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Response to the APSL

justin++ posted more than 15 years ago | from the even-more-apple-stuff dept.

Apple 347

Bruce Perens has written a response to Apple's Public Source License (APSL). The essay discusses reasons why the license does not consitute an open source license (ala the Debian Free Software Guidlines (DFSG) or the Open Source Definition (OSD)). The essay has been endorsed by the Debian Project Leader (Wichert Akkerman), and Ian Jackson, president of SPI. Many people, including myself, feel that one of the biggest threats to the free software community is almost-free software.

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347 comments

Spot the EGO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974793)

"we hope that Apple can address these issues to everyone's satisfaction. "

Replace 'everyone' with 'bruce'

Quitters never win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974794)

It should be pointed out that this is a joint
statement on behalf of Debian, and Bruce is
only one of the signatories.

He's right though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974795)

Bruce's proclamation was at least partially about trying to make Eric look stupid.

SSDD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974796)

WAR!
It used to be said that Amiga fans made Mac Fans look like Windows fans.
In their war of attrition against the Enemies of the Revolution, Slashdot Linux fans make Amiga fans look like Windows fans.

This whole Apple brouhaha brings to mind once again the writings of Mao Tse-tung:
"Attack dispersed, isolated enemy forces first; attack concentrated, strong enemy forces later."

Is he a quitter, or just not an egomaniac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974797)

RMS has generally taken a stand that is considered very anti-commercial. ESR stands on the opposite end, and has proven himself as willing to be buddy-buddy with the large corporations. Both (RMS and ESR) have their view of "the way things should be" at stake.

Amidst all of this, I see Bruce being quite logical, carefully analyzing each case as it comes up, rather than immediate rejection (RMS) or immediate acceptance (ESR). He has offered ways that Apple's "open source" license can be improved, and IMHO probably has made the best contribution of ideas..

Termination clause IS bad news. The rest is OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974798)

I think that the license termination clause needs some work.

The bit about returning modifications is wierd tho. I don't think you can enforce something that is impossible because the company ain't there any more. It just isn't your fault that this URL don't exist.



RedHat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974799)

Actually RedHat is almost as strict about only free software as Debian but not quite. Caldera and SuSE are MUCH worse and they include that evil DE, KDE.

Forgetting something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974800)

Are we forgetting something?
Apple has been developing closed systems since the company's inception. This is an old dog trying to learn new tricks. I, personally, give them mad props for taking a step in this direction. They're being very cautious right now, they have to be. If you stop bashing them they may actually go further, instead of deciding that the Open Source movement is just a bunch of Linux snobs and not worth their time. It sounds to me like these so-called open source advocates are a little closed minded. That's just my opinion.

Pseudo-OSS a threat? No, ignorance is the threat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974801)

As long as everyone KNOWS the license is pseudo-OSS, I don't see what the trouble is. It would be an obvious problem, though, if somebody wrote an add-on for some code thinking the code was OSS when it was not. ESR has just contributed to this problem. Oops.

This is why standard, widely-used licenses like the GPL and the BSD license are cool. Such are much better than a "rubber stamp" that goes on all sorts of licenses (like "open source.") A standard license is always the same thing, verbatim; a stamped license still has to be read word-for-word, even if the stamp is correctly applied.

You can point Apple's error out to them, but it's their license. If they choose not to change it, it's their choice -- and in that case, before you write add-ons, keep the license's differences in mind. It might be worth it anyway, or it might not. Watch Apple's stock and judge for yourself.

(Of course, I rarely write addons to other people's code; I prefer to write my own code. Then _I_ can set the terms of the license.)

-- An Ayn-onymous coward

Forgetting something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974802)

Don't expect any "Well actually now that you put it that way I think Apple is trying to do a good thing..." type responses...

hypocrites.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974803)

The greatest enemy? Ourselves, ya' morons.

Freedomware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974804)

I call it Freedomware

Well put. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974805)

Not much more to say.

Then again, I'd like to point out most /.er's can't agree on the possibility that the sun will be coming up tomorrow or not.

I'm enjoying watching everyone whiping themselves into such a wild flury, trying to bash apple more, or give them a pat on the back. Or both.

God forbid apple make a right move.

He's right though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974806)

>Bruce's proclamation was at least partially about trying to make Eric look stupid.

...as though Eric needs any help with this.

Netscape a pioneer, IBM a hero, Apple sux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974807)

I couldn't agree more with these sentiments.

If you don't like the license then don't touch the code.

PUT UP or SHUT UP.

Apple has made an effort - if encouraged they will do more in the future. If we throw it back in their faces they're going to stop.

Netscape a pioneer, IBM a hero, Apple sux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974808)

finally a voice of reason in here..

RMS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974809)

This proves that RMS is better than ESR

ceiling fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974810)

I kind of liked the Amiga community circa 1986; they were excited about their computers to the point of being zelots, but they didn't have all the social/idealogical baggage dragging along behind them.

We can help them fix the APSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974811)

Flamming aside, this is exactly what companies need. Our help.

