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Apple Cuts Off Under-18 Darwin Developer

pudge posted more than 12 years ago | from the kids-are-sooo-cuuute dept.

Apple 815

Crispyking writes "Finlay Dobbie has been a leading contributor to the Darwin project, most notably helping track down the infamous PPP-hang bug. He's been nominated to become a Darwin contributor (which comes with limited check-in privileges) but when going through the process, Apple found out he's under 18 years old, and not only refused to let him be a contributor to this 'open source' project, but canceled his Apple Developer Connection membership (which gives him download access to the source code) on the grounds that because he's under 18, he can't be legally bound to the small-print agreement." Update: 03/26 00:26 GMT by P : Finlay wrote in email that he wasn't getting the Darwin source through his ADC account, but through a third party development project, which he resigned from as a result of all the red tape and the ADC account being disabled.

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So . . (5, Interesting)

SanLouBlues (245548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223581)

They're throwing away his donated code then right?

Re:So . . (2, Funny)

cbodine (539161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223657)

They should.

Welcome to the Open Source Movement , we will take anyone?

As long as you are a single white male over the age of 18 and under the age of 40
and have a love for the corporate giants that do stupid stuff like this.

Iam joking about the above , but it does bring up a point how open is open source.

I see where Apple is heading but it is just plain dumb.

Re:So . . (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223729)

I am joking about the above , but it does bring up a point how open is open source.

Not open at all, the idea behind the GNU license doesn't sound as bad now does it? At least its a lot better then this apple buzzword hype.


That'd be like... (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223691)

Throwing out the baby with the bath water....

Hey! (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223582)

I just broke off my computers cup holder, any ideas for glueing it back on?

Re:Hey! (-1)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223600)

Yeah - mention Linux in front of CmdrTaco, and he'll glue it right the fuck back on.

pudge? (0, Offtopic) (71379) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223583)

Hi, pudge. Are you new?

Re:pudge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223644)

No. [] That's why there's an "also by pudge" button on the right hand side.

Re:pudge? (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223730)

yeah but except for one odd April 1st article, the rest start in Feb? id say that's fairly new. Also looks like he's the resident Apple geek for slashdot. Almost as bad as being a linux geek

Re:pudge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223660)

Try the Also by pudge [] link in this article's /box.

Age discrimination (0, Troll)

IgD (232964) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223585)

Hey, anybody got Jonnie Cochran's phone number? IANAL but it sounds like this could be a good way for this kid to pay for college! Not to mention it would be great for court TV viewing. This would be a great case for this poor kid v. big goliath Apple computer.

Re:Age discrimination (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223665)

This isn't age discrimination unless you want to consider the law that prevents him from being able to sign a legal contract to be discriminating. I think that the law is protecting people under 18 from getting into something they aren't necessarily prepared for.

Now people are out to villify Apple because they aren't going to let someone who has no legal liability from having access to their code. Apple is being smart in their actions. I'm sure they would love to have him work on their code but they can't ignore the liability they take on if they let him work on their code.

Re:Age discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223667)

Age discrimination is only illegal in America if applied to people over 40. The "anti-age discrimination" law discriminates on the basis of age. Sorry. It sucks.

Re:Age discrimination (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223677)

In order for him to download the code to work on the project he must agree to a contract (basically). Since he's under 18 he can't agree to it. It's the law..

Re:Age discrimination (1)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223690)

If he is under 18, then he isn't protected by age discrimination. Infact, unless you are somewhere between your late 40's to early 70's you can not claim age discrimination, as that range is the only protected group.
Check out the discrimination laws, if you don't fit into the categories they provide, then you aren't protected.

Re:Age discrimination (2, Informative)

Digitalia (127982) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223693)

Unfortunately, age discrimination only works for the upper end of the spectrum. As far as the government is concerned, minors are supposed to be disallowed many of the faculties adults are allowed, because they are not ready to responsibly make use of them. For the vast majority of minors, this is entirely true. Unfortunately, there are many minors who deserve these faculties. I know many 16 year old students who deserve the right to vote more than 36 year old adults, and I know many 17 year olds with more financial sensibility than your average adult. But thems the breaks, and businesses need to guard themselves against the potential ramifications of entering into contract with minors.

Re:Age discrimination (1)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223706)

How could this be? He is 15 years old. He can't even WORK. And being under 18, there are a lot of things such as legal contracts which DON'T apply to him, meaning that even if he signs them, they don't mean squat.

