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GNU is Not Unix Networking Open Source Apple

Apple Remove Samba From OS X 10.7 Because of GPLv3 1075

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the anything-you-can-do dept.
recoiledsnake writes "The upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Server will remove the formerly bundled open source Samba software and replace it with Apple's own tools for Windows file sharing and network directory services. In both Mac OS X Server and client editions, Samba enables Macs to share files with Windows clients on the network and access Windows file servers. It has also later allowed Mac OS X Server to work as an NT Domain Controller to manage network accounts and make roaming profiles and home directories available to Windows PC users. However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially. Apple is now said to be recommending Active Directory to users who are still dependent upon the older NT Domain Controller network directory services. Apple has previously stopped contributing code to GCC and started looking at other options like LLVM because of GCC's switch to GPLv3."
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Apple Remove Samba From OS X 10.7 Because of GPLv3

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  • by MSG (12810) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:39PM (#35599900)

    GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially.

    No, it doesn't. That's a ridiculous assertion presented without any evidence or reason.

    As wikipedia might demand: Citation needed.

    • Prevents Tivoization (Score:5, Informative)

      by pavon (30274) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:48PM (#35600038)

      Yeah, that was my first reaction as well. The summary is flat out wrong the way it is worded, but there are legitimate licensing issues.

      The problem is with the iPhone, not OS X (yet). If you distribute binaries covered by the GPLv3 on a device, the license requires you to provide any signing keys, or other information/tools required to run modified versions of the software on the device. The iPhone requires all applications to be signed, and does not provide signing keys to it's users, thus they can't use GPLv3 software (like samba) on iOS.

      They probably figure it is easier to maintain a single SMB/CIFS implementation rather than two, so they are ditching it on OS X as well (or they have other plans for OS X that we are not aware of yet).

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:57PM (#35600220) Homepage Journal

        The problem is with the iPhone, not OS X (yet). If you distribute binaries covered by the GPLv3 on a device, the license requires you to provide any signing keys, or other information/tools required to run modified versions of the software on the device. The iPhone requires all applications to be signed, and does not provide signing keys to it's users, thus they can't use GPLv3 software (like samba) on iOS.

        Who wants to run Samba on their iPhone? I mean, a lot of people, of course. But for the mainstream user who will not jailbreak, this is not even that interesting. However, if they should expect you to run iOS on your desktop, suddenly it becomes relevant. This is just one of many preludes to the eventual death of OSX and its replacement with iOS. OSX may continue to exist as a workstation OS, but I doubt it, because who takes OSX seriously in the enterprise? It's something you have forced upon you, not something you add to your network on purpose.

      • by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:07PM (#35600378)

        The summary is flat out wrong the way it is worded, but there are legitimate licensing issues.

        They probably figure it is easier to maintain a single SMB/CIFS implementation rather than two, so they are ditching it on OS X as well (or they have other plans for OS X that we are not aware of yet).

        Just about all of the binaries in /System on a Mac OS X site are signed by Apple to prevent tampering, either by the user or Eve trying to installing a rootkit. They probably don't want to turn over the signing keys for those, because they definitely don't want Eve patching their system, and as far as Apple engineers are concerned /System should have a big sticker on it reading "No user serviceable parts inside."

        • by lennier (44736) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:56PM (#35604120) Homepage

          all of the binaries in /System on a Mac OS X site are signed by Apple to prevent tampering...by the user

          Right, so removing the user's freedom to change their system and locking their hardware to a single OS would be exactly what is violating the clear intention (and now the letter) of the GPL. Sounds like the GPLv3 is working perfectly, then.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iluvcapra (782887)

      No, it doesn't. That's a ridiculous assertion presented without any evidence or reason.

      That's sortof disingenuous, GPL has always been a Hobson's choice. You can always "sell" a piece of GPL software, but unless you are the original rights holder the GPL has the practical effect of ruining any mechanism for monetizing the software. If any distribution of the software requires the source code be included, it destroys the competitive advantage of the seller in a market and makes it impossible to prevent fre

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tgd (2822)

      The problem is the IP clauses in it. Any company with a reasonable legal department has already made even the installation of a GPLv3 package a fireable offense. V3 has all sorts of automatic grants of patent rights in it. Its toxic to any company trying to even maintain a defensive IP portfolio.

      • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:33PM (#35601906)

        Software patents are toxic, period. If you're afraid of being sued over software patents, you should be abusing the government and lobbying to have them abolished.

        Wetting your pants over a software license that acknowledges this problem is the wrong solution, and you're only contributing to a problem you acknowledge exists yourself (or you just wish you could abuse and not be abused.)

  • by Jeremy Allison - Sam (8157) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:39PM (#35599902) Homepage

    Apple has been moving away from the GPL in all it's forms for a while now. They just got around to us (I'm guessing we were pretty high on the list once they got rid of gcc :-).

    Jeremy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ivoras (455934)

      And thus the tenets of Free Software relating to code availability and reusability are served with GPLv3 ... not!

      With GPLv3 it's an all-or-nothing situation: either the whole world will use Linux and be strictly copyleft, or it will avoid it and companies will reimplement the parts they need in a way that's more closed than before. That is why GPLv3 is a mistake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:42PM (#35599954)

    The more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially

    Uhhh...no it doesn't. Read the license. If you don't want to read the license, just read GNU's handy GPL FAQ, which includes a section on whether or not you can sell GPL software commercially.

    I'll give you a hint: the answer is yes, you can.

    That said, Apple may have perfectly legitimate reasons for not wanting to use the GPLv3, but an imaginary prohibition on commercial software isn't one of them!

    • by arivanov (12034) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:58PM (#35600236) Homepage

      Kind'a. It prevents Apple using the software commercially within its business methods and business strategy.

      Apple is a known "patents at dawn" company. That does not fit the GPLv3 mutual assured destruction patent clauses.

      So while other companies can use GPLv3 commercially, Apple cannot do so. It will be in violation of the license the next time it tries to lob a patent nuke which is something it does on a regular basis.

      Unfortunately, Apple is not alone here. Nearly all big companies are in the same position and they will follow suit. While I understand RMS aims and ideas here, that is really not the way. GPL should not be a replacement for court, legislation and enforcement.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:47PM (#35600014)

    "However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially. "

    Nothing in the GPLv3 prohibits using the software commercially, unless that means taking software that others wrote and released and making it unfree.

    As for all the posters who will say now that the GPL is too restrictive and actually has nothing to do with freedom - yes it restricts the freedom of the person distributing the software in either its original or a changed version but only exactly to the extent necessary to guarantee that the person who receives the software gets the same extent of freedom as the original software allowed. The freedom to take other people's freedom away is certainly some kind of freedom, but probably not the kind that the creators of Samba wanted to promote.

    It is actually an intended consequence of the GPL to keep companies that want to distribute software in a restricted way (e.g. on "locked" phones where they control what you can install, and probably soon enough on "locked computers" under the pretense of security) from doing this with GPLed software. That Apple cannot use the software for such purposes puts free software and hardware at an advantage and increases the cost for Apple of taking away people's freedom.
    Presumably, the developers that put their code under the GPL wanted exactly that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Nothing in the GPLv3 prohibits using the software commercially, unless that means taking software that others wrote and released and making it unfree.

      Really? What does DRM and keys have to do with the source code? If you take a binary created by GPL'ed code and then sign in with a key, what does that have to do with the original source? How is that different that compiling a binary, saving it in a password projected zip file? If you contribute any changes made to the actual code the binary is based on, shouldn't that be enough? I would argue that GPLV3 is a violation of copyright law. I should be free to take GPL'ed code, compile it into a binary, burn i

      • by int69h (60728) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:58PM (#35602272)

        What does DRM and keys have to do with the source code?

        What good is source code if you can not run binaries created from that source code?

        I should be free to take GPL'ed code, compile it into a binary, burn it onto a CD, defecate on that CD and then run over it with a truck if I want to.

        You're free to defecate on as many CDs as you like as long as you don't try to pass them off to others without following the terms of the license.

        I would argue that how the binary is packaged is of no business to the original copyright lowers and it is an overreach of their rights under copyright law. I should be allowed to package it how I see fit as long as I contribute any source code changes needed to compile the same binary.