Did everyone think big companies would get it all righ the first time out? I hope not. It will take trial and error to get big companies to fit nicely within this new culture. :)

do not fret... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974812)

Hopefully a less socialist Open Source movement will spring up around Apple, and those of us more interested computers than minding other people's business can get back to hacking.

Now what do we do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974813)

Because it is fact that the license can be terminated, revoking our right to use any of the code we create for this OS, it is stupid to even write any code for it. This is just apples to attempt to 1.) jump on the latest publicity band wagon via semi-opening their source, and 2.) get the open source community to write code for them. Simple case of this stunt being best of both worlds for Apple.

My suggestion is to simply to write code for this garbage semi open source release.

unless apple changes the termination clause dramatically or removes it completely, i for one will stick with Debain GNU/Linux and GNU/Hurd

Requested modifications are small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974814)

The requested modifications are small.

What is the problem?

Now what do we do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974815)

damnit i ment to NOT write code for it

good essay, other issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974816)

The whole reason for apple wanting the bazaar is for free development of OS X. The reason the bazaar works is because the developers still own the rights to their hard work. In fact, everybody owns to rights to their hard work. With apple's license, the bazaar won't work because the developers don't own the rights to their own work, apple does.

So, in the end, don't worry about it. It doesn't matter if the users don't know the difference between almost-free software and free software. The developers do know, and it's the developers that make the whole system work. The system will correct itself. Nobody is going to contribute their hard work just to have apple own the rights to it, and in the end, apple will be forced to change the license.

Look what happened to Qt. It was almost free, and it has been forced to evolve into a free license in order to survive against the religious ferver over gtk, and impossible competition with the likes of Harmony. They are lucky they changed their license before Harmony got off the ground, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to compete.

How long do you think it will be before a GPL'd clone of all the non-free stuff in OS X is available. I bet their is a project already started...

/. should Inform, Involve, Inspire...and Evolve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974817)

I could not disagree more with you and your post on this Rob. I'm not a strong Apple supporter, nor am I a Linux uber-alles kinda guy.

However, I understand your passion for wanting to protect the interests of the free-software movement. But the conflicts of ESR, RMS and their differing opinions and organizations are doing more to harm the movement than good.

The free software must find a way to involve the economic reality of our world. Software programmers who love to program should be set free to do so. They also need to eat. This is why Microsoft has so many programmers. You never go hungry working for MSFT.

The open source community must evolve beyond such premadonna attitudes and embrace newcomers. Especially newcommers with a lot to add. The Mozilla liscense will likely be modified by AOL to include this. IBM includes this. These are corporations reacting to change. They are taking small steps...and it is the responsibility of organiztions like /. to welcome them and help them move towards a common ground.

The world will not become a programmers paradise where all the software is open source. People need to make a living. Within those constraints there is common ground. I certainly hope that /.'ers move towards finding it.

the "baggage" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974818)

It is that "baggage" that will sustain Linux.

For god's sake unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974819)

If you look at the SPI web page, it says that the "OpenSource" trademark is managed by ESR. If ESR told Apple their license is OpenSource, then that is good enough. If ESR and BP get into a tiff every time some commercial company releases some source code, then the name will become meaningless very fast. It is only a matter of time before people start inventing new "Free Software" terms. "Software Libre" anyone?

I am not arguing that APSL is good or bad. I am arguing that the self-proclaimed leaders of our community need to get their shit together.

Ken

/. censorship is getting worse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974820)

By the time you read this, it'll be gone!

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974821)

It's ok for Apple to license their software as they want, but it's not ok to claim it's open-source when it's clearly not. ESR doesn't seem to care either about free software or OSD, but just support companies to make their code semi-free...

CENSORSHIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974822)

I guess the powers that be didn't like my comment about crayons and shrink-wrapped redhat boxes.

And I guess they're coke drinkers too...

Open Source Whiners. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974823)

Welcome to the real world. Not everyhting is perfect.

I'm just glad the source is out there, legally. It's Apple's code, they can distribute it how they please. There's nothing wrong with Apple closing up the tree if they want to. It's their product, they've spent millions in development (Well NeXT did at least), they want to make sure that open source additions to the code are in line with their business plan, and they want to make sure that competitors cannot take advantage of them. They ARE out to make money, they answer to their stockholders, not the Open Source community. You dont agree? Dont work on the projects.

This whole thing is very simple. Can you obtain the source legally at no cost? Then it's "Open". Are you forced to operate without source code due to rewstrictive licenses and prohibitive pricing? Then it's "Closed". Everything else is splitting philisophical hairs. You dont agree? Dont work on the projects.

The ASPL is likely the future of software, a compromise which allows the company to still retain control, but allowing users hands on input into the future of the product. You dont agree? Dont work on the projects.

Sensible Bruce, Crazy AC's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974824)

Destroyed? Sensible?

~heavy long exagerated sigh~

If OSI can withstand the IBM liscense, it can withstand Apple's.

Your comment makes me wonder about the religious zealotry of software lovers..."If the community does not do exactly what has been done here we will be destroyed."