As stupid as Apple is being on this issue, it is well within their legal rights.


good (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223587)

We all know the under 18 coders are nothing but worthless l33t hax0r kiddies anyways.

Glad I am not involved (1)

jonknee (522188) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223589)

I have always wanted to get into darwin but never have gotten much farther than installing it and messing around for a few days. Glad I didn't get involved -I would have been VERY upset. I hope Apple embraces young talent in the future.

follow the bouncing ball (-1)

DirtyTroll (566579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223596)

Troll, troll, troll your goat.
Gently til it screams.
Hairily, hairily, hairily, hairily.
Break out the shaving cream.

Young coders are best (2, Interesting)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223598)

But a lot of coders, especially open source are very young (let's face it - they have more time and less responsibilities) plus young minds tend to be the most creative and brilliant before they become brainwashed by Micro$oft corporate values. Surely this is wrong.

Re:Young coders are best (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223615)

I was brainwashed by microsoft and served 2 years in jail for murdering my entire family.

Re:Young coders are best (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223659)

me too. I was obviously brainwashed by microsoft, because i purchased microsoft products for my company. Nevermind the fact that the linux and commercial competitor products weren't sufficient.

Props to the Aqua themed comments.

Re:Young coders are best (-1)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223640)

(Score: -1 Moron)
Don't be such a fucking tool.

Right...sort of... (5, Informative)

Cirrocco (466158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223601)

Apple is technically within their rights here, and it's even (arguably) a good idea. It's a shame that he can't contribute, but Apple needs to protect themselves from liability. Of course, they could accept his contributions via a proxy, I believe, and thus allow him his contributions. Still, it's a shame that we have to do this nowadays...

Gotta love contract law (4, Informative)

Ravensfire (209905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223603)

This sucks for the kid - but I can understand where Apple is coming from. Being a minor, NO contract he agrees to is valid - he could do anything he wanted to with whatever information he gets from Apple.

I understand the minor concept, and where it came from, but maybe this hard and fast rule needs to be reevaluated. But what would the criteria be?

Great Criteria (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223735)

I once had sex with a minor, and found out that it was a major violation. but she was young and sweet and it was worth becoming jail meat.

Legal Guardians (4, Insightful)

hotsauce (514237) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223736)

Can't his parents co-sign or something? I can't believe Apple Legal can't come up with something. They are not showing much concern for someone remarkable who has contributed so positively.

Parents or something (3, Offtopic)

nullard (541520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223742)

Maybe if the coder's parents signed, it would work. Also, certain states allow "removal of restrictions of nonage." This allows a minor to become a legal adult. In Florida, it just requires you to take your kid to the court house and sign some forms.

There must be some solution of ther than simply kicking the coder off the team. I didn't join ADC when I was under age, but I did write plenty of Mac programs. I don't see how throwing away young talent is a sound business practice.

Age Discrimination? (1)

xenotrope (86854) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223606)

While I understand the legal consequences of having a minor working for you, why does this matter in the tech industry? I'd think that they'd be the most likely to let the youngsters have a great experience. I'd have loved a chance like this when I was younger.

Re:Age Discrimination? (2)

Jmstuckman (561420) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223687)

Why does it matter what industry it is? If the boy can't enter a contract, he can screw Apple over with no consequences.

Re:Age Discrimination? (3, Informative)

zangdesign (462534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223697)

It's a legal thing - persons 18 and younger can't enter into certain types of contractual agreements. Plus, there's the whole privacy thing that doesn't allow companies to collect information on minors.

Since he's a minor, he has only a certain subset of the rights accorded to adults.

Re:Age Discrimination? (2, Interesting)

Cirrocco (466158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223718)

While I understand the legal consequences of having a minor working for you, why does this matter in the tech industry?

Because they can't legally be bound to a contract unless they are an emancipated minor. In short, if he wanted to take his code and do something else with it, Apple would have no recourse and could lose the whole operating system. I'll be the first to agree that this sucks, but contract law is the way it is for a good reason: it protects BOTH parties.

FIRST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223607)


Oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223609)

That's the law. 18 and under can't sign contracts. Why would Apple want that kind of liability?

Re:Oh well (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223676)

Yeah tell me about it. Once I tried to get a 15 yearold girl to sign a contract to be my sex slave, but they threw me in jail anyway. Hey! she agreed to it. But no, all the law cares about is the wellfare of the people, how shitty is that.

This is an outrage (4, Funny)

mosch (204) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223612)

This is an outrage! Finlay should not be punished for wanting to work at such a young age! He should be encouraged!

