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Printer Businesses Apple

CUPS Purchased By Apple Inc. 465

Rick Richardson writes to note a posting on that reveals that Apple, which in 2002 first licensed CUPS for printing in OS X, purchased the source code last February and hired its main developer, Michael R. Sweet. Sweet writes: "CUPS will still be released under the existing GPL2/LGPL2 licensing terms, and I will continue to develop and support CUPS at Apple." There are no comments on the post. What exactly did Apple purchase? It was and is an open source project. Trademarks aren't mentioned.
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CUPS Purchased By Apple Inc.

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  • by xtaski ( 457801 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:37AM (#19837727)
    The GPLv2 (or LGPL) licenses do not convey copyright ownership. Even though anyone in the world is free to use/redistribute/modify/rename/etc, the source code copyright ownership is still retained by the developer that contributed the code. Some organizations require copyright assignment of code contributed into the base where the contributing developers give up their ownership of the code they created and assign their copyright to the project (or in some cases, a commercial organization). Once the developer assigns copyright over, the project/commercial organization can do whatever they want with it - including relicensing it under a completely different, closed, commercial license. I doubt however, that Apple will make any devious use of CUPS as the GPL versions are still available and could simply fork continuing with GPL. Copyright ownership does, however, make it easy for Apple to do what it wants with CUPS integration into Mac OS X without ever having to worry about the GPL license.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:41AM (#19837773)
    1) The developer and his skill. My guess is they want it worked on and expanded. Much easier to get that done when you are paying a guy to do it full time. There's only so much you can do for a hobby.

    2) The ability to use the code under other licenses. If Apple now owns the source and the developer, they can use (and license) the code under a non-GPL license if they wish. Somewhat similar to QT.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:41AM (#19837775)
    Oh oh. The fact that people out there doen't like GPL 3 means all the information must be moderated down!! A lot of people and companies were happy with GPL2, People dislike GPL3 for a lot of reasons including hiprocy of saying TiVo use is bad while IBM is good. Taking more rights from the developer, and going into the tetorry on what a gpl program can and cant do. I know the GPL3 was intended to get rid of the evils that happened with the abuse of GPL2 but if you fight to hard against evil then you become evil yourself. Stop Modding down any post that doesn't like GPL3 or RMS views. If you don't agree with the post don't moderate it. it is that simple.
  • No big deal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:43AM (#19837799) Homepage
    Basically, they're just paying the developer to work on it full time. Whereas before the dev. had to rely on licensing CUPS to other companies and sub-contracting for work, now he is paid by apple.

    As long as the project stays GPL this really isn't any different than how RedHat / IBM / Oracle etc. pay some kernel developers full time.

    The only thing is Apple can also now make changes to cups that only they can use.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fsmunoz ( 267297 ) <fsmunoz.member@fsf@org> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:44AM (#19837815) Homepage
    It uses GCC, but they hate it, or better yet, they hate that they have to use a product under the GPL. Steve Jobs tried to get special rights from the FSF to use GCC in NextStep, and the FSF said no, never. So, NeXT used GCC - the runtime part of Objective-C was proprietary though - and had to share the Objective-C support. I have little doubts that Apple will try to use/make another compiler as soon as they can so they can avoid having to share their changes.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ginger Unicorn ( 952287 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:52AM (#19837907)
    it seems that apple bought CUPS and changed the licence so that people could create proprietary derivatives on MacOS legally.

    Apple has not put themselves into a position of power over the FLOSS community with this move, as a GPL3 fork could be started at the drop of a hat, from whatever the last compatible release was.

    But apple wouldn't much care to see that happen as they would get no code contributed back to their CUPS, so the way I see it, either Apple will take their little concession and tread very carefully and CUPS will carry an as is, or Apple will start throwing their weight around a fork will be made, leaving apple to maintain their own code. A third option is that Apple will tread gently, but RMS will kick up a stink about the whole thing in principle (think java trap) and possibly a fork starts.