Can you not evolve or are you a creationist (~grin~)? Or do you want to eat soup and hang out in college the rest of your life? Apple and IBM are trying to find a way to make money and incorporate the concepts of the open source movement. This is attempt number one. Your reactions will determine if there are more. They are trying to evolve.

Perhaps you should as well.

Short, Precise and to the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974825)

I liked this one. I like my Debian also :)
Was kind of tired of all those blaoted, fluffy
articles in the media. ( especialy the idiotic
"fight RMS" war cry that is getting fashionable )

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974826)

but it's not ok to claim it's open-source when it's clearly not.

It clearly is open source. It's just not Open Source (TM).

You do keep ownership of the code! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974827)

"(a) You hereby grant to Apple and all third parties a non-exclusive, royalty-free license, under Your Applicable Patents and other intellectual property rights owned or controlled by You, to use, reproduce, modify, distribute and Deploy Your Modifications of the same scope and extent as Apple's licenses under Sections 2.1 and 2.2; and"

IOW, it's just saying that any code you submit can be used, distributed, and modified by everyone, but you still own the copywrite. Just like the GPL. Nowhere does it say that Apple gains ownership of your code.

GPL for privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974828)

The GPL was specifically constructed to preserve privacy. You don't have to disclose more widely than you distribute.

For god's sake unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974829)


When it comes to Free Software, "Almost Free" is
worthless. And that is what Open Source (tm)
allows. Open Source(tm) is and always was a Bad
Idea. Get back to the Free Software roots that
have served us so well to this point. We don't
need to change for the corporate world. The
corporate worls is what needs changing.

Anon.

And so does information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974830)

People have the right to talk about it.
It is called freedom of speech. Yes everyone
is free to write his/her licence but
also those who forsee problems with it
are free to tell the _others_.
If you don't like it then _don't_listen !
No one forces you to listen.
( I thought even kids new that. Hm... )

/. should Inform, Involve, Inspire...and Evolve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974831)

The Economic reality is in the middle ground. You dont have to work for MS to make money off of MS software, and you dont have to work for Apple to make money off of the Mac. Apple has the advantage now that people who work on their products have the ability to improve them rather than just swearing at them. These people will continue to make monbey in the current roles, but their power has been increased.

not really okay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974832)

It is about politics. ESR and RMS have been sparring for a while now. And the goals of the open-source movement have suffered as a result.

Apple has already spent a great sum of money bringing the code this far. They have an economic interest that far outweighs that of a single programmer--a legal responsiblity to the stockholders of AAPL.

The changes requested are not realistic when considered from that light. Perhaps as the world grows it may be so. But the best way for Jobs to lose that interim title would be to release all their software free to the world shortly before a stockholder meeting.

As ESR stated in the linux world article, "capitalism and the hacker gift culture are learning how to complement and support each other."

They are learning. /.'ers should learn as well.

Open Source != Free Software, but OSD = DFSG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974833)

Yeah, but Open Source Definitions are same as
Debian Free Software Guidelines. So, program
can't be Open Source(R) without also being
free software as we know it.

You dont't deserve Apples code! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974834)

If the audience here is any indication of the Open Source community in general then Apple shouldn't have bothered releasing their code. I've never seen such an ungratefule, intolerant, ignorant and openly hostile bunch of people in my whole life.

Talk about casting pearls before pigs!

Well DUH-HHHH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974835)

>Ummm. You should remember that fanaticism is NOT a good thing. It usually leads
>to closed mindedness.

That was the point of my post. Where would you get the idea my comparing /.er's to the notorious zealotry of the Amiga faction and dictator Mao Tse-tung was intended as a compliment? Clue up, chum.

Cynical /.'s (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974935)

http://macweek.zdnet.com/1999/03/14/opensource.htm l

Developers can alter the kernel in any way they wish -- including making it Windows-compatible -- as long as they make their changes public.

The open-source movement refers to software such as Linux, which allows developers to freely add their own features on top of underlying technology. Open-source is a threat to companies including Microsoft, who consider their software code the company's life's blood, to be protected at all cost. Jobs was joined onstage by open-source advocates including Eric Raymond, who wrote "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," the white paper that prompted Netscape Communications Corp. to make its browser code public.

"We see that Apple really gets it," Raymond said, adding that he hopes the move will encourage other operating-system makers to join the open-source movement, "so eventually it will all be free." The company is also considering open-source plans for other products, possibly including the newest Macintosh operating system, Mac OS X, due later this year. But Jobs would not disclose those plans.

Chew on that, ya cynical bastards.

Cynical /.'s (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974936)

I agree that the ends are admirable. And certainly all software being semi-free would probably be better than all software being fully closed. But if we let Apple blur the distinction at this still early point in the Open Source / Free software movement (note: I don't give a shit what you call it, nor if you're a coding hacker hippie or a neo-technocapitalist), then we may defeat the idea of free software before it really catches on in the mainstream. The point is that while Apple has made a big step in the right direction, why not prod them a bit more, and explain to them that their licensing terms need to be tweaked. Then they will serve as a better model for other companies who will look to follow their lead.

