Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 12th Jul 2007 19:23 UTC, submitted by wibbit
Apple Apple has bought the CUPS code base, and has hired it's lead developer. "CUPS was written by Michael R Sweet, an owner of Easy Software Products. In February of 2007 Apple Inc. hired Michael and acquired ownership the CUPS source code. While Michael is primarily working on non-CUPS projects, he will continue to develop and support CUPS, which is still being released under the existing GPL2/LGPL2 licensing terms."
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Apple bought something useful
by saterdaies on Thu 12th Jul 2007 20:12 UTC
saterdaies
Member since:
2005-07-07

For people on both sides, cool down.

1. Apple isn't going to hamper CUPS development or its GPL status. There's no reason for a fork and there's every reason to expect this to make CUPS better.

2. Apple didn't buy nothing. You CAN own open-source code. That ownership gets you something. Specifically, you can make GPL EXEMPTIONS. As they mention on the CUPS site (http://www.cups.org/articles.php?L179+I0+T+M10+P1+Q) this means that if you're developing a printer driver for an Apple OS, you're allowed to use CUPS without complying with the GPL. That's attractive to people like HP or Epson and will get Apple more printer drivers.

So, the Linux (and other free software communities) get CUPS development from Apple. Apple gets more printer drivers from companies who would love to use a non-GPL CUPS. It's really a great situation all-around.

Apple now owns the copyright to the code. The GPL is irrevocable so your rights are protected (and it's in Apple's interest to continue with the GPL to gain some free development that way) and Apple gets easier printer drivers.

Reply Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Apple gets more printer drivers from companies who would love to use a non-GPL CUPS. It's really a great situation all-around.


Not quite, if it means that Apple will get printers which Linux *won't* get because printer manufacturers will only release it for the non-GPL version...I certainly wouldn't call that a great situation all-around!

Reply Parent Score: 5

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

I agree. However, the provision allowing for this seems to have been in the CUPS license for five years now:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/05/msg00033.html

Reply Parent Score: 5

melgross Member since:
2005-08-12

What you forget here, is that Linux wouldn't be getting those drivers anyway. But if Apple can get them, as they wouldn't have before, that will inspire them to make more improvements to CUPS, which WILL be released for the use of Linux.

You don't find that to be positive?

Reply Parent Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Not quite, if it means that Apple will get printers which Linux *won't* get because printer manufacturers will only release it for the non-GPL version...I certainly wouldn't call that a great situation all-around!


Surely if you bought a printer, and it had a closed-source driver for MacOSX, and MacOSX was using CUPs, then that same driver could be used on Linux.

It would be even more attractive for printer manufacturers if they could cover the MacOSX and the Linux market at the same time.

After all, what does it matter to a printer manufacturer what OS users are running?

Reply Parent Score: 3

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

What two sides!? This is a happenstance.

Why is this not going to hamper CUPS development? Is there going to be a license change? Can this code compatible with GPL3. Why should they make it better for GNU...its not in their interest.

If you can have *exceptions* to GPL(you don't you can dual license the *your* code) in cups its a disadvantage to GNU not an advantage. Closed source drivers on GNU are worse than there Windows equivalent.

Are your freedoms protected with dual license code?

Edited 2007-07-12 20:32

Reply Parent Score: 3

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

"It's really a great situation all-around."

I'm not convinced. Mainly because of Apple's record on open systems and customer choice. Which has been a consistent theme for over 20 years, and which is now showing up in the iPhone negotiations in the UK. The basic approach is always control and restriction. What the Guardian reports on this last is:

"Apple is understood to be demanding that its European mobile phone partners hand over a significant proportion of revenues generated by the iPhone and restrict the content that users can access. The portion of network revenues demanded by Apple is believed to have been behind Vodafone's decision not to sign up as the exclusive partner for the iPhone in the UK."

You have it also in iTunes/iPod (and in the linking of the iPhone to iTunes) and in the basic attitude to the OS and to hardware. Not just the ability to run the OS on the hardware of your choice - but the ability to upgrade the hardware.

Apple's approach is always about linking sales and controlling, to compel you to buy more of the package from them as opposed to mixing and matching. Now, this may or may not have integration benefits. What I know is, I don't want them at the price asked.

So my reaction would be immediate: fork it, and fork it now. If Apple's heart were in the right place, it would have contributed and would have continued to place its contributions in the public domain. If the CUPS guys hearts had been in the right place, they would never have insisted on copyright assignment. But as it is, fork it now.

Reply Parent Score: 5

shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

Couldn't have said it better myself.
Apple and freedom do not mix.

Reply Parent Score: 3