  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:59AM (#19837979)
    So your saying that the primary developer did have that right because all the copyrights where transfered to the primary developer. A practice started and encouraged by the FSF by the way.

    All in all this is probably just a GPLv2/GPLv3 worry. Apple uses CUPS for it's printing setup. As long as the project stays GPL v2 it will only benefit from having someone who can push printers to a standard printer, thus making printing even better in Linux, and the BSD's.
  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:10AM (#19838105)
    Even Eric Raymond has said of the years that the cups printer interface needed a lot of user friendly type of work. Apple may just do that. As I said earlier as long as it stays GPL Apple can push the project in what ever directoin they like and it will only benefit Linux and BSD's.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shawnce ( 146129 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:13AM (#19838149) Homepage
    This is however different for two main reasons...

    1) The individual that sold the rights to the code to Apple had full rights to all of the source code even if some of it had been contributed by others (he required this).

    2) If (1) wasn't true then that individual couldn't sell the rights to code he himself didn't have the rights to and given the use of the GPL then Apple would have to remove the use of all code that they didn't purchase if they desired to do any type of relicensing, etc.

    In other words Apple couldn't get the whole thing by just buying out a simple majority of the stake holders. So this in reality is rather different then a hostile take over in the traditional meaning of the term.
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:14AM (#19838165)
    Please explain how Apple owning CUPS is "less free" than Easy Software Products owning CUPS.
  • by TheGreek ( 2403 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:19AM (#19838219)
    How you doin', Socrates?

    Free/Open Source Software is just used by Apple as a way to outsource development -- for free (as in beer). This proves it.
    And how does it prove it?

    They bought CUPS and hired Michael Sweet just to ensure that they don't have to open-source any portion of Mac OS X that's not already open source.
    Oh. Okay.

    So. Apple buying the rights to CUPS and hiring its lead developer is proof that Apple uses open-sourced software for zero-cost development?

    The only thing you're missing is "Soviet Russia."
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by samkass ( 174571 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:20AM (#19838235) Homepage Journal
    My guess is that Apple has been doing the vast majority of the work on CUPS anyway for the past few months, so they aren't really concerned about a fork. Just like konquerer, the open source community can do what it needs to do and Apple will work with them and contribute to them, but they have to make sure their own interests are covered first. It seems to make a lot of sense, and everyone gets what they need from it.
  • by asphaltjesus ( 978804 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:21AM (#19838263)
    is troublesome.

    Apple has never been portrayed as a good corporate citizen when it comes to GPL projects. The GPL code will become the red-headed step child of whatever Apple wants to do with it. For example, integrating colorsync or letting the gui die from benign neglect as Apple adds code that breaks the gui.

    I'd like to hear from some people who work on Konqueror how much Apple is contributing. Based on my limited experience with Apple, I'd estimate they throw useless code over the wall surrounding Cupertino HQ every once in a while. I seem to recall they changed the license on some of their previously Free code a while ago too.

    They are Free to do both, but I think their actions in these situations show they are just as hostile to Free/Open computer systems as Microsoft.

  • by FuzzyDaddy ( 584528 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:26AM (#19838343) Journal
    If Microsoft did something like this there'd be a geek jihad.

    Well, sure. The difference being that apple has a *NIX OS, and are using the software. Their intent seems to be to continue to use the software. Also, they haven't been actively trying to kill open source competition through FUD, lobbying (ODF!), and other means.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, HAS been doing these things.

    Now, I'm sure Apple won't release substantial improvements under the GPL - they'll probably close it up. This isn't a good thing for open source. But the deal seems straightforward. Whenever Microsoft gets involved in anything "open", you have to look very carefully for hidden agendas, because of a long history of shenanigans. That's what gets people upset.

  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OldeTimeGeek ( 725417 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:26AM (#19838345)
    In what way was it hostile? Apple offered to pay the primary developer for his rights. He agreed.