Fnkmaster
gabriel@fas.harvard.edu

Keep a clear cut position (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1974937)

I agree with Bruce and Justin that ESR may have gone too far on this one. By not allowing Jikes to be Open Source, but allowing APSL to be, he's made the term meaningless. Since Open Souce appears to be whatever Eric says, he is acting no less arbitrarily than a despot. Perhaps that was why Bruce left opensource.

The clearest threat to Free Software is disolving the term to such an extent that it is meaningless. This will result in no one working on the "open source" and companies deciding it was a bad approach. The chance we would have had to change the way in which we all work would have been lost forever. Better stick with a strong radical position like RMS's which at least is clear than to have a politically swayed realpolitik position which is more business friendly, but will only result in failure [britannia.com]

APSL v GPL (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974950)

Section 7 of the GPL terminates your right to distribute a program with contested code. Section 9.1 of the APSL terminates your right to use a program with contested code. There's a very big difference between the two.

Just think, if anyone makes a claim against Apple, they have the option to, on a whim, invalidate all of their userbase. If they feel they tire of being Open Source, they can release a new version under a solidly closed license, and convince someone to make a claim against the open version. Bingo, everyone goes from having a nice almost open-source system, to having to pay for a proprietary upgrade just to use their machine legally. All derivative works would likewise be killed.

This is not nitpicking, this is a clause that keeps the software from being Free. While I like Apple, they are a corporation. That means that their first responsibility is to their shareholders. That means if they are not contractually bound to do the right thing, there is always a risk that they may later decide to do the wrong thing. I don't trust them not to take advantage of the loophole they left for themselves here.

If they want to call themselves Open Source, they need to follow the rules.

Are things confusing enough? (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974960)

Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

1) ESR said the APSL is Open Source (tm).

2) Bruce said it isn't.

3) Who owns the trademark?

4) What has RMS said about the Freeness of the APSL?

5) If I see one more /. article pitting ESR against BP, I am dropping BOTH and going with RMS. It's getting so that he is the only NON-crazy one.

APSL not perfect,but a step in the right direction (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974961)

Posted by PUGfounder:

I can see how many do not agree with Apple's Public Source License (APSL). This is a huge leap for Apple. The company has for so long been considered totally proprietary. I agree this is not perfect open source, but I feel this is a huge step in the right direction for Apple.

APSL (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974962)

Posted by mkultra:


As an outsider, it seems to me that the Linux community is losing itself among letter of the law definitions, instead of the ideals.

Now I am not clear about all of this, but if the problem is that certain files in the package distributed by Apple are also filed under GPL, then why not use Apple's files when you need them and the GPL files in other cases, and just avoid the whole mess of Open Source.

An old saying:
"Don't kick a gift horse in the teeth."

mkultra
"The answers you seek are the ones you destroy."
-Collective Soul (or Heisenberg)

good essay, other issues (1)

Erik Hollensbe (808) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974963)


Fine, so the Apple liscence isn't 100% pure Open-source-free-as-in-free-speech, but should we be criticizing a company that is opening its code up?

Yes! This dilutes what OSS and Free Software are defined as, and other companies are going to be quick to follow.

Sure ideally it would be nice to have it all GPL'd, but isn't this better than what we had?

NO! I would rather have Apple release no code than to release it, to have tons of programmers work hard on it to have their work squandered by a compnay that's possibly looking to essentially "hire programmers for free".

Note: I'm not accusing them of this (yet), but when stuff like this appears, I tend to be rather cautious.

What does it serve to condemn apple for taking a step in the right direction. And I know that this will certainly help groups like LinuxPPC open up the Mac platform to other OSes.

Apple is taking a step in the right direction, but they are doing it wrong. No one is denying that Apple is trying to do the right thing, but they are venturing into unknown territory, and we need people like Bruce and RMS and ESR to keep these guys on their toes.

If Apple changes their licence they can at least be guaranteed that I'll be purchasing a PPC in the future, if not MacOS X also. (and I have never been the biggest mac fan, but I'm interested)

I'm imagining i'm not the only one who feels this way, and I believe that Apple is counting on that, so, hopefully they'll change their license.

-Erik-

Thank goodness (1)

jabbo (860) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974968)

I almost posted a colossal flame of Apple's pseudOpen-Source license yesterday. I almost questioned my Debian installation today -- why shouldn't I just be like everyone else and use RedHat? Why try and give back to the community, even if at present it's only by beta testing (at least as far as Debian goes)?

This would be why.

Nature finds a way (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974971)

So much panic.

So much deliberation.

In these two de-facto rules of the community lies the essence of the movement and the expression of its freedom.

1) The Coder (Apple) has the right to liscence how it wishes.
2) If we don't like it we don't have to use it, we just have to code something else.

A third law might be, termination clauses "aren't". Nothing makes me have to check the site before I use it to see if it was terminated. Nothing in the code self destructs at agiven order from the central command.
^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^~ ~^~

Netscape a pioneer, IBM a hero, Apple sux? (1)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974975)

Give.

Me.

A.

Break.

