Apple and Open Source
rms at gnu.org
Thu Mar 25 06:57:08 UTC 1999
I think there are two issues here: the requirement to publish changes
and the requirement to notify a specific party.
The requirement to publish changes, even if the changes are not being
used by the public in any way, violates an essential privacy right.
The requirement to notify a specific party when you release a modified
version is perhaps not fatal, but I have a bad feeling about it.
The patent clauses are curious and I can see the danger in the fact that
Apple can keep you from ever getting a chance to fight a patent in court.
On the other hand, Apple has granted use of an unknown number of patents
for use in free software. This seems like a good thing.
These are two separate actions. The latter would be a good thing, not
a problem, of course, but the former is a problem.
(Though in fact they have not granted "use in free software" of these
patents, only use in this particular software, whose freeness or not
is the question here.)
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