    You may not like Apple bought the rights or you may not like that the developer "sold out", but unless Apple applied some type of pressure that was neither written about nor implied by TFA, how was the transaction hostile?

  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:31AM (#19838425) Homepage
    This, as other posters have mentioned, is a way of GPL3-proofing CUPS, which is a key piece of the apple architecture and made possible because the copyrights for contributions were transfered to the developers.

    Unlike Microsoft, Apple depends pretty heavily on GPL'ed code: CUPS, dev tools, and a lot of assorted *nix tools. Under GPL2 they were happy: release the source for the tools, any modifications they made, and be happy.

    GPL3 is a nightmare: both the anti-Tivo clause and the anti-Patent clause represent huge and unacceptable changes to Apple. The anti-Tivo clause goes against the iPhone, iPod, MacTV, etc. And the anti-patent clause represents unilateral disarmament in the defensive-patent war, so even if you weren't going to enforce the patents, just have them for defense, GPL3 is a vulnerability.

    So expect the following:

    When possible, Apple will buy out any developers who own copyrights on GPL'ed code they depend on.

    Otherwise, two things will happen: Apple will feature-freeze with a GPL2 version and fork, or simply replace the GPL'ed code completely.

    Congratulations, RMS, I think this is what you actually intended. And it will work. Enjoy.
  • by Tim Browse ( 9263 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:33AM (#19838451)

    This is to me the downside of using open source code in one of your projects - at any time your ability to use future versions with their bug fixes, security fixes, etc. may go away.

    And this is different to using non-open source

  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:44AM (#19838609)
    Wait, what? How can some fork and relicense as GPL v3? The current license is GPL/LGPL v2 only. Without the "or later" clause, wouldn't that be a license violation? Am I missing something?
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1729 ( 581437 ) <slashdot1729&gmail,com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @11:58AM (#19838775)

    I have little doubts that Apple will try to use/make another compiler as soon as they can so they can avoid having to share their changes.

    Apple is very active in gcc development; just take a look in MAINTAINERS in the gcc sources. If you're right, they're putting an awful lot of work into (and contributing a lot of GPL'd code to) a project that they're about to abandon.

    Also, keep in mind that Apple only has to contribute changes back if they distribute modified gcc binaries. So for gcc on x86 or PPC Darwin, they have to share their changes (since gcc is bundled with XCode), but for the iPhone (assuming it's built with gcc, with an Apple-written ARM-Darwin backend), they are not obligated to share those changes unless they choose to distribute the modified compiler binaries.

    In general, Apple actually benefits by contributing their code to the gcc project. Maintaining a forked version of gcc forces Apple to deal with all bugs/regressions caused by external changes to the code, while contributing the code shifts the maintenance burden to the gcc project as whole.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alchemar ( 720449 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @12:03PM (#19838847)
    As I see it, the two main things that are gained form licensing something under GPL 2.0 was that it insured that someone could fork a project if the current project started eliminating the needs of one group over another, and that everyone involved in future projects could benefit from any code that was contributed. i.e. when you fork a project, you can still use any code improvements from the other branch that are still compatible with the goals of your branch.

    Sweet released the code under the GPL2, thus granting the privlidge of being able to fork his code. The only ethical problem that I have ever seen from forking GPL code, is when you "steal" the programmers from the original branch thus hindering future progress, but even then, their is a reason that they left. If you lose so many contributers due to a fork, maybe you weren't listening to the people that were contributing. There is nothing that requires a primary developer to listen, but there is also nothing that requires contributers to help.