Oh, and btw Finlay, can you get me that re-licensed version of Darwin you said you'd get me, through that whole legal clause/age loophole? THe one where I'm the copyright owner?

Re:This is an outrage (1, Flamebait)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223654)

The problem is that he can't legally agree to any kind of contract if he's under 18, that's the law. Perhaps his parents can agree to it for him, that should be an acceptable solution.

Parents (2, Insightful)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223749)

This is the way to go. I hope that cooler heads prevail in this, because neither side is going about this the right way (Apple should have come forward to say - we like your work, lets talk about getting your parents involved in the contract. At the same time, this kid - who is really acting like one now - should not be putting up web sites slamming Apple for following the law).


Re:This is an outrage (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223658)

Is that loophole kinda like the slash-janitor reach around? Katz used my loophole and now it hurts =/

Re:This is an outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223686)

Apple Sucks, Steve is a prick!

Sure, but don't blame Apple... (1)

esome (166227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223701)

They're just covering their ass.

What about EULAs? (4, Interesting)

Foulman (552815) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223616)

Not bound to fine print eh.. does that mean he could do whatever he wanted with purchased software, ignoring EULAs since he's not bound?! perfect! reverse engineering and hacking for everybody!

Ok, so? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223617)

Legal is legal....what's the big deal? Someone has to look out for these things. I don't see the issue.

Re:Ok, so? (1)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223728)

WHY WHY WHY do all the lawyers seem to post as Anonymous Cowards? Is it some sort of legal liability thing? In that case I'd better tell you that software installed by your boss (transparent proxy e.g. squid, VNC, whatever) tracks what you post as anonymous coward as well as when you're logged in. You aren't buying yourself any anonymity. (We have to get rid of the anti-Napster peeps somehow ;-)

Unfortunatly the do have a right to do this. (2, Insightful)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223618)

Its not the brightest of solutions but they do need to protect themselves since he isn't legally able to agree to any legaleze. There are also laws about what information they man collect if someone is under 18 (and I don't see if he ever mentioned it before). Doesn't their signup form request an age ?

Was he getting paid? (1)

MonkeyBot (545313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223619)

It didn't look like he was getting paid for doing the work, so why is it even any of Apple's business how old the kid is?
Kids are getting better and better at programming at younger and younger ages...I'm kind of excited to see what the next generation of programmers comes up with, but at the same time, I'm kind of scared of some of these kids coming along and knocking me out of a job!

Why Linux Sucks: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223622)

I know that you linux zealots will flame this post but I don't care, you will prove me right as usual.

1. Linux installation sucks when you don't have the latest hardware.
I had to recompile the kernel for that stupid ISA Ethernet card to be seen by Redhad.

2. Startup trouble shooting sucks it is cryptic compared to windows and others.

3. Applications are rare, I cannot find lots of things that I enjoy on Windows.
I don't want to play games on Linux.

4. Sendmail sucks.

Any mail server on Windows even the freeware ones are as easy as 123 to configure without the scripting bullshit of send mail and compiling it again to support new modules.

5. Applications and user interface are so amatuerish that it is not funny at all.

6. No proper support for USB, it is still a hack and cannot have support to most of the USB hardware that I have.

7. Smaba sucks, installing it and configuring it takes hours.

8. The Whole attitude of the linux users proves that it is a plague, no help, no asistance, everyone is using it just to show off, just bunch of high school zealots with computers.

9. Javas support sucks.

10. No decent browser.
No I'm not willing to pay $49.99 for Opera, I have Internet Explorer on my Windows box and it is fantastic.

11. No decent account and home fininance package.

I could go on forever on this.

For servers it may be OK, but who cares, us home users don't need it, never will.

Re:Why Linux Sucks: (1)

MrHat (102062) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223685)

No I'm not willing to pay $49.99 for Opera, I have Internet Explorer on my Windows box and it is fantastic.

You probably paid about $49.99 for that too. Unless you stole it along with Windows.

Yeah, yeah. IHBT. I know. Whatever.

Re:Why Linux Sucks: (-1)

DirtyTroll (566579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223713)

Yawn. You bore me with your drivel.

Eye for an eye? (4, Insightful)

karot (26201) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223623)

I suggest he excercises his copyright on the code he has written until they change their minds...

