Linked by umad on Thu 25th Aug 2011 22:51 UTC
Apple I thought OSNews would be a good forum to talk about a matter that has been weighing on my mind lately primarily because the site has been so focused on Apple's patents and litigation as of late. The news that HP, the largest PC manufacturer in the world is spinning off or getting out of this business is what really prompted me to write this article.
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RE[4]: Wait a minute...
by vitae on Sat 27th Aug 2011 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wait a minute..."
vitae
Member since:
2006-02-20

I call it shafted.



Ah see, but being shafted is all in the eye of the beholder. You don't like people borrowing from Apple's designs, and yet Apple has borrowed quite a bit from PARC, BSD, from the Mach, from KHTML, etc.

Now legally they're not obligated to give things back to these people who did the real work for them, but why after all this borrowing by Apple, do they not have a greater appreciation of the fact that software design has historically been shared amongst many different entities (despite Gates and Jobs claims to the contrary)? Why are they so quick to resort to litigation for even the smallest thing (say like an image viewer on a tablet that looks like their own)? They seem to be operating on the pirate's code:

"Take what you can. Give nothing back." - Jack Sparrow

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Wait a minute...
by atsureki on Sun 28th Aug 2011 00:19 in reply to "RE[4]: Wait a minute..."
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Ah see, but being shafted is all in the eye of the beholder. You don't like people borrowing from Apple's designs, and yet Apple has borrowed quite a bit from PARC, BSD, from the Mach, from KHTML, etc.

Now legally they're not obligated to give things back to these people who did the real work for them, but why after all this borrowing by Apple, do they not have a greater appreciation of the fact that software design has historically been shared amongst many different entities (despite Gates and Jobs claims to the contrary)? Why are they so quick to resort to litigation for even the smallest thing (say like an image viewer on a tablet that looks like their own)? They seem to be operating on the pirate's code:

"Take what you can. Give nothing back." - Jack Sparrow


Ironic invocation of piracy.

I don't know what it is about software that makes people so blasé about the difference between legal and illegal copying. I mean, when an end user breaks an EULA or pirates something they never could have afforded, then yeah, whatever; but there are serious financial and other consequences with this sort of thing on a corporate scale, like Psystar's end run around Apple's R&D budget, which the courts determined to be a counterfeiting operation.

Apple is in compliance with the BSD license, and they were specifically authorized to commercialize PARC's technology, so what do they owe to anyone that they're not giving? I suppose I'd concede that BSD also got "shafted" by Microsoft (allegedly?) lifting their networking code and Apple their entire userspace in order to make products that compete with the original over users, developers, and other mindshare, but it was always BSD's developers' choice to reserve so few rights.

Xerox could be said to have been shafted as well, having all but given away the future of computing, but again, their choice. And as for whether everyone or just Apple should have access to PARC's ideas, I guess that should have been up to Xerox, depending on the letter of their arrangement, but I'd bet money they were against it: they tried to sue Apple over... I'm not really clear on that; I think they wanted to collect back whatever Apple collected from any and all infringers, but in any case it was all dismissed, and anarchy ensued; cheap, ubiquitous anarchy.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Wait a minute...
by vitae on Sun 28th Aug 2011 18:47 in reply to "RE[5]: Wait a minute..."
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

I specifically said they were not legally obligated to give anything back, and I won't even be so silly as to say "morally", but how about just for the sake of being reasonable? As in, "Hey, FreeBSD project, thanks for all the hard work, and thanks for Jordan Hubbard. Howzabout we help you guys out in return just because we do appreciate open source and don't call you a virus like Microsoft?"

As for the copying thing, did you really think that all of these Samsung devices should be banned all across Europe just because the image viewer app looks like Apple's? If they make a device and looks and works exactly like the iPad, then by all means, sue them, but over something small like this? Really?

This attitude of "we are not legally obligated to give anything to the FreeBSD, but Samsung has legally infringed our IP if ever so slightly" is part of what's wrong with the software industry. Being overly concerned with using the law as a weapon, rather than (godforbid) trying to foster a more relaxed business climate that doesn't make a mockery of the legal system. You speak of anarchy, but it's Apple and Microsoft that have started us down this path unnecessarily.

Reply Parent Score: 2