    Someone mentioned that they didn't think the Primary developer didn't have the right to change the license of his code. I think they missed the importance of the words "his code". The primary developer does not have the right to relicense other peoples code under the GPL. If those people granted the primary developer those rights outside the GPL, then they are free to do so. It really doesn't matter wether he was the primary developer or not. Just like the other contributers granted Sweet the right to relicense their code, he has now granted Apple the right to relicense his code. The one think he cannot do is revoke the license that has already been granted under the GPL2. Wich means there is no problem ethically or legally of forking the code and appointing a new primary developer. What they cannot do is relicense the code. Only Sweet and now Apple have that right. This includes moving the code to GPL3. Depending on the wording of the contract either Sweet or Apple has the right to move it to the GPL3 if they wish. At that point anyone is free to make a GPL2 only fork, but only the copyright holder or someone with permission from the copyright holder may fork into a GPL3 version.

    The only benifit I can see from Apple is if they want to include propritary code. If they just wanted to avoid GPL3, they were free to start their own fork. With all the mess about printer companies trying to use the DMCA to prevent people from making refill cartridges, I can see where having a proprietary printer driver and avoid GPL3 like the plague might make the printer manufactuers feel more comfortable.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 1729 ( 581437 ) <slashdot1729&gmail,com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @12:07PM (#19838893)

    No, that's not an Objective-C compiler.
  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Thursday July 12, 2007 @12:30PM (#19839235)

    Actually, it's exactly the opposite of irrelevant. When Michael Sweet owned the copyright, he could possibly have chosen to change the license (e.g. to GPLv3). Now that Apple owns the copyright, Apple gets to choose when/if to change the license (e.g. to a proprietary one). In particular, the timing of this makes one highly suspiciouts that Apple was scared of the possibility of GPLv3, and bought CUPS to prevent a switch.

  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @12:39PM (#19839353) Homepage Journal

    No, you're the only one who got the point and someone needs to mod you up. This is quite wrong:

    Apple has not put themselves into a position of power over the FLOSS community with this move, as a GPL3 fork could be started at the drop of a hat, from whatever the last compatible release was.

    Apple is in a position of power because they now own the CUPS copyright. They are only distributing it under GPL2/LGPL2, and it is not, and has never been available under that license "or any later version," so we can't make a GPL3 fork. The only entity that can get it into GPL3 (or any other license) is the copyright holder.

    In the short term this is fine, as GPL2 is a good license. But Apple reserves the right to stop licensing it under the GPL. You could fork the project, but your forks would always have to be GPL2 forks (again, this is not exactly a disaster). But Apple can also make their own internal company modifications specifically for OS X, yet not release the changes to the community. They are no longer obliged to release the OS X version's changes because it will presumably be covered by the Apple EULA instead of the GPL. The only legal escape is to wait until the copyright expires in 70 years or so, then take the expired version's public domain code as your own and license it under the GPL3 or whatever. Get back to me in 70 years if you decide to try that. I'll beam over and help you update it.

  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fsmunoz ( 267297 ) <fsmunoz.member@fsf@org> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @12:41PM (#19839385) Homepage
    I know that Apple if active in GCC development. They are putting work into it, and work which I personally take advantage of and I am particulary thankful for. That's no the question though... Apple has done one nice thing, which was working with the rest of the GCC team to integrate their changes: they are *not* required to do this by the GPL. This is great, mainly for Objective-C support, and also for Apple since they can reap the beneficts of other changes in newer GCC versions. The thing is, when all is said and done they do part of this because they are required to by the GPL. I'm not at all sure they would do the same if they weren't required to, and with LLVM they are aiming at not depending on GCC and call their own shots (undertandable from a business POV, even though they could more or less do the same with GCC given their involvement).

    In the end it's a matter of control: Apple contributes to GCC but I think they feel a bit "forced" to do it, and would prefer to work on something of their own, something which they could control what parts get shared and which don't, and under which terms.
  • by GnarlyDoug ( 1109205 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @12:50PM (#19839451)
    The real issue for open source development I see was that Sweet violated an implicit understanding. Everyone transferred their copyrights to him, but there was the idea that the project was open source. How many of those developers would have done the work if they knew or thought Sweet would do this? I bet many of them would not have contributed. By giving up their copyright they lost their entire stake in the matter.