The very first company to throw open the underpinnings of its OS to public scrutiny, and you guys go beserk with condemnation. Great way to encourage companies to open up. I have long since lost my patience with the Open/Free/Slashdot crowd. The end result that will be embraced by developers is -not- software you don't have to pay for...but they will show you how it works if you are willing to show them how to make it better. This is a trade-off...the only other option is for Apple to clamp down and give -NOTHING- back to the development community.

Regarding the first point: the license under which Mach and other components integrated into MacOS X Server specifically permit anyone to use the code for any purpose and slap whatever license on it they see fit. Not apple's fault...blame the original project leads. Kind of like how Sun appropriated BSD code for its own proprietary OS.

Regarding the second point: IBM and Apple needed to do this in order to avoid humoungous lawsuits. Like with Netscape and IBM, MacOS X developers do -not- own their code, and the only reasons to code for it is to add features to MacOS X the developer wants/needs.

Like it or not, Apple published its source code. This makes it open source regardless of whether or not you lie the license, whether or not you like the Mac, or whether or not you like Apple. It is a step in the right direction, and should be encouraged. The alternative is -not- totally free software from a major coporate developer, but -NO- source code made available at all, to anyone, for any reason.

Apple doesn't -have- to do shit. They can leech off open licenses as much as they like, and not give anything at all back. They -chose- to make available, for free, detailed source code of the changes they made to Mach, BSD, etc. Thet should be applauded for making this choice, and encouraged to do more.

Encouragement != nasty bitching and infighting between open source advocates of minutae of the description of "open source". Encouragement is downloading a copy, hacking around with it, and showing Apple that opening up the source code even more would be benefiial for you -and- them.

Timne for all of you college kids to grow the %&$# up

SoupIsGood Food.

Sensible Bruce, Crazy AC's (1)

Dave W (1310) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974981)

This message by the top people at Debian and Bruce is entirely correct and consistant. It makes the points clearly.

The point at which companies try to move into free software/open source with their own license is a very critical one. If the community does not do exactly what has been done here we will be destroyed.

Bruce, is definately a flitter and not a sticker. However, Wichert and Ian are (with lots of others) doing a great job on Debian. It was sensible of Bruce to get their backing.

The sad thing is some of the AC comments here.I respect the need for AC's to allow people to take part in a way that does not threaten their careers, but how come so many of them have nothing between their ears?

Dave

Good point (1)

Dave W (1310) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974982)

IMHO Bruce has a better balance here. But if you are not going to be balanced then I prefer RMS to ESR - it's safer.

Dave

Quitters never win. (1)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974986)

Bruce, if your concern for free software exceeded your impetuosity, you wouldn't have quit OSI. If your concern for the "free software" name (which you claimed as a reason to quit OSI) exceeded your desire for recognition as important, you wouldn't keep attaching the OSI name to yours.

One thing that can be said for ESR and RMS is that they're loyal to what they believe in.

I thought the OSI validated it as Open Source (1)

timur (2029) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974988)

Doesn't the OSI own the trademark for "Open Source". Isn't Eric Raymond the president of the OSI? Didn't Eric Raymond validate the APSL as Open Source? If so, then what more is there? As far as I'm concerned, if the OSI says it's Open Source (TM), then it's Open Source (TM)!!!!

--
Timur Tabi
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OSI's Position Merely an Opinion (1)

Brian Ristuccia (2238) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974991)

OSI is not the registrant of the Open Source certification mark, so OSI's position on Apple's use of the Open Source mark is merely an opinion.
In the end, the decision on whether to allow the use of the Open Source mark will be made by the registrant, Software in the Public Interest.

Open Source trademark is not registered to OSI (1)

Brian Ristuccia (2238) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974992)

Doesn't the OSI own the trademark for "Open Source".

No.

Isn't Eric Raymond the president of the OSI?

Yes.

Didn't Eric Raymond validate the APSL as Open Source?

Yes.

If so, then what more is there?

OSI is not the registrant of the Open Source certification mark, so OSI's position on Apple's use of the Open Source mark is merely an opinion. In the end, the decision on whether to allow the use of the Open Source mark will be made by the registrant, Software in the Public Interest.

As far as I'm concerned, if the OSI says it's Open Source (TM), then it's Open Source(TM)!!!

Entirely not true. OSI can not grant others the right to use the Open Source mark because this is something only the registrant can do. The Open Source mark is registered to Software in the Public Interest, not OSI.

Source Code Alone Does Not Make it Open Source (1)

Brian Ristuccia (2238) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974993)

Like it or not, Apple published its source code. This makes it open source regardless of whether or not you lie the license, whether or not you like the Mac, or whether or not you like Apple.

Availability of source code alone does not make a program Open Source. In order to be able to use the Open Source mark, Apple must make its license compatible with certain guidelines. See the Debian Free Software Guidelines [debian.org] or the Open Source Definition [opensource.org] for details.

