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Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry 268

chicksdaddy (814965) writes "Given Apple's status as the world's most valuable company and its enormous cash hoard, the refusal to offer even meager support to open source and industry groups is puzzling. From the article: 'Apple bundles software from the Apache Software Foundation with its OS X operating system, but does not financially support the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in any way. That is in contrast to Google and Microsoft, Apple's two chief competitors, which are both Platinum sponsors of ASF — signifying a contribution of $100,000 annually to the Foundation. Sponsorships range as low as $5,000 a year (Bronze), said Sally Khudairi, ASF's Director of Marketing and Public Relations. The ASF is vendor-neutral and all code contributions to the Foundation are done on an individual basis. Apple employees are frequent, individual contributors to Apache. However, their employer is not, Khudairi noted. The company has been a sponsor of ApacheCon, a for-profit conference that runs separately from the Foundation — but not in the last 10 years. "We were told they didn't have the budget," she said of efforts to get Apple's support for ApacheCon in 2004, a year in which the company reported net income of $276 million on revenue of $8.28 billion.'"
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Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry

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  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @10:39AM (#46739769)

    Google doesn't contribute to (insert some random pet project of mine) but apple does.

    Microsoft ONLY does it to gain control, the fact that you mention them hurts your point more than helps it.

    You have selection bias, there isn't actually anything to see here, Apple contributes to just about every OSS project they themselves use themselves in the form of code contributions.

    Just because they aren't buying favors doesn't mean they don't contribute.

    This post will be followed by many people throwing out long lists of Apple products that are OSS and the contributions back to those projects from other posts so I feel no need to bother reposting the various pages that show their contributions but ... LLVM would be a really good place for you to start.

    Selection bias doesn't make your point valid.

  • -1, Flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @10:40AM (#46739779) Journal

    Does this article exist for any purpose other than fanning the flame?

    Yes, Apple should probably throw some cash at the Apache foundation, but that's not why this was posted to Slashdot.

  • Cherries (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Princeofcups ( 150855 ) <john@princeofcups.com> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @10:41AM (#46739783) Homepage

    So Apache is now is equal to the entire tech industry? Nice title there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @10:56AM (#46739855)

    Why would I contribute to open source, when Apple - and Google - use it to build walled gardens and make millions - billions - of dollars I'll never see a penny of? The exploitation of open source by companies that use it to build products that are the opposite of the open source philosophy - I mean walled gardens - is getting hard to take. You can say that they're free to do whatever they want with open source as long as they comply with the licenses, but that's not my point. What could possibly motivate me to donate my time and skills to making Apple and Google more money? The walled garden is going to destroy open source. The funny thing is no one seems to care. People are abandoning GNU's forced openness and going to licenses that basically let big companies exploit the software any way they want to. I guess the days of principled opposition to what Apple and Google are doing are over.

  • by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:00AM (#46739875)

    You can't stop someone from using the software the way they want. That's an essential part of how free software works.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:27AM (#46739997)

    It's my understanding he wasn't big on giving money away.

    Your understanding is incorrect.

    He didn't like telling everyone about his donations.

    He didn't like doing it to show off or for politics, he preferred to donate to the actual cause, not so other people would think he was a good person.

    He didn't donate so you liked him, he donated to accomplish things.

    But still, somehow, you know and it makes him even better in your eyes. Interesting that.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:34AM (#46740045) Homepage Journal
    Innovation is always built on the back of others. Nothing pops out of the blue. It is only the lack of education that makes on believes otherwise. The entire affordable microcomputer industry is based on Compaq's reverse engineering(stealing) of the IBM OS. The free browser for everyone is due to MS conning a profitable firm, then giving away the browser and forcing that firm into bankruptcy. Innovation has never been about pulling a product out of you ass. A knife was not suddenly one day made. We had to figure out how to mine the melt, smelt it, and then how to make it a knife that is not brittle.
  • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:52AM (#46740137)

    Microsoft ONLY does it to gain control, the fact that you mention them hurts your point more than helps it.

    Does Microsoft really control Apache now? Why wasn't this news splashed all over the news sites?

    If I have it wrong, and it is not Apache that the company bought, which open source project did it take control of?

  • by paulpach ( 798828 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:53AM (#46740151)

    I absolutely despise the phrase "giving back" when referring to charity, because it implies they took something.

    Apple has already given back, every dollar they got was in exchange for either an app, iphone, ipad, laptop or something else that the customer got. They have already given something back for every penny they made. This goes for every single company selling products or services (Except when governments are involved)

    I donate quite a bit every year for worthy causes without asking for anything in return, and I hate it when my efforts are diminished by calling them "giving back".

    Charity is not "giving back", charity is charity, it is a company or individual willingly giving up profit in order to help someone. Ideally, the company benefits from the charity by getting good PR, so it becomes a win-win; it becomes an investment instead of charity, which makes it more sustainable and will hopefully cause it to repeat in the future.

    As far as open source code goes, Apple does invest significantly in projects like llvm and webkit and the world is a better place because of it.

    The idea that apple somehow owes me and you or the apache foundation is just entitlement mentality.
    If you bought apple's products, it is because you think their product is worth more than the money you paid for it, otherwise you would not have gotten it. In that case, Apple owes you nothing.
    If you did not buy apple's product, then what they do does not affect you. In this case, Apple owes you nothing.

    If you want to encourage Apple to donate code or money, then highlight, applaud and buy products from companies that behave the way you want them to. If enough people vote with their money and show that charity pays off, then either apple will do it, or the companies you support will do it more thanks to your support.

