, and anything under your
control that you used to create the modified version (they specifically
included things used to create it, like compiler, etc.) yet they
specifically have places in their license where they can revoke it.

There are also three seperate clause, that when investigated together,
reveal an alterior motive. If you look at the section mentioned above
that gives Apple rights to your modifications, then look at another
section (sorry no time to quote #.#'s) which says that source code may
be pre-release. A final section which says that final modifications to
the released package (when they take the work and retail it) will not
necessarily fall under the APSL.

I get _1_ thing from the above. Apple wants to release source of
pre-release software, have the the community work on fixing bugs and
adding features (which they then have rights to once you register them
on the website), take those features/fixes and incorporate them into a
final retail product which they will sell (without source) and the
community is left with non-release quality source.

Apple wants to reap all the benefits from us, and not give us full
discolure in return.

Then again, I may be suffering from "big business" paranoia.

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Ben Collins <b.m.collins at>                  Debian GNU/Linux
OpenLDAP Core - bcollins at                 bcollins at
UnixGroup Admin - Jordan Systems         The Choice of the GNU Generation
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