The Open Source mark is registered to Software in the Public Interest, and ultimately the SPI board will decide whether or not Apple is permitted to use it.

good essay, other issues (1)

jfm3 (2260) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974994)

we sure as hell should criticize apple

the only thing worse than overtly closed software is software that is almost open

it is not better than what we had

I still can't fix it if it breaks

if I do I can't share my changes with my friends forever, that right is in jeapordy

so why fix it?

why not just tell apple to fix it instead?

that kinda kills the whole dang thing

Netscape a pioneer, IBM a hero, Apple sux? (1)

jfm3 (2260) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974995)

If Netscape got it right, why should we accept that Apple is screwing it up?

BE VERY CAREFUL

Apple may just want 10,000 developers for free but still be able to take the code and close it in a few years.

are you sure their license wouldn't allow that?

Free (1)

jfm3 (2260) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974996)

it will be free when I can manufacture and sell a macosx clone

I don't see that I can do that

somebody correct me

please

Let's see. (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974997)

One: You have to notify Apple of any changes you make. What the hell is the matter with that? Last I checked, certain other licenses which have been classified as Open-Source make you contact the maintainers when you do make changes to the code.
Two: The termination clause. Not the greatest, but if you're trying to use the code in an illegal manner (which this basically covers) then why doesn't the maintainer of a project have a right to correct the problem?

NOT: Spot the EGO (1)

gstein (2577) | more than 15 years ago | (#1974998)

what's your problem?

I'm glad that he has taken the time to do a careful analysis and prepare a well thought out response. By doing this, he is helping all of us. He's also quite in the right to point out that Eric was wrong when he said the thing was OSD-compliant.

thx Bruce!

not plagiarism (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975009)

Apple added its license and copyright without removing the other licenses and copyrights that had already been applied to the files (in most cases the BSD license). So they have not plagiarized, but you still have to comply with all of the licenses on the file just because Apple stuck a notice on it.

Thanks

Bruce

too bad Bruce left OSI. (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975020)

I left after Eric overruled the entire board on another issue. From my discussions with them, it does not appear my vote would have mattered in this issue, and had I remained on the board I would not have been free to comment on the APSL as I have.

Thanks

Bruce

hypocrites.org (1)

drig (5119) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975027)

I don't understand. I didn't see any reference to enemies in Bruce's article. He merely pointed out some technical flaws and encouraged Apple to correct them.

If I submit code to go into the Linux kernel, and it has technical flaws, I would be surprised if the reviewers were this gentle. I don't see why a legal liscense should be any different.

Netscape a pioneer, IBM a hero, Apple sux? (1)

drig (5119) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975028)

I don't see where Bruce is going berserk with condemnation. There are small problems with the liscense. He pointed them out and politely asked them to be fixed. It all seemed extrodinarily civil and polite.

If Apple want's Debian's seal of approval, they'll have to change the liscense. If they don't care, they don't have to. No one's saying Apple sucks if they don't, just that it might be a good idea if they did.

I don't think changing the liscense in the way Bruce describes would invite lawsuits. All he's suggesting is they leave the Mach liscense alone and leave a clause for "what if Apple goes under".

Free (1)

drig (5119) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975029)

The GUI code isn't free or published. You could make something that has the MacOSX internals, but it wouldn't look like MacOSX and probably won't run MacOSX applications (I have to assume the toolkit is part of the non-free stuff. Imagine trying to run Gnome applications on Linux without GTK).

Free (1)

arielb (5604) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975033)

you don't want to give back to the mac community. you're just an opportunist. Having one macos isn't just good for Apple but also mac developers and consumers.

Read the CMU license before using buzzwords (1)

MushMouth (5650) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975035)

Come on think before you speak. How much money and Man months has Apple and Next put into this stuff? Have you even read the source?

What are you? Stupid. (1)

MushMouth (5650) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975036)

In fact you couldn't legally copy RedHat 4 as it came on disk as it had MetroX on it. Darwin is not MacOSX, Apple has given us something great. which we can make much better. They think that the OS is a better Value with their (Proprietary) UI, you don't like it, then don't buy it. But what they gave us is free.

read the GPL and APSL (1)

MushMouth (5650) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975037)

there is a similer clause in the GPL. Apple will only terminate the Affected code. Thus if your code is not infringing then the license for your code will not be terminated.

He's right though. (2)

MushMouth (5650) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975061)

The code is not free, and it was very appropriate of Bruce to point this out.

That is utter bullshit!

The code is free and Apple is free to protect themselves, their employees and shareholders from liability. Bruces problem with 2.2 was very nit picky, he simply wants clarification should Apple have an unhealthy demise, and his problem with 9.1 seems to be a non issue, since removing the Affected code is the last resort for an infringemnt claim according to Apple's license

9.1 Infringement. If any of the Original Code becomes the subject of a claim of infringement ("Affected Original Code"), Apple may, at its sole discretion and option: (a) attempt to procure the rights necessary for You to continue using the Affected Original Code; (b) modify the Affected Original Code so that it is no longer infringing; or (c) terminate Your rights to use the Affected Original Code, effective immediately upon Apple's posting of a notice to such effect on the Apple web site that is used for implementation of this License.

