Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th May 2011 21:46 UTC
Apple Apple has released the source code for WebKit in iOS 4.3, which it had been withholding for eight weeks. However, according yo Jay 'saurik' Freeman, they are still not, and never have been, in compliance with the LGPL. "Apple's provided source code (which /is/ heavily modified for the iPhone) [...] isn't even complete enough to compile (it is missing a bunch of code for the WAK* classes), so Apple has simply never been in compliance with this license," Saurik writes. So, it would seem that Apple is still violating the LGPL, and has been doing so for a very long time. Funny how this never makes it to mainstream technology sites. I guess they find their pre-release review devices more important.
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spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

I don't totally agree with that. Webkit is a library. If they implement a class that interprets or transport web code, they are actually extending the webkit library, and not merely using it, therefore their code must be LGPL'ed.

Anyway, even if that was legal, do you realize why Oracle is criticized so much? Oracle didn't do anything illegal. They are criticized for not commiting enough. When it's Oracle, they are bashed and they deserve it. When it's Apple, don't tell me they have the right to do it. That's double standard and that does not sound right.

Reply Parent Score: 3

cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

Anyway, even if that was legal, do you realize why Oracle is criticized so much? Oracle didn't do anything illegal. They are criticized for not commiting enough. When it's Oracle, they are bashed and they deserve it. When it's Apple, don't tell me they have the right to do it. That's double standard and that does not sound right.


You're right about the double standard. But you're wrong about Oracle deserving bashing. They comply with the appropriate licenses. That is all—legally, morally, and ethically—that can be, or should be, expected of them, or of any other corporation, organization, or individual.

Even allowing for the sake of argument that Apple is or was in violation of the LGPL, why do you even care? Are you a copyright holder for part of WebKit? Did not having that source code harm you in some way?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Even allowing for the sake of argument that Apple is or was in violation of the LGPL, why do you even care? Are you a copyright holder for part of WebKit? Did not having that source code harm you in some way?


That's like asking "Why do you care about the disaster in Japan? Were you there? Do you have family there? Did it harm you in any way?"

In other words, a nonsensical question. Open source licenses MUST be respected, and violations MUST be brought to light. If not, it'll open the door for widespread profiteering from corporations and other entities.

Reply Parent Score: 1

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


You're right about the double standard. But you're wrong about Oracle deserving bashing. They comply with the appropriate licenses. That is all—legally, morally, and ethically—that can be, or should be, expected of them, or of any other corporation, organization, or individual.
Obviously we do not have the same moral standard but at least yours is consistent.

Even allowing for the sake of argument that Apple is or was in violation of the LGPL, why do you even care? Are you a copyright holder for part of WebKit? Did not having that source code harm you in some way?

Yes, I am definitely harmed. Not so much as a developer as of now, although I could hit a wall in the future because of that but as a user, I am definitely harmed. Not having the source code available means some software won't be developed, other software won't interoperate, etc. This code would definitely be useful to someone to create software and I am deprived of this software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

cmchittom,

"Even allowing for the sake of argument that Apple is or was in violation of the LGPL, why do you even care? Are you a copyright holder for part of WebKit? Did not having that source code harm you in some way?"


This shows that you have no idea what (L)GPL is actually about.

In fact, even end users are harmed when apple violates licenses. Many end users do benefit from having access to the source code. It doesn't matter if they are a minority or not, the copyright holders entitled them to it when they published code under the LGPL.

Apple is not entitled to withhold their source code changes while distributing the object code. If apple disregards their obligations, end users who depended on having access to the source code (and are entitled to it), are undeniably harmed.

Legally speaking, it'd probably be difficult for anyone other than the original copyright holders to take action against apple for any violation.

It makes for an interesting question, what if an open source owner died before transferring ownership? Could non-copyright holding end users legally coerce a company to distribute their modifications to the code as required by the license? Or is the company legally sheltered from fulfilling it's open source obligations because the copyright holders are gone?

Edited 2011-05-10 18:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1