    The real lesson here is that the idea that the developers should pool their copyrights into one person is flawed. That person can then cash out. The get all the profits for everyone else's work. The other developers lose out on both getting a piece of the pie if they would have wanted that, and they lose out in the moral sense in that if they didn't want their code to suddenly become part of a closed source project, they have no say in it anymore.

    I think that in the future open source developers should be more cautious about giving away their copyrights. Also, I hope that open source developers will start forking projects that are being developed by companies and groups that require that the copyright be transferred.

  • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @01:08PM (#19839719)
    Anyone that write MS as M$ in an attempt at being cute or derogatory needs to have their life removed. The human race simply should not have to deal with such stupidity.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by croddy ( 659025 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @01:09PM (#19839729)
    Indeed. Forking is not "violating the spirit of the license". I'd say it's more like celebrating the spirit of the license. If the community is unable to fork a project away from a hostile developer, then there's no point in having the GPL at all.
  • by 8-bitDesigner ( 980672 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @01:22PM (#19839949) Homepage
    Nothing too sinister really. Basically Apple just wants to make sure you're not calling it "CUPS" unless you're using the stable branch. If some twit forked CUPS and did some braindead things with it, understandably Apple wouldn't be less than thrilled about it sharing the same name with CUPS proper

    This isn't horribly uncommon, but it is unpopular. Hell, look at the whole Firefox/Iceweasel [] debacle.
  • Re:Future Proffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fwarren ( 579763 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @02:12PM (#19840661) Homepage
    It works both ways.

    Business can route around GPL projects. By writing in house, purchasing non-gpl software, hiring the person who holds all the cards of a GPL project and can relicense it or use BSD or public domain code.

    GPL projects can write their own stuff, or fork code of projects whos license change.

    I think the real question is if CUPS moves to a non-GPL license and the project forks. In a years time, which code base will be better. The code for AppleCUPS with their new features, which cant use GPL code, or CUPS with opensource developers who cant see nor use AppleCUPS code?

    Right now we don't have to worry about it. CUPS is still GPL.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @02:16PM (#19840701)

    You would basically be carrying out a coupe and violating the spirit of the license if not the letter of it by taking something none of you owned and creating a fork of it.

    What?!? The right to modify the code and distribute modified versions is fundamental to the spirit of the licence,

    I don't think you would be allowed to license it under the GPL3 without the copyright holders permission since only the copyright holder can change license terms.

    That depends on whether it was licenced as "GPL 2" or "GPL 2 or later".
    If you decided to start a fork project but you had not ever contributed a single line of code to the project, how would you feel that you had the right to create a fork? Who do you think granted you those rights to you in the first place?

    As for "GPL 2 or later" it remains to be seen whether that can be legally binding given that most authors entered into the license the good faith assumption that later versions would be compatible with GPL 2 and not change in any fundamental way. GPL 3 is not compatible with GPL 2 no matter how much the FSF claims it is. The changes they have made have altered the terms to such a degree that I would not be surprised if we see a number of lawsuits by authors who feel they have been betrayed by the FSF with the "GPL 2 or later" clause.

  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:05PM (#19841303) Homepage Journal

    I don't know the actual reason behind the buyout, but my gut says that the GPLv3 had little to do with this. Until the text was final, the GPLv3 was like smoke over the horizon. You don't call the fire department until you know it isn't just someone's fireplace. Similarly, I wouldn't expect a company to engage in buyout talks over a hypothetical license, and I'd be amazed if a deal like this could happen from scratch in under a week. I could easily be wrong, but it would be pretty surprising.

    I do, however, suspect that it has everything to do with the GPLv2. Printer drivers are the only part of the Mac OS X driver infrastructure that requires interaction with GPL or LGPL software. My guess is that getting permission to do "closed derivatives" on Mac OS X makes it easier to drag the printer vendors kicking and screaming over to CUPS drivers, which they might otherwise balk at. I'll explain.