It seems that the spirt of the license is that workarounds, and deals would be the first wave of correction. Also he seems to have missed the term Affected which implies Lines of code

Verse 7 of the GPL
7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program. If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other circumstances. It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the integrity of the free software distribution system, which is implemented by public license practices. Many people have made generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed through that system in reliance on consistent application of that system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot impose that choice. This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to be a consequence of the rest of this License.

According to the GPL all that is needed for termination distrubution is an allegation of infringement or any other reason

8. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the original copyright holder who places the Program under this License may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among countries not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the limitation as if written in the body of this License.

I put forth this last bit to show everyone that even in the GPL there IS an owner of the code, the original copyright holder, whoever that may be.

umh, ok... (1)

shanelenagh (6421) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975066)

...that was a very inspiring speech you just gave, but I don't see how it is relevant to the very specific critique of the license that Bruce made.

This isn't about politics (BP was only one of THREE people to sign the document); it is about protecting the investment that programmers who spend their "free" time (time is never free) on these projects are not left high and dry when a company like I.B.M. or Apple decides that there is some remote possiblity for an IP suit -- so they must destroy all copies of the code they have worked on and relinquish their hard work to Apple/I.B.M. so they can continue to use it in their commercial products.

Pretty simple to me. It is the same reason that Golgotha Forever [golgotha.org] switched to the more-restrictive GPL after Crack.com released their code under the restriction-free GPL. I don't want some game company (maybe a competitor to the company that I work for in my day job) taking my freely-contributed code and using it against me -- AND keeping it secret/proprietary!

shane

That's what thresholds are there for (1)

aphr0 (7423) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975069)

Log in, set threshold, read till your eyes bleed.

too bad Bruce left OSI. (2)

navindra (7571) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975073)

If Bruce was still at the OSI, maybe he could have vetoed Open Source (TM) certification of the APSL.

Re: Free (1)

Evan Vetere (9154) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975076)

Let's think about this for a minute.

Apple puts decades into the construction of an OS and UI, and you just download the source and sell it?

Something tells me Apple wouldn't be too happy about that. Hence the termination clause. It makes total sense to me; I'd insist it was in there were I running apple. Not doing so would result in the death of the company's software sales revenues in short order.

Open Source Software should be an adjunct to a capitalist profit-driven software industry, not a replacement.

I welcome Bruce's criticism (1)

ptor (9333) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975077)

I appreciate Bruce Peren's criticism of Apple's license, since I care about what Open Source means. I don't want to accept something possibly tainted, only to be stuck at a later date when things go sour. If there are problems with the APSL, I want to hear what they are, and hope that Apple will fix them.

As an ex-MacOS user, I'm real familiar with getting screwed by Apple. In the past, they've been a monopoly in a little niche: A single company sells you the hardware and the OS that works with it. Expensive. Flighty. Closed.

Remember when Apple, hoping to increase the Mac marketshare, opened up to letting other companies make clone Mac hardware? When the cloners ate into the low end of the market at Apple's expense, Apple stopped licensing the OS to them and put them all out of business.

Doesn't that sound familiar: "If your actions displease us, we'll put you out of business by refusing to sell you our OS..." ?

Now, imagine if the Open Source community came to rely on some almost-open-but-not-really code. If Apple felt like it, they could yank the rug out of under us:

"If your success threatens our business, we'll throw your development efforts into chaos by pulling your license."

Bruce is right to raise issues of freedom...

Plagiarism! (1)

kzinti (9651) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975082)

So, in it least some cases, Apple took CMU code, and added their own copyright and licensing terms? A copyright is a statement of ownership; by implication, it asserts a claim of intellectual property on the copyrighted material. In other words, Apple is claiming the CMU work as their own! If this happened with students and term papers, it would be called plagiarism, and would incur a stiff penalty. Not only do I agree with Bruce that the original license should be restored to these slightly-modified files, but I would also like to see Apple given a great big F for this project. And since ESR has endorsed the project, he gets an F too. Come on guys, you can both do better than this.

--jt

I thought the OSI validated it as Open Source (1)

dria (9758) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975084)

As far as I'm concerned, if the OSI says it's Open Source (TM), then it's Open Source (TM)!!!!


Personally, I'm much more comfortable knowing that there are people out there who don't take anyone's word as straight gospel about this stuff. The Open Source movement is way too important to screw up. I'd rather have a couple of watchdogs keeping an eye on what's going on than have a bunch of "if He says it then it is Right" vacant-eyed marshmallows humming along to the Wizard of Oz tune and ignoring that man behind the curtain.

Er. Awright...the analogy got a little extended, but you get my point :)

Question Everything. Trust No One. Geez...don't you kids learn -anything- from TeeVee these days?

- dria

ESR helped write the APSL? (1)

TrentC (11023) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975090)

From http://www.macintouch.com/mxs.html [macintouch.com] :

Eric Raymond, president of The Open Source Initiative, said, "We see that Apple really gets it." He had reviewed the Apple Public Source License, producing some changes in the original draft, and said that it now is "strictly conformant" with open source principles.

If there's a problem with Apple's "almost-free" software license, Raymond don't seem to notice, and may have even contributed to the problem...