Re:Eye for an eye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223702)

He'll have a bit of difficulty trying to revoke their license to use his code, not being of age and all.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223624)


Good move (1)

Digitalia (127982) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223625)

Apple's merely guarding their flank against potential impropriety. It might be worthwhile to see what relatively important open source developments have been released by minors. Though IANAL, if they're still undwer 18, they could break "contract" and recind Free access. Just think of the havoc this would cause of some of its code were integrated into a vital app, eh? Hoepfully this isn't too likely.

Re:Good move (2)

HiThere (15173) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223710)

Apple's merely guarding their flank against potential impropriety.

So this doesn't seem improper then? I don't know about how it looks to you, but while I can see arguments that they could make, it certainly appears improper to me.

16 years (2, Insightful)

AlexDeGruven (565036) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223626)

I thought you were legally able to sign contracts at 16, not 18. If I were him, I'd check on that.

Personally, let the kid code, obviously he's good. Get his parents to sign a guardian contract, I'm sure they're aware of his abilities, and it would make an excellent entry on a resume in the future.

time for a new identity (1)

scbomber (463069) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223627)

in cyberspace, nobody knows you're under 18

Child labor too, perhaps? (5, Interesting)

fgodfrey (116175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223628)

Apple probably has more to think about here than just "can this guy be held to the click-wrap license". There are laws in various states regulating labor for people under the age of 18. I know I had "fun" with this when I worked paid theater shows in high school. Since Apple is going to take this and sell it, couldn't his work be considered "child labor"?

This sounds like such a boneheaded descision, though, that it must have come from their legal department.

Re:Child labor too, perhaps? (1, Insightful)

KFury (19522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223683)

Since when is hobbyist programming 'labor'?

Soon you won't be able to build model planes because you're a minor and it's 'work.'

Re:Child labor too, perhaps? (2)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223692)

Sadly, this seems like the case.

While I don't like the idea of those under 18 getting cut off from the development cycle, all it would take is some over-ambitious state attorney to say "Hey, Apple's got this kid working on code - and he's not old enough to enter contracts" - and then Apple would have to get into court and explain to a bone-headed Judge and lawyer that the kid volunteered to help, nobody paid him, etc.

Sad the legal shit we have to do to protect our asses sometimes. (Like me - I have to wear a warning label at all times stating how wonderful I smell so women don't go into a sexual frenzy around me. I hate that label.)

Fuck legalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223631)

as an almost first post, i would like to say, fuck legalities.

What about his parents? (1)

alsta (9424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223632)

Can't a legal guardian sign an agreement with Apple?

Rules is Rules... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223634)

So what? Rules aren't made to be broken.

that sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223636)

well now that just sucks, doesn't it.

Sorry folks, it's the law. (3, Interesting)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223638)

Now with most laws, he could get his parents to sign the contract releasing such problems, but, he obviously violated the TOS. The government has said that anyone under 18 can't make decisions for themselves, and must have parental consent. Get that consent, problem solved.

Don't go ragging on Apple for this - if they weren't taking these steps, I'm sure a case could be made for child labour law violations.

Revenge... (0, Redundant)

SkyLeach (188871) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223639)

Apple has publically admitted he is not bound by the agreement.

He could GPL all the code on his disk and screw Apple if he wanted.

programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223642)

A lot of programmers these days get their start young. Its no suprise that he is under 18, but I think Apple should allow for parents to be able to give permission. After all, lots of people under 18 have credit cards, which require more responsibility than programming.

Finlay Dobbie.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223645)

becomes 1337 h4x0r. Introduces OS X virus, crushing Apple Mac systems world wide.

Film at 11:00

Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223646)

Steve blows Goats(tm).

let someone "hold his hand" (1)

augros (513862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223647)

why can't he have a legal guardian perform the legal actions in his name? isn't that normal? i would think apple would do this unless they want a very ticked, intelligent group of minors seeking to rot them to the core.

Minors and Contracts (1)

_J_ (30559) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223648)

IANAL, but if memory serves any contract involving a minor is non-binding. The only way it could be binding is if the contract were made on the minor's behalf by a legal guardian. That being said this should be obtainable for Finlay Dobbie.

But this brings up an important question in my mind - should we be getting minors to buy and install all our software? Would that allow us to ignore all the click-through licences?

IMHO, as per


Re:Minors and Contracts (1)

x24 (81159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223743)

But this brings up an important question in my mind - should we be getting minors to buy and install all our software? Would that allow us to ignore all the click-through licences?

You'd probably be brought up on charges of contributing to the delinquancy of a minor.