  • Apple is crap (Score:1, Insightful)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:00PM (#46740193)

    That there are still fanbois for this duplicitous corp is amazing, look at their record and how could you support them?

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:08PM (#46740227)

    You can't stop someone from using the software the way they want.

    Yes you can. You can release it under a restrictive license such as the GPL Version 3, then they either cannot legally use it, OR they must distribute the source back.

    You can also choose a GPL-incompatible free software license with even more restrictions, if you like.

  • by Barsteward ( 969998 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:14PM (#46740287)
    and they've done their best at tax avoidance depriving each country where they trade of valuable tax revenue
  • Why We Know (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:13PM (#46740747)

    But still, somehow, you know

    We know because people researched the hell out of Jobs, for both good and bad reasons. There are very few things someone as heavily analyzed as Jobs can hide.

    I don't care about Jobs personally, but he seems to have drawn the utter fascination of many - ironically including yourself, or you would not bring him up. How does it feel to have someone you hate controlling your head from beyond the grave anyway? Just curious.

  • Re:$1b corps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by immaterial ( 1520413 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:15PM (#46740763)
    Really, did you miss the whole goto fail thing, where everyone was looking at the source [apple.com]? Of course, the number of ACs back then crowing "stupid Apple should have stuck with OpenSSL, which is thoroughly vetted by thousands of eyes!" gives me the feeling that ACs will have a very selective memory about the whole thing now.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:17PM (#46740791)

    it has either been because they were forced to by the license, or because it was for software that primarily runs on OS X.

    What nonsense is this? Pretty much all open source software Apple uses is under BSD style licenses, they don't have to give back anything.

    And yet they have for EVERYTHING they use. There is no "force of license". They do this because it is STUPID not to. It costs WAY more money to re-merge your internal mustache-twirling changes to a library with every new release, than it does simply to contribute back and be able to upgrade with everyone else.

    As for the OSX thing, just what are you referring to? Just about all of the open source software Apple makes use of (like BSD) is also in IOS,

  • by immaterial ( 1520413 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:21PM (#46740821)

    When Apple has released stuff as open source software, it has either been because they were forced to by the license, or because it was for software that primarily runs on OS X.

    Clang puts the lie to this.

  • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:32PM (#46740915)

    But still, somehow, you know and it makes him even better in your eyes. Interesting that.

    And just why do you find that interesting? If making himself look better was Jobs's game plan, he would have been public with the donations. What I will find interesting is how much of a dent this makes in the Jobs-never-gave-money-to-charity talking point. Sort of like how you could dig up the Apple -> XEROX stock receipts and it wouldn't make a dent in the "Apple stole from PARC" talking point.

  • by Jon Sawyer ( 3544317 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @03:33PM (#46741709)
    Duh, you are not doing it for Apple. If I feed the homeless and a fat cat millionaire comes up and gobbles down a plate, I have STILL fed the homeless. But at the same time it is my duty and the duty of any community that enjoys feeding the homeless to SHAME that fat cat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @04:03PM (#46741931)

    I'm still skeptical, and you posting a link to the daily mail doesn't help your cause as proof. It's one step away from a tabloid, you are aware. Lets look at their front page right now. (yes, this is the American front page, but yeah)

    What does $120M buy you these days
    'I was assigned to her and fell in love': Decorated NYPD officer reveals how she adopted sole survivor of Palm Sunday Massacre thirty years later
    Kate looks blooming lovely in floral at Coachella
    Gisele Bundchen audited by IRS after being named top-earning supermodel in Forbes for seventh year running
    Man busy checking out alligator in Florida bitten by poisonous SNAKE after stepping on it
    Racist man, 62, ordered to hold 'I'm a bully!' sign for tormenting neighbor and disabled children for 15 YEARS starts his sentence
    Former Bowie saxophonist blamed for selling Philip Seymour Hoffman heroin claims that he is being made a SCAPEGOAT for the actors death
    'My son is dead, how can I relax?' Family of youngest victim of Boston bombings speak for the first time about moment attack ripped family apart and left Martin Richard, eight, dead

    And this is the source of your irrefutable evidence? Now, I'm not going to say you're wrong, but you might want to find a better source.

  • by Kalriath ( 849904 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @06:20PM (#46742691)

    There is no citation. It's just typical anti-Microsoft bullshit from someone who's still stuck in 1980.

    Frankly the pro-Linux crowd does itself no favours with this sort of shit.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @08:08PM (#46743275)

    I'm by no means a Linux fan, its a mess. I prefer a clean OS like FreeBSD if possible, but ... this laptop is an OSX machine (obviously I'm an apple fanboy) with a bootcamp partition for Windows 7, a couple Windows 8 VMs, and I run about 30 different MS VMs on a vmware cluster for doing various testing as my primary job is ... writing Windows software.

    If you need a citation, you've been living under a rock for the last 30 years.

    How many 'standards organizations' do they have to buy before you figure it out? How many times do governments have to spank them?

    Seriously, if you need a citation about Microsofts behavior, theres no way anyone anywhere is going to make you see the light.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @08:12PM (#46743287)

    Apple did contribute to a number of causes in the past, and now Cook is apparently doing so again. They stopped in 1997 when Jobs came back, one of his first acts was to kill any donations, including to all non-tech charities. Jobs was a cunt.

    [The only two "charitable" acts that can be tied to Jobs personally were a large donation (about 1.5% of his net wealth) to a single cancer hospital, and influencing California to set up a live-donor registry for transplants.]

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