After hashing it out in the earlier Apple/Darwin thread, I'd prefer that Apple use the GPL -- as I said, I want Apple to do the right thing -- but if someone can prove infringement, and it can't be worked around, then no one can use the software, under the GPL.

Who "wins" in that case?

Jay (=

good essay, other issues (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975091)

> but should we be criticizing a company ...

We who? /.ers? They criticize EVERYTHING (after all, you're criticizing people for being to critical). Bruce et al? Their article wasn't too critical. Friendly tone, calmly worded, detailed, and made specific, well thought, constructive criticisms with suggested improvements.

I always thought KDE was free (1)

N1KO (13435) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975095)

Software doesn't have to be GPL'ed in order to be free.
And KDE IS free.

I thought the OSI validated MacOS X as Open Source (1)

jerodd (13818) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975096)

Yes, but is it freed software?

I'm just too disappointed from working OS/2 to ever do anything with proprietary, closed software again. Some recent examples that come to mind are Win32-OS/2 and almost anything from Netl@bs (thank God they have to keep Gimp/2 free)).

In any case, it doesn't matter, because I'm slowly becoming unglued from my OS/2 systems and migrating to GNU. I've already got OS/2 on my X desktop so I don't even need to sit at my OS/2 box anymore.

I thought the OSI validated it as Open Source (1)

vaidhy (14207) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975097)

No, OSI does not own trademark 'Open source'. So you whole argument falls through. OS trademark is owned by Software in Public Interest.

He's right though. (1)

sakti (16411) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975102)

Eric doesn't need Bruce's help in this case. He let his enthusiasm beat out his common sense.
---

"A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will deserve neither and lose both."

He's right though. (2)

sakti (16411) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975103)

Apple's announcement was nothing but a PR stunt. The code is not free, and it was very appropriate of Bruce to point this out. I agree that Bruce has had problems controlling his ego in the past, but this is not one of those occasions (or if it is, then he's at least using it towards good ends ;).

---

"A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will deserve neither and lose both."

Open Source != Free Software! (1)

Snibor Eoj (16725) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975104)

Last time I checked, there was a difference between opening your source and declaring your product to be Free Software. Apple is not making any claims to Free Software, because it's planning on charging for the OS in the future (as well it should), with any modifications included. It is merely saying that it is opening its source, which it most certainly has done. The source is there. I can see it. You can see it.

So to all the commenters I see claiming that Apple hasn't embraced the principles of Free Software, you're right! But if you claim that it hasn't opened its source, then it's not hard to prove you wrong...

-Snibor Eoj

MacOS X Server and the APSL are GOOD THINGS! (1)

JavaNut (20163) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975121)

Apple is now being run (for the most part) by ex-NeXT folk. They had a super user friendly, cross-platform, Unix based OS in 1989 (it was too expensive though). That same OS (NeXTstep/OPENSTEP) has now morphed into MacOS Server X. The UI and object frameworks on it are very, very good.

GNUstep is an effort to do the UI part as Free Software. GNUstep on Darwin should be very, very close to the original NeXT experience...for $0.00. Plus, the combination should be available on Alpha, Intel and other interesting platforms...not just PowerPC.

Go to the GNUstep Web Site [gnustep.org] and give us a hand! :-)

good essay, other issues (1)

arodrig6 (22052) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975125)

Fine, so the Apple liscence isn't 100% pure Open-source-free-as-in-free-speech, but should we be criticizing a company that is opening its code up? Sure ideally it would be nice to have it all GPL'd, but isn't this better than what we had? What does it serve to condemn apple for taking a step in the right direction. And I know that this will certainly help groups like LinuxPPC open up the Mac platform to other OSes.

SSDD (1)

TheRoss (28211) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975131)

Ummm. You should remember that fanaticism is NOT a good thing. It usually leads to closed mindedness. I enjoy my 3 yr old mac, I consider windows perfectly OK, and linux gives me shivers and makes me feel good.

You should remember that Apple is the first(nonlinux, of course) retail OS to even pretend to be Open Source. The liscence as it stands is a good test run for Apple to try Open Source, while allowing it to run back out of the surf if the water gets too cold.

Thank goodness (1)

iwof (28221) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975132)

Open Source cannot just simply be a religon ...
and the guards of the different licence models of the Open Source should not become administrators ...

Linux is a great platform ....
Some great programms for Linux are actually quite
expensive ..... and not Open Source
Mac OS X (Server ) is a great platform .....
Some of it will be under the GPL ...great ....
some of it will cost .....

Actually i have great admiration for
Linus, Raynolds, Jobs .... the guys from Red Hat

for one thing they are not narrow minded ...
and they are quite creative ...

Open Source != Free Software! (1)

Eric Savage (28245) | more than 15 years ago | (#1975134)

Hear Hear.

Last time I checked Apple was not (intentionally) the business of giving stuff away for free and losing money. All of you whiny snapperheads should be glad that it's open source for all the right reasons, like security and flexibility. I know alot of stuff in there is not thiers, but they arent claiming it is. $500 is a drop in the bucket for an unlimited liscence (most of you get paid more than that for installing free systems), so cough it up.
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