Legality - under-18 - and the big BUT... (3, Informative)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223651)

I get why they are doing this. I mean lets be honest here. Apple is a smart company. They want to have the best people working on their projects.

At the same time, they also have legal issues which they have to deal with. Which is what this under 18 issue is all about. Now this is in no way age discrimination. Many different things could be argued about the whole issue of being under age etc. Basically when it comes to certain contracts and stuff, if you are under 18 they don't apply to you (why do you think there are so many web sites that say - if you are under 18, you need parents permission?).

IMHO Apple needs to get some sense. They obviously have a talented programmer on their hands, why not have his parents get in on the deal (ie - they sign the agreement) while he is under 18, and when he is legal, THEN let him do this on his own.


Xenu for President! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223652)

The head of the Galactic Confederation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here) (founded 95,000,000 yrs ago, very space opera) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet) -- 178 billion average) by mass implanting. He caused people to be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H Bomb on the principal volcanoes (Incident 2) and then the Pacific area ones were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic Area ones to Las Palmas and there "packaged." His name was Xenu. He used renegades. Various misleading data by means of circuits etc. were placed in the implants. When through with his crime Loyal Officers (to the people) captured him after 6 years of battle and put him in an electronic mountain trap where he still is. "They" are gone. The place (Confed.) has since been a desert.

I kinda understand (1)

binaryslave (560472) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223655)

I can see where Apple is coming from on this point. However, I think that they should just wait until the kid turns 18 then give him back his membership and let him become a contibutor

Stupid, but not unusual. (2)

yakfacts (201409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223656)

Back in the 1980s, many companies were willing to work with

The day when being a great programmer was the top priority may be gone. Now the first concerns are all legal issues.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223661)

Makes sense to me. Apple is acting appropriately. The kid can still contribute through an intermediary until he turns 18. If they require a contract to access their materials then all participants need to meet the requirements of the contract.

Big Deal (1)

dlb (17444) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223664)

While I can't blame apple for canning him, I think their method was a bit sketchy and aloof.

On the other hand, welcome to corporate America, kiddo. Life sucks, wear a helmet.

The problem isn't with Apple (5, Insightful)

lw54 (73409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223668)

because he's under 18, he can't be legally bound to the small-print agreement.

The problem isn't with Apple. It's with the US legal system. I've never been a fan of Apple but don't punish them for something that isn't their fault. Instead of griping to Apple, gripe to your congressional representatives on how current laws are stifling our countries competitiveness on a global scale.

Re:The problem isn't with Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223750)

Yeah, I'd much rather have American child labor than shipping my manufacturing overseas to Maylasian child labor. At least Americans speak English, so I wouldn't have to yell as loud when I beat them and threaten to cut their %.06 cents per day in half for not maintaining a quota.

get parents sig? (1)

Acoustic_Nowhere (521733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223669)

Maybe he could work something out with Apple where his parents sign for him?

What about licenses? (2, Interesting)

aberkvam (109205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223671)

Apple has a point here. In most places minors can not enter into legally binding agreements. This brings up an interesting point. What about licenses like the GPL [] , the Artistic License [] , or the Apache License [] , to name a few. If a minor releases software under one of these licenses, do the licenses apply or are they invalid since the minor can't enter into a legal agreement? How does the law treat a minor's ability to control how their work is treated?

Can't they get authorization through parents? (1)

nufsaid (230318) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223672)

Although he can't be held legally
to the contract, surely his parents
or legal guardians can be?

I'm tired of having no rights! (0)

davidmccabe (516209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223673)

What the subject says...children simply have *zero* human rights in America. They are treated like dirt most often. <mocking> And then we turn 18 and we *magicly* become competent, intelligent humans (and citizens) who can take care of are selves.</mocking>

Did you know that it is illegal to even be employed until one is 15 years old? I used to get all kinds of great job offers for Java development, only to be forced to turn them down because I live in this "free" country that doesn't *ever* discriminate against anyone.

Apple is being stupid altogether. And so are most people in the world, and it's not correct!

hrm (2)

gtx (204552) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223674)

i fail to see how apple's covering their own ass is really all that bad. sure, they may have been a bit heavy-handed, but they were only doing what any sane entity would do to avoid a possible legal fiasco

Re:hrm (1)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223725)

But, Apple had already worked with him previously, and he *had* an agreement with them that his parents signed for, and they were OK with it.

But the ADC is a different "department" of Apple, and decided to cut him off, without any warning or checking for prior arrangements.

