[linux-elitists] GPL Violations

Chris Ball cjb@mrao.cam.ac.uk
Thu Jul 27 09:08:06 PDT 2006

>> On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, Chase Venters <chase.venters@clientec.com> said:

   > Contrast this to things that are BSD licensed (which is fairly
   > close to public domain) - Apple builds XNU using pieces of FreeBSD,
   > and then upon a move to the x86 platform, decides to stop releasing
   > XNU sources. Grab and run.  (That's not to say that Apple isn't a
   > good citizen in some departments; they do have a lot of other open
   > source activities).

I'm not sure that this is true.  The most significant project of Apple's
that's still running (as far as I know) is Howl (Bonjour/Rendezvous),
which has been thoroughly rejected by the community along with its
non-DFSG free license, the APSL. 

The APSL is a strange example of a license.  It meets OSI and FSF
guidelines for a free license, and yet the community treated it as
damage and worked around it, rewriting Howl under the GPL as Avahi.
Freshmeat only lists two pieces of APSL code, both derived from Apple
code -- which means that only Apple have chosen the APSL license as the
license to start a piece of software from, and people outside Apple
prefer to rewrite APSL code under a free license.

It seems like a great marketing achievement for Apple to have achieved 
a reputation for having many open source activities while they appear 
to have been holding us back with encumbered code instead.

- Chris.
Chris Ball   <cjb@mrao.cam.ac.uk>    <http://blog.printf.net/>

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