        You are completely bound by the wishes of the author if you want them to give you the right to distribute their works. Remember you have no innate right to distribute someone else's copyrighted works no matter how much you stomp your feet about it.

      • by tibit (1762298) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:46PM (#35603964)

        If you take a binary created by GPL'ed code and then sign in with a key, what does that have to do with the original source?

        AFAIK, the anti-TIVOization clause in GPLv3 means that if, say, OS X were to run only signed Samba binaries, anyone should be able to get the signing keys just if they ask nicely. The sprit of GPLv3 is that not only you must get the sources, but you must also have a way of modifying the software and getting it to run as a replacement. On OS X for example it's currently impossible to replace the bundled Samba component and have OS X recognize it as a valid system component (due to signing). It is OK as far as GPLv2 is concerned, but not for GPLv3.

        I just don't get the argument about GPLv3 somehow being contrary to the U.S. Copyright Law. Do remember that GPLv3 is a license: it gives you extra rights that you otherwise don't have as they by default remain with the copyright holder. If you don't like the terms: do as Apple did, don't use it. That's all there is to it.

  • Closed ecosystem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by woboyle (1044168) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:49PM (#35600058)
    Personally, I think Apple is trying to totally close their software and hardware ecosystems so only they can provide software, or are the gatekeeper of all software, that will run on any Apple device. The only way to stop this is by voting with our pocketbooks! After this sort of behavior, I am boycotting Apple products like I am Sony's. If I purchase something, I own it and therefor have the right to use it as I see fit, not as someone else does. The way Apple wants it to work is that you are in effect leasing from them. You don't own it, and are constrained with what you can do with/to it.
    • by gbrandt (113294) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:04PM (#35600310)

      Doubtful. If that was the case then GCC would not have been replaced with Clang and LLVM. And Apple would not have put LLDB into the open source domain.

      Apple just does not like the GPL, but they have no problem with the BSD-style licensing.

      Gregor.

    • by beelsebob (529313) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:17PM (#35600550)

      Personally, I think Apple is trying to totally close their software and hardware ecosystems so only they can provide software,

      You're right – that's why last time apple dropped a GPLv3 hot potato (GCC) they released their own alternative using the BSD license. Wait... no.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StikyPad (445176)

      Of course they are. Several security holes in OSX and, perhaps more importantly, iOS have been found specifically by looking at the Darwin code base.

    • Re:Closed ecosystem (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KugelKurt (908765) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:02PM (#35601352)

      Pretty much everyone working on core Mac OS X components has a *BSD background -- mostly former FreeBSD developers who were hired by Apple.
      All major BSDs are reluctant to even allow GPLv2 in their base system. They all don't like the whole copyleft concept at all. GPLv3 is completely forbidden in the base installation.

      Apple's Darwin team has a BSD culture which is apparent that Apple itself is moving away from the LGPL-like 'Apple Public Source License' to the BSDL-like Apache License 2 for Apple's own newer FOSS projects like libdispatch.

      GPLv3's anti-TIVO-ization clause was just the last nail in the coffin of Apple's GPL endorsement.

    • by rsborg (111459) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:05PM (#35601404) Homepage

      Apple has neither attacked a hacker nor put rootkits on users' systems.

      Apple and the FSF may not see eye to eye, but Apple is one of the better corporate citizens when it comes to open source and the end customer.

      None of the above has any bearing on whether you want to boycott their closed-system approach. I applaud your boycott, though I won't be joining you.

  • Incorrect summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:05PM (#35600344)

    However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially.

    That should be: However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially in the way they want to use it.

    On the iPhone and iPad, Apple wants the device itself to be closed, which means the user is not allowed to install operating system components. Samba is an operating system component. If Apple allowed the end user to replace it, then jailbreaking would be as easy as replacing Samba with a hacked version, then using Samba from within any application. On MacOS X, no problem; you may replace Samba as much as you like; if it doesn't work, it's your problem obviously.

    So on iDevices, Apple cannot use GPL v3 code commercially _the way they want to use it_. So they can't use it. At that point it's obviously better to have one code base and replace it on MacOS X as well.

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