Co-signer for NDA? (4, Interesting)

kdgarris (91435) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223678)

Couldn't a parent or guardian co-sign the NDa agreement to make it legally valid?


Have his parents sign? (1)

Kizzle (555439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223680)

Could'nt apple work somthing out to where his parents signed some stuff instead of him? this this mac section is realy macish looking :)

bad string of luck for under 18's (1)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223694)

This of course just happened after being denied access to a 18 and over dance club.

I remeber thinking everything will be great when I'm 18, I can buy smokes, go into tity bars, drive.

Than when 18 comes, man I can't wait until I'm 21, than I can drink anywhere I want, man life will finally be good when I'm twenty one. But it just never comes true!!!

But don't worry, I bet everything will be great when your finally old enought to code. :-)

What do you want them to do? (1)

mmusn (567069) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223700)

There are all sorts of legal problems both the open source Darwin project and Apple could get into if they accepted his code.

However, what they could (and should) do is have one of his parents sign the license agreements and other legal agreements.

Does this mean the same for all EULA (3, Interesting)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223705)

It seems that this could set quite a precedent for a lot of kiddies to abuse any EULA for almost anything.

What a great time to be under 18... no restrictions on your software usage, it would be unenforceable!

Typical CYA (3, Insightful)

Visigothe (3176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223714)

Apple is just trying to cover their own colective arses. Here's the deal, say some sub-18 year old kid decideds to take/steal someone else's code [from work, from a friend, etc.] and then submits this code to Apple. Apple likes the code, so it gets included in the Darwin source. Later it is found that the code is actually the IP of aome other company, Apple gets litigated into oblivion, as the code is sitting right out in the open. Apple has no recourse on the sub-18 year old kid.

Apple is not evil, they are just covering their own arse. Yes, I do agree that kids under 18 should be allowed to contribute, but the problem is that Apple is a corp. They need some way to make sure they are protected. "Signing" a document is a good way to do that. Falsly filling out a form is not a solution, it just makes matters worse. this like 17 year old drug dealers ? (2, Troll)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223716)

Does that mean that next time i want an oracle installation I can benchmark I should have 16 year old install it sho he isnt bound by the terms.

This is STUPID on apples part, this guy showed an affinity and a brightness devoted to apple. They have now alienated him to some degree.

Now that said , if he isnt legally bound by the terms, He could RE-Liscence the code he already wrote and Apple would be forced to remove it.

Thats it lets alienate our developer base.
I asked for certain GPL code, modified by Apple and had a hell of a time getting it (no it wassnt on FTP and per GPL didnt need to be, but I litterally had to talk to their legal dept before getting the code sent to me through the written offer clause)

Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223717)

Well, at least Apple folks are admitting that it is only because he can't be held accountable to the fine print that (presumably) they need to hold the "contributer" community to. This really is not age discrimination by Apple, but is by the judicial system (contract law statutes). What Apple should do, however, to preclude this kind of bad press, is go forward with some kind of honorary status for this kid, and find a way to hire him (which would presumably bind him a bit). Obviously some morons at Apple were responsible for dealing with this.

Understanding Apple's claim is one thing, but is that claim correct? Just because he is under 18, is it true that he cannot be bound by the fine print? I can easily argue both sides of any issue, so I'll stop now and argue later.

Parents? Hello? (1, Redundant)

KFury (19522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223723)

Get the parents to sign. They can assume liability and he can go ahead and code.

For pushing so hard to get Macs in schools, it seems counterproductive to then say 'yes, but you can't do anything meaningful with them.'

Typical Apple Behaviour (1)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3223726)

Unfortunately, Apple behaves this way a lot - getting people into their products, then taking them off at the knees - at least in the figurative sense (but if Jobs could do it, it would be literally too).

This person should see if his code will be included in Darwin - and if it will be, get it taken out, as it's the product of an illegal contract Apple cancelled. Apple can't profit from it, even if (BIG IF) he may have obscured his age to get initial access to the source code, which is not evident in this case.

Personally, I would love to have someone as talented working for me - and I would do my best to see that any contract I extended to him/her would be legal and enforceable.

Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223733)

Couldn't they just pair him with a coder that IS over 18 to check over and take legal responsibility for his code contributions?

symptom of a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223741)

Although this sucks, Apple is not the problem. Let's look at the legal system that brings this about. In the meantime, anyone want to act as a proxy?

Go out and make some friend instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3223745)

... or go out and play a sport.

Almost as bad as an 8 year old kid playing everquest.
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