    If you've ever tried to write a Linux/BSD device driver for some companies' devices (as I have on occasion), you've probably experienced this yourself: some hardware manufacturers are very protective of their hardware's programming interfaces and are not inclined to help with open source drivers. Many have significant amounts of intellectual property in their drivers, too. (Graphics card vendors come to mind, and probably printers for the same reason.) Throw in the usual paranoia about mixing proprietary software and GPLed software, and I could easily see some hardware vendors being wary about writing CUPS drivers.

    Just my gut reaction to the news.

  • by Watts Martin ( 3616 ) <layotl@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:04PM (#19842821) Homepage

    I am sure if the GPL was worded in a couple ways OS X would be Linux Based not Unix Based.
    "UNIX" is, these days, essentially a spec (specifically, the Single UNIX Specification []) and a branding. This may sound like a quibble, but OS X is "officially UNIX" because Apple complies with the spec and pays for the branding. Neither Linux or FreeBSD are "UNIX" from a legal standpoint; they're both UNIX-compatible.

    At any rate, I think you're assuming a political/copyright choice on Apple's part that's very more likely a historical engineering choice: OS X is a direct descendant of NextStep -- Apple bought Next for their operating system technology, remember? Even though much of the userland support is ported from FreeBSD, under the hood it's very much still NextStep, as anyone who's beat his head against the NetInfo Manager for a while will tell you (possibly in very colorful language). The choice of BSD userland stuff over Linux userland stuff may have been partially license-driven, but -- like FreeBSD, of course -- Apple uses GNU software when necessary or preferred (bash, zsh, groff, etc.).

    At any rate, I think corporate hostility to the GPL is overstated; people tend to assume the BSD license is more "business friendly," but they're looking at it from the point of view of a business wanting to use somebody else's open source software in their proprietary product. If you're the copyright holder and want to release your work as open source, you may well prefer to use the GPL or another license that prevents someone from taking your work and stuffing it into a proprietary product.
  • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @08:47PM (#19844657) Homepage

    Considering the timing, the only explanation that makes sense to me is that Apple wanted to prevent a switch to GPLv3.

    But there's still tons of other GPL/LGPL code in OSX. The idea that this is defensive strikes me as silly, they'll have to rip out lots more than CUPS if the GPL3 is worrying them.

    I would assume it's because they want to have the lead developer following their direction on where CUPS should go -- into more user-friendly territory. Since they bought the code, the other possibility that strikes me is that they want to be able to let printer manufacturers more easily make full-featured binary drivers on OS X by giving them the ability to include CUPS code. As it is, CUPS is fantastic on a technical level but requires an awful lot of jumping through hoops to do some things that printers drivers on Windows can do with a click.
  • Re:RMS Proffing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RalphBNumbers ( 655475 ) on Friday July 13, 2007 @07:01PM (#19854283)
    I'm also not expecting them to share the new front end they wrote for the BSD-licensed LLVM.

    The difference is, I'm not *expecting* them to open source their efforts, because I *know* they already open sourced it the day before yesterday, [] whereas you don't expect them to do it because you seem to have bought into the ridiculous meme that Apple is somehow against opening their source despite the massive amounts of time money and code they've donated to open source projects over the years when under no license requirement to do so.

    GPL zealots are always quick to claim that anyone opposing their draconian license requirements dictating everything from hardware design to patent liability to derivative works must be selfishly hoarding their knowledge. I say it's the exact opposite, the GPL is a tool for hoarding knowledge in a community pool, where the pool's administrators at the FSF can use it for political power by interpreting and revising the GPL. Plenty of people (including corporations), are quite willing to openly share their code under truly free BSD-like terms, but consider subjecting themselves to the whims of the ideologues and lawyers of the FSF an increasingly unacceptable risk.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.