Are Apple and Oracle plotting against open source?

“It’s really quite clever,” Dana Blankenhorn writes for ZDNet. “Tie Google up in court, sign a deal with Apple to coordinate development of Java, and ignore the open source community. It’s all about the Great Game, and you’re not invited to play.”

“What the community thinks is open source can be taken back,” Blankenhorn writes. “Open source lives by the contract and it will die by the contract.”

Blankenhorn writes, “That’s a message Apple can get behind. Apple has never had any interest in the open source community. It’s a nuisance, a bunch of so-called idealists who copy its ideas and prevent it from gaining the monopoly rents it feels its innovation deserves.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What does innovation deserve, exactly? To be freely knocked off by every Tom, Dick, and Hua on earth?


  1. Ok, so let me get this straight. Apple creates WebKit, releases it into the wild, and is almost singlehandedly responsible for what we know of today as a browser. It’s greatest contributions to date have been to open source projects (HTML5, FaceTime, H264) and have been the source of the greatest controversies in the tech world in recent years, opposed by a proprietary plugin called Flash.

    But, somehow, all of this contribution was in fact motivated by hatred, for Apple hates the open source community. The giveaway, after all these years? Was it the unreplaceable battery? The lack of porn or CLI on the iPhone? Tech snobs need to lighten up.

  2. Apple uses Open Source as it was intended…to extend and implement. What good is Open Source if it never reaches a market in any meaningful way. Dana Blankenhorn has never gotten it and believes OpenSource is some kind of sacred cow.

  3. Sounds like Dana needs to get a tin-foil hat.

    To say: “Apple has never had any interest in the open source community. It’s a nuisance, a bunch of so-called idealists who copy its ideas and prevent it from gaining the monopoly rents it feels its innovation deserves” is quite an unfounded accusation.

    Maybe Dana can get Jesse Ventura to investigate this conspiracy on his TV show.

    She sees conspiracies where none exist.

  4. @Adam – Apple didn’t create WebKit; it derived it from kHTML. Apple is releasing its changes back to the community, and kHTML has incorporated Apple’s changes.

    @KillerCat – good call

  5. This columnist does not have a clue.

    OS X is built on many open source projects, including BSD Unix, CUPS printing, etc. Even the rendering engine of Safari (WebKit) is an open source project that Apple did not start.

    Apple does not want to kill the open source community at all.

    That journalist has no clue and needs to get some basic info about Apple software before shooting off his mouth.

    ZDNET: insert foot in mouth, again, for failing to grasp basics about open source community and apple

  6. _Bill_ ,
    Konc was a fledgling project, and was likely never going to be much (other than a file browser for SuSE). Making that kind of statement (which has already been said by every clueless apple hating troll BTW) means one of two things, either you are clueless about the state of the Konc project when apple began webkit, OR you you actually do know and are purposely misrepresenting the facts to try to prop you irrational hatred of apple.

    WebKit is 90% Apple’s work (all of which they released to open source) make no mistake about it. Without it browsers like google’s chrome would not exist.

  7. @_Bill_ ,

    You are wrong, Apple DID create Webkit, this from wiki:

    “WebKit was originally created as a fork of KHTML as the layout engine for Apple’s Safari; it is portable to many other computing platforms.”

  8. Let someone use Dana Blankenhorn’s confidential sources or information gathered. Dana would unloose the hounds of hell (lawers) to prevent another from gaining one user view from the information gleaned.

    However, the idealist looks down on a company that seeks to secure it’s information, ideas, and investment.

    Dana Blankenhorn: please disclose your sources and knowledge so we all may use it to make money! I need it and you have plenty….. Please make it open source, not private!

    Are your articles available for me to exchange your name with mine with a few added words to sell media outlets? I could use the money….. Let us know on Mac daily News! Links needed as well.

    Looking forward to making money off you! Thanks in advance!

    Oh, wait….

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smirk” style=”border:0;” />

  9. The free and open dissemination of ideas and knowledge have been crucial for the development of scientific and mathematical ideas, theories, etc. over the past forever. When knowledge is closed is slows down the process of accumulation and understanding as too many people are reinventing the wheel (look at the state of British versus Franco-German mathematics after the Leibniz-Newton Schism over primacy in inventing the calculus: the british closed themselves off and virtually disappeared for centuries except for Hamilton, Gibbs). That said, there is still a desire by some to be paid for this work and to withhold it until they are. It is the choice of the creator to do such. And that is something that the creator of such work must reconcile. Not everybody lives in a socialist utopia nor sees the world in that way. So much original work was and is done and gifted freely to the world (think that the next time you use the internet!). So to stereotype open source work as just knockoffs or theft of IP or poison is idiotic and utterly simplistic. By that argument, since OSX is based on BSD, it is a mere ‘knockoff’?

    Look at Woz back in the day, going to Homebrew, giving away all the tech he was working on. Did it harm apple? Didn’t seem so. But look what came out of Homebrew, when ideas are freely exchanged, disseminated: everybody improved. Everybody got better stuff, sooner. A big leap forward occurred. And apple still made crap loads of money. You might argue that it even accelerated this process. So there is a place for FOSS.

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